We all know 2020 was difficult in a multitude of ways. 2021 is beginning more hopeful….but it is not necessarily different than how 2020 finished. There are many people in different lines of work that are experiencing either a complete halt in being able to do what they do or they’re being forced to completely reimagine how to do it.
Many of the incredible people that we work with at the 410 Bridge are global missions leaders and pastors who have had to do all of the above with the suspension of global travel. One of our dear friends and the missions’ leader at Prairie Lakes Church, Hilary Cornelius, has written a super encouraging exercise for us. Whether you work in the mission field, or for a church, or know someone who does, we hope this message encourages you and helps you to encourage others.
“This is not about my story. This is about your story and how God called you to do what you do.
Take a minute to think about your first mission trip experience.
- What are some of the ways you encountered God at work in that community, in the people you met, in your team?
- What are some ways you encountered God at work in you?
- What did you learn?
- What about that experience made you want to become a mission’s leader?
Now think about when you started out as a global mission’s leader. Maybe that was fairly recent or maybe it was years ago.
- Why did you feel called to that position?
- Why are you a mission’s leader?
- What is your “why”?
I would guess it has something to do with what you experienced on your first mission trip and how you answered the previous questions. When the daily grind and the whirlwind of work gets tough, it can be so easy to lose sight of your “why”. I find it so important to remind myself of why I do what I do! This re-energizes me, re-inspires me and brings everything back into focus.
For me, my eyes were opened to the ways God was already at work around the world. My first global mission trip was to a community called Kwambekenya in 2010. A tradition in that community is to give each team member a local name, and the name given to me is Waithera, meaning daughter in Kikuyu. It reminds me that we are all daughters and sons of God. I learned what true dependence of God looks like. All of this and more changed my life, challenging me to look for ways God is working around me. I learned to depend on Him in ways I never had before, seeing everyone as created in the image of God and understanding that transformation is possible only through Him. Why I do what I do as mission’s leader is so that others can encounter God and experience life change as well.
I challenge you to post your “why” where you can see it when the work gets long and the days get hard.
Whether you are a mission’s leader, a mission participant, or a raving fan of the work that 410 Bridge is doing, I hope you are encouraged and reminded of why you first got involved in the transformative work being done to serve others and glorify God.”
-Hilary “Waithera” Cornelius, Prairie Lakes Church