"The world is a dangerous place to live; not because of the people who are evil, but the people who don't do anything about it."
When God calls people to something, He usually isn't discreet about it. If He burdens our hearts or directly calls us to an area of service, and, generally speaking, it's pretty clear. Sometimes the means and the game plan are fuzzy, but it's easy to identify what God breaks your heart for. For myself, God has made it clear to me the last few years what my ministry calling is. I know I'm called to serve the global church and survivors of sexual abuse survivors. I can tell you I have literally no idea in the world how I will serve in those two areas long term, but there's no denying that they both have a big ol' chunk of my heart.
My problem is, as I'm sure many Christians feel, I don't know what God will do with that, so I put it on the back burner sometimes because I don't really know what to do about it.
Sometimes I just think it'll never really happen and I give up.
On sunday, a lot of different conversations from the past week had led to me talking to God in the car, on the way to a pre-church Target run, about starting a ministry [which seems impossible by the way]. In the midst of telling God He should do something, He said to me, "Oh lil' lamb-chop honeybunch, that's why I made you." [In my head Jesus calls me lamb-chop and honeybunch] So then, in my sassy and very "realistic" [pessimistic] nature, I said, "yeah ok Jesus. How does a kid like me, who's young and WAY under-experienced/underqualified, even begin something like that?."
The funny thing is, usually when you put your sassy-pants on when you're talking to Jesus, He gives you a swift reality check. I went to church, and the first twenty minutes of the sermon, the pastor was talking about this ministry that trains young people for a year, then sends them out to church plant, and they plant eleven churches a day. Eleven. a day. They feel God's burden and direction, and they go. Then, following that intro, the message was a part of a series based off of a book, called "Favor with Kings" by Caleb Anderson, that's about God's purpose and the passions He gives us, developing a plan of action, empowering people, and the dreams God puts on our hearts.
After the service, I headed to a luncheon with some of our church's global partners from Congo, Camille and Esther Ntoto, founders of Africa New Day. Africa New Day is a ministry that is dedicated to empowering and creating opportunities for the underprivileged, and is centered around ending gender violence, along with equipping the next generation of African leaders.
Esther and Camille live in the Eastern region of the Congo. Eastern Congo is extremely affected by the Congolese civil wars. The country as a whole has a net-worth greater than the United States because of the natural resources. But, because of the governmental corruption and the violent war, the wealth is stripped from many of the Congolese people, which causes extreme poverty. 3.5 million Congolese children are not able to attend school. The country experiences violent tribal conflict, which is mostly a result of the deep rooted history of the country. In 1885, the Belgian king, King Leopold II, enslaved the Congolese people to harvest and profit from the rubber and ivory. 10,000 Congolese men, women, and children died at the hand of King Leopold's slavery from starvation, forced labor, the dismembering of hands, feet, and limbs [as slave punishment] and intentional extermination. Leopold also divided the Congolese people into tribes by measuring their facial and body features, which is why the Congolese people today have various tribes which have resulted in tribal wars.
In the Congo, rape is used as a form of warfare. Because sexual violence is so destructive and causes deep pain and trauma, it's an extremely effective and common form of warfare. At this particular meeting, Camille and Esther shared parts of their stories and why they started Africa New Day. They explained that Africa New Day has a ministry for men that tackles the root of the problem in sexual violence. They teach men how to be leaders, to fear and love God, the correct and Biblical version of masculinity, and how to respect and treat women in a godly way that is culturally relevant. They have a ministry for children to educate them, keep them in school, and grow them in God's word. Their ministry for women is directed towards literacy, vocational skills, restoration, and helping them break the cycles of violence. They also have ministries for leaders and a media ministry.
Wowza. By the end of that, Jesus had out-sassed me a little bit. Before the ended, Camille had referenced that quote from Einstein, "The world is a dangerous place to live; not because of the people who are evil, but the people who don't do anything about it."
That was just a little Jesus punch, right to the face. He made it abundantly clear that the purpose He has given me is not to be ignored. He is working in big ways, and He can work through anyone.
I get so caught up in my own self. I'm just a kid, I don't have a lot under my belt. But God doesn't call the qualified, he qualifies the called. I still have no idea what in the world, in what capacity, I will be working in this ministry just yet, but God is making it clear, I will be doing it.
We serve a God who is a lot bigger than our ideas, our inadequacy, and our unqualified resumes. Our job is not to tell God it's not possible, our job is to jump on the Jesus bus and say let's do it. It's easier said than done, and it's a life-long process, but God didn't make His Church to be a people that sits and waits for Jesus to return. He made us to be the light to the broken world. We're His workers. We're the tools He's going to use to bring healing, redemption, and love.
Jesus looked at them and said, “With man this is impossible, but with God all things are possible.”
About: Africa New Day
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