It’s a straightforward enough question, and after listening to a sermon or two on why it’s important to give you might ponder that question for a while, answer ‘yes’ while you’re not yet distracted with all the rest that’s going on with your own life. You might come up with a million and one excuses on why you’re not good enough to give, why you’re not financially stable enough to give, how there’s so many other better suited Christians that can give, and if you keep at it you might convince yourself right out of it. “God’s just not calling me to give this time.”
If you’ve listened to a couple of sermons or if you’ve already talked yourself out of this series and this mission or you’ve even done both, at least hear me out and then decide what you want to do:
First things first: I’m a 20-year-old who, past this year, has never lived anywhere else but Orlando Florida. I didn’t grow up in a Christian home, I gave my life to Jesus when I was 15, I’ve been attending Faith Assembly since I was 16, I graduated from University High school, I’ve had good friends and bad friends, I have best friends, I used to host a book club at the Voice, I participated and then led for fine arts- I’ve been convinced for all of my life that Disney World was the best place to visit and honestly since I never knew anything else, I was a little convinced (and also terrified) that I would live the rest of my life in Orlando without a clue to what was past the most magical place on earth.
Until one night at the voice, the 2018 missions’ trips were announced and I prayed to God that if he wanted me to go to Ireland and if that was His will, that the doors would open (pretty basic prayer, right?) What I never ever could’ve imagined in my whole life was that when I asked Him to open the door to going to Ireland that He would open it for more than one week, that He would be opening up a door to serve in Ireland for an entire YEAR. As in, leave everything I’ve ever known for my whole entire life and give Him a year in a foreign country where 1/5 of One Direction was born. (Yeah LOL I really didn’t know that.) But since I’m writing this post from Ireland and not Orlando you can see God heard me and opened up all the doors that needed opening and ever since I arrived here almost 5 months ago, He’s changed my life in ways that one blog post couldn’t begin to explain.
Right now I’m serving in a café in Galway where they cater to ministering to the youth around the city. Everyday there’s a lunch rush where kids from a couple of local schools will come in and get lunch and when we can, we sit down and hang out with them and play board games, listen to how their lives are going and just be there with them. We get to be a part of their lives and love them and know them which to me is the coolest part of ministry here because I imagine that’s exactly what Jesus would do back in the day. And there’s a lot more to serving in a café than just hanging out with students: I bake, I’m learning how to make legit coffees, I wash dishes, I wait tables but my favorite part is when I see the same smiling faces walk in and I remember why I’m here in the first place.
What’s cool about this ministry too is that it’s not just in the café – they have retreats in schools all across the country almost every weekday and that’s where we get to go in and play games with the students and share our own life stories and tell them all about Jesus. We give them the opportunity to respond to God’s love and it is just about the best privilege I have ever felt in my entire life.
Ever since moving here I’ve never felt more in the right place. I didn’t know this feeling existed- this feeling of being right where I’m meant to be. It’s dreamlike, it feels like a fairytale, sometimes I just find myself thinking it’s too good to be true. And it’s not. It’s God’s will. It’s glorious, it’s beautiful, it’s messy, it’s hard, it’s rewarding, it’s challenging, it’s amazing, it’s where He wants me to be.
And I mentioned earlier that it all started one night at the voice when they announced missions and you can argue that because it sounds more put together and easy, but really it started when God gave me a number for how much I would give to the Drive that year and I answered the question I asked you at the beginning of this post with a resounding yes. I saved and I worked and I sold clothes and I tithed and I said yes to God for something that in no way shape or form did I think would benefit me just because I wanted to be obedient, I was willing to give God whatever He asked of me for the Drive and from that one month of saving up and not eating out and praying and seeking Him and only after I committed myself to giving what God wanted me to give, I felt bold enough to pray for doors to open that night trips were announced. I credit the Drive for giving me an opportunity to seek God’s will in a more serious way in the first place and it will always carry a special place in my heart because I know God took that one yes I had and made a whole new chapter of my life I could’ve never imagined. And I write this to say- answer yes! Give all that you can and then give more. If God is calling you to give on a Sunday night – keep that same tenacity you have at the altar everywhere you go throughout the week. Don’t count yourself out. Don’t say there’s someone better at this- if God is calling YOU, then there is no one else who’s more equipped to answer.
If God gave you a number,
Are you willing to give?
Give to The Drive: Hope in Every Storm