Last year God placed an opportunity to serve with Youth for Christ in our path. Through some great family friends, we met the Director of Youth for Christ Military. It started with a casual conversation that dug deep in my mind and simply wouldn't let go. As Rebeca and I prayed and struggled with God over what He had planned for us in the future (stories that will be told here in time), I reeled to think of the ways God has been orchestrating this direction from the beginning.
Rebeca and her family have been moved to Christian mission for generations, and my own family has this mission baked into our DNA as well. Rebeca and I have dedicated the whole of our adult lives to spreading the gospel, and our kids have known something of a transient life since their birth as a result. We haven't been in the same place too long, so we disciple our kids in an ever-changing context as a part of unique and wonderful North American cultures.
This has been difficult at times, but there has been great joy and growth as well. So when I spoke with YFC Military staff, they presented us with various options to be considered. Whether we looked into ministering nationally inside the USA or internationally in a number of nations around the world, one thing would remain constant: Our family would be ministering to the J-High- and High School-aged students of our men and women in uniform. These students—often called TCK's, or Third-Culture Kids—are students who are not living in their passport (home) country, not from the country they now live in, and therefore are part of a third culture. They will move to other locations or countries numerous times before they leave "home," so their idea of home means something different than what many would call normal.
When their parents go to work, they go to war; when their parents get orders to go, they go; when they look for consistency in their life, they find it in the odds of moving. Mind you, this is from an outsiders' perspective looking in, but I can only imagine what it's like to walk in their shoes.
But I'm excited to learn. And I'm excited to be there for them and support their parents and assist them in discipling life-long lovers of Christ.
The major draw to ministry from the very beginning was to equip students to be life-long disciples of Christ once they left the relative comfort of their parent's protection. The statistics of youth walking away from the faith once they walked out the door of their childhood home (many never to return) spoke of the need to disciple students. By God's grace I was not one who walked away, at least not for long. My parents and my church had laid a foundation that I eventually returned to and built on as I learned. I know personally the need to plant gospel seeds early, and frequently, and I benefited by the efforts of many who cared enough to teach me, and encourage me to learn more.
Let me help you see how this resonated in my spirit. My passion for defending the faith (apologia) through evangelism and discipleship has grown yearly, as has my conviction that every Christian must grow in these areas if they would carry out the Lord's commission in obedience. Knowing what God has been stirring in me these many years, words fail to express the powerful confirmations I received as three different people from YFC used two words to describe my potential role with YFC Military: Evangelism and Discipleship.
Cue the wide-eyed emoji.
As we spoke with various YFC Military staff, Rebeca and I gravitated toward serving in Europe. Not only would we be closer to her family than we've been in the past ten years, but we would be outside our comfort zones while ministering to students outside their comfort zones. Even as we call students to trust God in the midst of life's uncertainties, we will model how only Christ remains constant and He is worthy of our devotion. I love hearing about the support we will provide to the families of servicemen and -women, serving those who serve by investing in students and calling them to repentance and faith in Christ.
YOU Are Moved to Mission
That is a mission I can get behind. That is the mission to which we've been called. And that's the mission we are calling you to be a part of as well. Christ has already called us to mission in Matthew 28, and if we truly trust in him we will be moved to live that mission out. Whether it means going yourself, financially supporting those who do, or prayerfully undergirding the work of God in your city and around the world, never forget that you TOO are moved to mission.
We would be honored to partner with you in this mission of God, and to talk with you further about how you can give financially to support these American students half a world away. You can go to our giving link address (https://yfc.givingfuel.com/31099), follow the Partner With Us link in the navigation bar to the right, or text/talk to me directly at 619-655-1006. Thank you for being a part of my life, and what God is doing in this world!