I have grown up in Waldheim, living on the farm, playing volleyball, studying music, being involved in Salem…it’s all been very good, and I’m very thankful for my time here, especially in Salem Church – the solid teaching, opportunities to serve, sense of community – but I am also very thankful for a few key experiences I’ve had with missions, each having a great impact on my life.
My first experience to cross-cultural mission was 6 years ago together with my family in Spain and Morocco. This is where God really started a passion in my heart for missions.
In 2008 I spent the summer in Jamaica – working with children, discipling them and connecting them with a church home to grow in. God used that to show me how important missions really is.
Then the next summer, 2009, our youth group went to Mexico to work with Trino and Esther Ortiz (missionaries Salem supports). From that I came home with the confidence that yes, God’s call is missions, and I can’t imagine doing anything else with my life.
So I graduated in 2010, and then spent last year working together with the mission OM in Zürich, Switzerland. It was an unreal year for me where God taught and confirmed a lot of things in my life…one being that when God calls you to go, you go, and you will be blessed for that.
My time in Zürich was also very intense, so I needed some time to debrief and look back on what I learnt. I have been home on the farm this year, and been able to reflect on last year, as well as keep busy with music and language studies. But also, I have been learning to exercise patience, as I have been waiting for direction from God as to what my next steps in missions were to be.
Because of my experience and the contacts I had made with OM in Zürich it seemed to make sense to stay with OM – wherever that would be.
OM is an international mission organization with teams in 116 different countries around the world. There are about 6000 people working with them bringing the gospel to many people through short and long term teams.
I felt good about staying with OM, but didn’t have a specific desire for a certain country or people group. Through communication together with OM, we both saw the importance for a real challenge and a leadership opportunity for me. Since I am committed to missions for the long term, plugging into a leadership role seems to make sense.
The Africa Trek team came up. It is based in South Africa, but then goes on a 5 month Trek, travelling through different towns and villages throughout South Africa as well as southern Africa…stopping for a time to work together with the local church or group of believers there. Doing things like mentoring youth leaders, sports ministry, practical work in the community, working with those who have no hope – aids patients, orphaned children, witch doctors…
It will be very hands on and very intense. One of the focuses of the Trek is discipleship and leadership training.
I have committed for 2 years with OM. So after my 5 months of the Trek, we will look at how things are going – possibly I will feel comfortable enough to lead the Trek (as they are in need of more leadership) or possibly something else will open up during the Trek where I can step into a leadership role. It is very much unknown as to how that will all turn out, but it will be very exciting to see what God will show me and where he will put me.
I will be leaving on January 4th. Serving from January 2013-January 2015. I would like to specifically ask for prayer as I’m preparing to go, as well as during my time in Africa.