Well, hey there.
Heads up: I have so, so much to talk about. I have to split my third OC update into a bunch of parts so I can even get it all down. Take a deep breath. Dive in.
World Vision Week. The week of June 30th was definitely one of the craziest weeks of my life. The theme was God’s love for the entire world and reaching all the nations for the Gospel. One of the first things we did that week was the International Dinner. Now, I can’t tell you guys much about it so as not to spoil it for future OCSP students, but basically what I got from it is just how privileged and blessed we are to live in America, a place where you could literally turn on the TV or walk down the street and hear the Gospel. I cannot comprehend why God put me in this country, why He has chosen to give me so much. I guess I’ve been learning that it’s because He will ask much of me.
But not only are we privileged—we are also called to GO. In Matthew 28:19-20, Jesus says, “Therefore go and make disciples of all nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit, and teaching them to obey everything I have commanded you. And surely I am with you always, to the very end of the age.” Jesus calls all Christians to go out to the nations in order to tell people the truth of the Gospel. All Christians. You, me, anyone who is a follower of Christ. To all nations.
Now, when I first became a Christian, I thought—well, isn’t this a little too much to ask? I mean, I love Jesus, but this whole going-to-other-countries and taking-risks-for-Him thing is way too extreme for me. People will think I’m weird if I tell them about Him. I want a stable career. I want to be comfortable. Maybe you’re thinking it too. Maybe you think I’m crazy. Sometimes I think I’m crazy. After hearing the talks, I wasn’t sure I was quite ready for this calling. Except, here’s the thing.
As much as the American culture so deeply ingrained within me tries to deny it, Jesus does not call Christians to get rich and live comfortable lives and ignore those suffering and living without knowledge of Him in other countries. No. The biggest thing I learned from all the talks during World Vision Week is that Jesus calls us to be uncomfortable, to be radical. To love the prostitute, the criminal, the apathetic atheist next door, the drug addict, the AIDS victim, the homeless, even though other people may look the other way. He doesn’t call us to the materialistic, conventional self-reliance of the American Dream, but to a life completely and utterly dependent upon Him. He calls us to go to other cultures, to go to people who otherwise would never hear of Him and tell them of His love for them. He calls us to forsake our reputations, our money, our success, our comfort, our stability, and even our lives for Him.
This isn’t a new form of Christianity, people. It’s biblical. It’s authentic. And it is fulfilling! It’s God’s adventure and mission and purpose for mankind. This is life as it is meant to be lived. Why would I want anything less? If I truly believe Christ is amazing as I say He is, that He is the only way to Heaven, why would I not tell people about Him? When I stand before God at the gates of Heaven, He will ask me what I did with what He gave me. And if I have one regret standing before Him, it will not be, “Wow, I wish I had cared more about what other people thought of me” or “Wow, I wish I had spent more of my money and time on myself.” It will be, “Wow, I wish I had shared Him with more people.” Evangelism is the one form of worship that will not exist in Heaven. It is a privilege God gave His children for their time on earth. And I plan to take advantage of it for His glory.
So, my main conclusion of World Vision week: I am done with “God, should I go?” and all about “God, where should I go?” Don’t know when, don’t know for how long. As for where—right now I’m thinking He wants me to go to Ireland, but maybe India, or maybe Romania. But I’m keeping an open mind for where God wants me to go, how He wants me to get there, whether He wants me to go with Cru or some other ministry, as a teacher or as a missionary, or whatever. Go.