How Rebecca Jefferson got Started as a Missionary

Rebecca Jefferson grew up in Church and was saved in her “tween” years. Then God called her to be a domestic missionary in the Northeastern United States. Here's how she got started.

Name + Contact Info

Where and what people do you primarily serve?
The people of the Baltimore-Washington area.

How do you serve those people?
Sharing the Gospel through visual sketch-board Gospel presentations in public forums and after school clubs and partnering with churches and like-minded believers to reach their communities for Christ.

When did you begin to realize that you had a heart for missions or ministry?
Probably when I was around 13 or 14 years old.

How and when did God lead you to this? How did you recognize His call?
By twelve years old, I was saved, but struggled with condemnation a lot over my salvation. Because of uncertainty over my salvation and fear, I didn't witness to people. But God convicted me of this and changed my heart. He made me want to do this all the time. I couldn't go anywhere without telling people about Jesus or giving them a Gospel tract. Soon, I realized I could do this for the rest of my life. I was fourteen years old when I told my parents I wanted to be a missionary for the rest of my life.

Did you have a clear and measurable goal for ministry?
Some of my goals I've laid out at https://midcitymissions.edifyhub.com/five-part-approach/. I am open to wherever God may lead me in the future. I can say that in order to share the Gospel in a larger capacity, I need to raise nearly $4800 a month. I work part-time, but would love to use most or all of the time that I work to share the Gospel. I would love to partner with fellow believers to make that happen.

What would you do differently if you were starting today?
There are several things I would do differently.

  1. Rely solely on the grace of God. Sometimes, when a dream is realized, it's easy to define yourself by the achievement of that goal more than what God has said about you in his Word. So when things went wrong, I defined myself by what the outcome of situations might be rather than Christ's own sacrifice for me on the Cross.
  2. Realize God has chosen you to do this. I didn't think I could do anything, so when the opportunity finally opened up to be a missionary-evangelist, let's just say I was in disbelief. But one mistake I made was that I got stuck there. I stayed in disbelief and doubt, and it really hindered me in the first year or so of being a part-time evangelist. I was constantly afraid of making a mistake instead of seeing what a gift God had given me in this opportunity and embracing it. I was also unsure of God's direction despite what he had clearly shown to me.
  3. Own it. This is similar to #2. Before doors began to open for me, I aspired to be an evangelist. After doors opened for me, I felt like an evange-failure. My fears held me back from truly taking advantage of this opportunity. I was frozen because I was too afraid of what others thought about me and what Satan said about me. If I had another chance to do things differently, I would have contacted churches asking them point-blank if I could speak for their groups or in front of their congregation. But I thought I might sound too forceful about it, and I was hesitant to speak in front of a church.
  4. Check yourself out, spiritually and mentally. The Bible says to examine yourself to see if you are in the faith and if God's Spirit is in you. Just because God may open a door for you to do a certain task doesn't mean you have it all together. In fact, in ministry, you will be in need of Christ even more than before. Satan will be sure to attack you. I think I underestimated the amount of spiritual assault that would come upon me and my family within the first year of joining Open Air Campaigners. The hardest times in my life thus far that I can remember have happened after I chose to be an evangelist with the organization. I don't regret my decision, but I wish I had taken more time to fortify myself with God's Word so I could have fought the Enemy back more effectively.

    I also wish I would have checked myself for my now-diagnosed Attention Deficit/Hyperactive Disorder. I believe I had it since I was young. It has affected every single area of my life. Because I have a hard time following people in conversation and miss signals to properly understand context, I sometimes misinterpret what people are saying, which has caused confusion, frustration, and anger on my part. This problem showed itself soon after I joined OAC. By the grace of God, my condition is managed through medication, counseling, and prayer. I would encourage anyone, especially anyone considering joining the mission field, to seriously consider their mental health. You owe it to yourself, your family, and your colleagues whom you will affect through your emotions and actions.

How do you connect with new partners or supporters and stay connected with your existing partners?
I have a few ways of doing this. The Internet has made it so easy to stay connected with people interested in my work. I tend to email churches to ask if they would be interested in my newsletter. I also reach out to Bible studies and kid-friendly groups if they would be interested in a sketch-board Gospel presentation. One thing I love to do is to go witnessing with people whom I have met via social media or otherwise. This is a great way to build relationships and form evangelistic partnerships to reach the lost. Being part of a missions board like Open Air Campaigners has also been key to partner with churches to reach their communities. There are churches and people whom I may have never associated with had it not been for my branch director Tom Fox paving the way for those relationships.

What books, tools, or resources that are important to doing what you do?
The Bible, but I guess that's cheating 🙂 For books, The Way of the Master is a great model to follow in evangelism. I get many of my tools from Open Air Campaigners' online store (i.e., paints). The mission board itself supports me by helping to process donations I receive. Staff conferences truly reveal the heart of the organization, as well as what is being newly utilized by the ministry. See the below answer for more on this question.

How do you get ongoing training and coaching?
My branch director shows me sketch-board-related techniques and dos and don'ts of outreach and engagement and takes time with me to show me communication skills. He encourages me to reach out to others to gain support for my work and to become an evangelist who represents the Lord and the organization well.

What first steps or training would you recommend that others just starting out?

  1. Know your Bible well. It is a double-edged sword, and is to be used for teaching and instruction in righteousness. This is your #1 tool for evangelism.
  2. Preach the Gospel to yourself daily. This is something my pastor-father always says. You must know and have confidence in the Gospel in order to proclaim it and teach it to others.
  3. Expose yourself to sound Bible teaching. Don't listen to teaching that tickles your ears, but sermons that convicts you and inspires you to reach higher for Christ in your spiritual walk with Him.
  4. Surround yourself with compassionate believers who will tell you the truth. There is wisdom in an abundance of counselors, Proverbs says. It is easy to walk in pride, self-righteousness, and disobedience, and yet not know it. Having accountability is crucial.
  5. Don't forget the unsaved nearest you. The people in your life are your mission field. Reach out to them in word and deed. May your every action echo of Christ.
  6. Pray for the unsaved. You can't save the lost, but you can pray for them. This is how God operates in his universe. He responds to prayer.
  7. Get some great gospel tracts. There are good, as well as bad, gospel tracts out there. Websites like onemilliontracts.com and tractplanet.com have very sound gospel tracts for a reasonable price. There are some places where you can order tracts for free; the publishers may just ask you for an optional donation.
  8. Keep your options open. There are people all around the world who have never heard of Jesus, but ultimately, let God lead you. He knows how to use you and direct you to where you need to be.
  9. Immerse yourself in the lives of missionaries. Read missionary biographies, learn about current missionaries, support missionaries, pray for them, volunteer with them, send them letters. If they are coming back to the States on furlough, reach out to help them. One great place to volunteer to help missionaries is Siloam Missionary Homes in North Carolina; they help missionaries coming back from overseas. Also, there are organizations like OAC who love volunteers because it helps us to further the Gospel. Check for OAC branches in your area who you can help volunteer with. I wrote an article on how important it is to help missionaries in https://www.mnnonline.org/2015/03/10/the-mission-in-missionaries/
  10. Take evangelism courses and seminars. Open Air Campaigners offers a weeklong Sketchboard Evangelism Training every year which is half evangelism seminar, half missions trip. This will be an unbelievable opportunity to stretch your faith to reach the lost around you. Living Waters offers a course you can take online called the School of Biblical Evangelism. This course contains 101 online lessons about how to reach the lost using the Law and the Gospel.

What is a critical mindset or perspective regarding listening, teachability, flexibility, grace, etc?
This has everything to do with humility. If you are not willing to listen or be corrected, there is no sense in going into missions. Something I had to learn and continue to learn is that not every criticism is meant to tear me down. The same God who wounds also heals. Brothers and sisters in Christ are not perfect, but for the majority of the time, criticism is given in and through love. A key to extending love to others is realizing the love of Christ that surpasses knowledge. If you fail to realize the love that Christ has for you personally, this makes it much harder to love and forgive others. I would encourage you, before going on the mission field and as you are going, be secure in the love that God has for you.

Knowing what you know now, would you do it all again?
I would do it again, but I would do things with hopefully more courage and more security in my identity in Christ.

Rebecca Jefferson

Rebecca Jefferson

Missionary, Open Air Campaigners

Disclosure of Material Connection: Some of the links in the post above are “affiliate links.” This means if you click on the link and purchase the item, I will receive an affiliate commission. Regardless, I only recommend products or services I use personally and believe will add value to my readers. I am disclosing this in accordance with the Federal Trade Commission’s 16 CFR, Part 255: “Guides Concerning the Use of Endorsements and Testimonials in Advertising.”

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How to Make Discipleship Training Easily Accessible in the World, with Curtis Sergeant of the Zumé Project – EM192

How to Make Discipleship Training Easily Accessible in the World, with Curtis Sergeant of the Zumé Project – EM192

engaging missions

How to Make Discipleship Training Easily Accessible in the World

Episode 192 - Curtis Sergeant, Zumé Project Zumé ProjectSubscribe!

Joining us again on the show, Curtis Sergeant shares about a new project called Zumé. The purpose of this program is to train groups of believers in how to make disciples. Through video, discussion questions, and activities, groups are able to learn more about following the Great Commission.

This project is great for any believer. It helps people realize their own ability to share the Gospel with others. The goal of Zumé is to make training more accessible throughout the world so that more people can get involved in spreading the Good News.

Want to listen to the Bible on the go? Download for free by trying out Audible.com (and help support the show)!

What we talked about

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Three Keys to Effective Prayers for Missionaries

Three Keys to Effective Prayers for Missionaries

One of the most incredible joys I’ve recently discovered is praying with and for missionaries and church planters. For years I thought about it but never really did it. But after I launched the Engaging Missions Show, I made it a practice to pray with each of my guests before the show and to pray for them as often as I remember.

I even started sending out regular emails asking for specific prayer requests.

While I can’t say that this is the most life-changing thing I’ve ever done, it’s certainly up there because I find that my heart becomes more aligned with God’s heart when I pray. And that I care more when I pray.

Maybe you’d like to see some of that in your life too

I suspect that we could all use a little more of God’s heart in our lives. But let’s face it, sometimes we don’t pray because it seems too hard or we’re afraid. I know that sometimes holds me back.

After all, what if I pray something that’s not God’s will? Or what if I’m not diligent enough? What if I just mess EVERYTHING up.

But I also know there are incredible benefits to praying. So if you’re interested in it, I have something to offer you. Absolutely free.

All it will cost is a couple minutes of your time right now. And maybe a little effort.

I have a simple reminder and completely un-patented three step process to totally energize your prayers for missionaries that will almost certainly work for you. It’s not magic. There are no promises. But it could make all the difference in the world.

Are you ready for it?

Here’s the reminder: It’s not about you!

That’s right! It’s not about you. It’s about God. He’s the focus. He’s in control. He’s guiding you. So we don’t need to keep our eyes on ourselves.

Got it?

OK. Now for the ultra-simple three step framework for successful missionary prayers.

1. Get to know your missionary
2. Get to know God’s heart for them
3. Pray God’s will into their situations

Sound too simple?

It’s not.

Because when you get to know your missionary (or missionaries), you start to see what struggles and opportunities they have. You start to see them as people. You start to care about them.

And as you begin to search for God’s heart in the Scriptures, He reveals Himself to you. He reveals His heart for people and situations and cultures and nations. And for you.

And when you know who you’re praying for and to whom you’re praying, it becomes much easier to pray His will for them. For their ministries. For their families.

And when you pray, you care more. You know God more.

And the cycle repeats.

Simple? Yes.

Powerful? Absolutely!

Worth it? Without a doubt?

How about you?

Do you have a different framework? Why not share it in the comments?

And if you’ve tried this for the first time, why not share your experiences?

I’m trusting God to make incredible changes in all of our lives.

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Looking for direction about what’s most important? Look here!

Looking for direction about what’s most important? Look here!

Last week I wrote about how we are often surrounded by opportunities and it can be hard to choose. “Should I go this way?” “Should I do this thing or that thing?” “What’s the best use of my resources?”

Of course, sometimes the opposite is true – we feel constrained by a lack of opportunity. But in either case, the solution might be the same thing.

But whether we feel overwhelmed by opportunity or constrained by lack, the answer is the same thing. And it might not be what we think.

It’s not just about figuring things out

If you’re like me, you probably spend an inordinate amount of time trying to figure things out. Playing scenarios. Looking at options. Trying to figure things out.

However, even though there’s value in that, it can go to far.

(I know…you were thinking, “Well I’m not crazy like he is.”)

Because the root of the issue isn’t really about how much we do or don’t have. It isn’t even really about figuring out what to do.

Sure, we need to be responsible, wise trustees of God’s Kingdom. We need to be capable ambassadors and loving citizens of His Kingdom.

But we don’t have to figure everything out.

This sometimes plagues me

I will get up early with a list of things to do. I’ll try to pick the most critical things to do first. Or maybe I’ll pick the one or two things I think I can actually get done. But inevitably, if I get things out of order, it just doesn’t work out.

I can spend an entire day working on things. Prioritizing things. Working on what I’m working on. And never get anything of value if I don’t do one thing first.

Something that Caleb Suko shared when he was a guest on the Engaging Missions Show.

The Lord leads. And if you trust Him, He’ll lead in your life.

— Caleb Suko

And it really plagues me if I don’t start my day by spending at least a few minutes with God. It’s in those times, if I’m really paying attention, that God will direct my steps.

And while He’s doing it, He might also give me a little rest in the middle of my busy-ness. He might refresh and renew me. He might give me a word or a thought that will carry me through the day.

Or maybe something for someone else.

But if I don’t take that time with God – if I don’t invest in that relationship, I don’t get the benefits of that relationship.

Not to mention getting some quality time with GOD!

That doesn’t mean that I turn my brain off. It doesn’t mean that I don’t work hard.

But I have to start with trusting God to guide me.

Maybe the way He guides me looks different than the way He guides you. That’s OK.

But if His word is a lamp for my feet and a light to my path, and if He’s promised to NEVER leave me, then I can trust Him to give me the wisdom, insight, self-control, and strength for whatever He’s put in front of me.

And if I follow Him, I’ll be on the path He’s prepared for me, which includes all the things He’s laid out for me.

And the same is true for you.

So are you looking for direction? Do you feel like you’re running around in circles? Or are you just tired from carrying a load?

Well take a load off.

Go to Jesus and let Him know what’s going on. And then ask Him what’s next.

He might surprise you. He might not.

But know that He WILL lead you.

The Lord leads. And if you trust Him, He’ll lead in your life.

Our Fundraiser!

We're raising funds to help Global Initiative equip the Church to share God's love with Muslims. Visit our fundraiser page for more information about Global Initiative and how YOU can be involved.

Bringing Bread: How to Reflect the Heart of God in the World, with David Joannes – EM191

Bringing Bread: How to Reflect the Heart of God in the World, with David Joannes – EM191

engaging missions

Bringing Bread: How to Reflect the Heart of God in the World

Episode 191 - David Joannes

There is power in telling a story of God’s redemption on Earth. David Joannes, today’s guest, has recently written a book about his experience as a missionary and what God has been doing in his life. He is currently a missionary in Thailand with his wife and daughter. Also, he leads a ministry called Within Reach Global, which works to spread the Gospel in the unreached areas of Asia.

He shares about God’s heart for those who have never heard the Gospel. As David has been serving the Lord, he has grown in reflecting Christ’s heart for these people. He continually strives to see different people groups have access to the Good News of Jesus.

Listen to the Episode Below (00:45:04)
Want to listen to the Bible on the go? Download for free by trying out Audible.com (and help support the show)!

What we talked about

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Are YOU Focusing on the Most Important Thing?

Are YOU Focusing on the Most Important Thing?

Our lives are so full of opportunities, it's easy to become overwhelmed. To try to do everything. And when we do that, it's easy to lose focus on the most important things.

Maybe you're wondering about that right now.

Are YOU focusing on the most important thing?

I know this is a common problem in the United States because there are people selling solutions to the problem all over the place. There are entire books dedicated to focusing on “The One Thing” or “Essentialism.”

I think our culture drives this. We take the “shotgun” approach to life.

We're so worried about missing out or falling short of our callings, gifts, or abilities, that we are constantly trying to do more, to be more involved, to give more, and more.

And in some ways, that's a good thing. But too much of a good thing can put us out of balance. Especially when we become unfocused or distracted.

We're driving along at a zillion miles per hour with three maps in front of us and only one eye on the road. We're getting somewhere fast. It might be the right place. But it just as likely might not. And all the while, we could be leaving a trail of dead bodies or missed opportunities behind us.

It can apply to ANY area of our lives

This can apply to our finances. It can apply to how we spend our time. It can apply to how we approach our work or our ministries. It can apply to our families. It might even apply to our quiet times with God.

I know that sometimes I struggle with this kind of thing with the Engaging Missions Show. I am constantly trying to grow and provide the best guests for you and also the best possible audience for my guests.
They have amazing stories that we need to hear. And they need to be heard and loved.

But it's so easy to get distracted. In my efforts, I can try out new segments. I can look for ways to improve audio quality or my skills as an interviewer. I can look for help in marketing and social media.

And none of those are bad things unless I lose focus on the two most important things.

  • Connection
  • Quality

Or the thing that's REALLY most important, as Erin Paul reminded us.

The most important thing is just bringing glory to God.

— Erin Paul

It's easy to get distracted

It's so easy to get distracted by lesser goals. By less important things.

As a host and podcast producer, I can chase unicorns and rainbows. I can look for pots of gold and four-leafed clovers.

Or I can focus on what matters: Glorifying God by producing a quality show that showcases His stories in the lives of our guests, deepens our connections with them, and inspires, equips, and challenges us to live our calling wherever we are.

That doesn't mean I can't try things out.

I experiment all the time.

But I have to remain grounded in the things that matter most. I have to use those priorities to make my decisions – even if going a different direction might be easier, faster, more fun, or appear to have better results.
That doesn't mean we can't try things out. But we always have to remain grounded to the things that are most important.

And it's the same for all of us.

If there's an area that you're wondering about – your calendar, your bank statement, your passions – take a look at it.

Are you focusing on what's most important?

What about your life overall? Is your focus on bringing glory to God?

And if you don't like the answers, take a minute to ask God what you should do about it.

And then do it.

the most important thing is just bringing glory to god

Our Fundraiser!

We're raising funds to help Global Initiative equip the Church to share God's love with Muslims. Visit our fundraiser page for more information about Global Initiative and how YOU can be involved.
Disclosure of Material Connection: Some of the links in the post above are “affiliate links.” This means if you click on the link and purchase the item, I will receive an affiliate commission. Regardless, I only recommend products or services I use personally and believe will add value to my readers. I am disclosing this in accordance with the Federal Trade Commission’s 16 CFR, Part 255: “Guides Concerning the Use of Endorsements and Testimonials in Advertising.”

Small Acts of Love Have Great Impact in the World, with La’Wana Harris – EM190

Small Acts of Love Have Great Impact in the World, with La’Wana Harris – EM190

engaging missions

Small Acts of Love Have Great Impact in the World

Episode 190 - La'Wana Harris

In the Kingdom of God, small acts of kindness can mean the world. La’Wana Harris joins the show to discuss the importance of prayer, service, and obedience. She currently takes trips to Haiti to help end illiteracy and to spread the love of Christ and has a goal to provide 10,000 books to kids in Haiti by the end of 2017. Also, she works in the States as a motivational speaker, a writer, and a worker for social justice.

In all of her involvements, the Lord has been at work to reach those in Haiti and in her local community. She clearly carries the Word and prayer as her weapons as she goes to share the Gospel. From bringing books and creating puppet shows, to bringing smiles and creating conversation, La’Wana follows the Lord to show the love of God to anyone she meets.

Listen to the Episode Below (0:46:36)
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What we talked about

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How La’Wana Harris got Started as a Missionary in Haiti

La'Wana Harris is an author, a speaker, and a missionary to Haiti. She's led multiple trips to Haiti, focusing on education, health, orphanages, evangelism and more. Here's how she got started.

Name + Contact Info

Where and what people do you primarily serve?
Haiti

How do you serve those people?
Children's Ministry, Medical Clinics, Teaching at Orphanages and Schools, Evangelism

When did you begin to realize that you had a heart for missions or ministry?
I began to realize that I had a heart for missions as a child. My grandmother and I would serve as domestic missionaries in our local community. I loved to serve the people of our community more than anything else. I remember my grandmother buying an empty cargo van and having my uncle go to the salvage yard to pull seats out of old school buses. He bolted the seats to the floor in the van and I painted the church name and address on the side of the van. I would make corn beef hash and egg salad sandwiches for the children.

That was the beginning of our youth ministry which included weekly bible study, vacation bible school and meals.

How and when did God lead you to this? How did you recognize His call?
God gave me a spirit of compassion at an early age. He allowed me to care deeply for the needs of others around me. His love also motivated me to action. I felt compelled to help those that were hurting, in need or without a relationship with Jesus Christ. He called me to Haiti during a church service. God had been speaking to my heart about going on a mission's trip for months.

One Sunday during praise and worship, God spoke to my heart letting me know that I should go serve in Haiti. Our church announced a short term mission's trip to Cabaret, Haiti the following week and the rest is history. I answered God's call and I know in my heart that I am serving in the way he created me to serve.

Did you have a clear and measurable goal for ministry?
Initially, I did not have a clear goal for ministry in Haiti. I just wanted to go serve as the hands and feet of Jesus in any capacity that I could. The needs in Haiti are so great, and it can be overwhelming to know where to start.

After the earthquake in 2010, there were thousands of orphans due to the tragic loss of life. Some children were placed in orphanages and no one even knew their names. God gave me a clear vision to help the children of Haiti. I started with a large scale project to build on orphanage in Leogane, Haiti, the epicenter of the earthquake.

I partnered Samaritan's Purse on a construction project for the Greta Home and Academy. Our team dug ditches, poured concrete and tied rebar. This was my first construction mission and it was very hard work in the tropical heat of summer.

The orphanage has been completed and the program is having a tremendous impact on the children in Leogane.

God has shifted my focus to sharing the gospel through children's books. The access to quality books is very limited in Haiti. And access to books in Haitian Creole is even less.

My goal is two fold: To fulfill the great commission by sharing the gospel with children's books and to help eradicate illiteracy to break the cycle of poverty for sustainable impact. The goal for 2017 is to provide 10,000 books to the orphanages and schools in Haiti. We officially launched our “10,000 Books for Haiti” campaign in February.

What would you do differently if you were starting today?
If I were starting today with the knowledge that I have gained over the years while serving in Haiti, I would take a different approach as to how we get items to the children. It has been painful and quite heartbreaking at times as we travelled to Haiti with supplies for the children. Unfortunately, there have been incidences of corruption that intercepted mission's teams at the airport and confiscated donated gifts or held them in customs for extremely high fees.

Most teams have now learned to work with 3rd party carriers to help ensure that the items go directly to the intended orphanage or school. The shipping and transportation process is quite expensive due to this complex dynamic. The extra effort required to get the items to Haiti is well worth it and often forgotten when we see those little faces light up with joy! Where God guides, He provides.

How do you connect with new partners or supporters and stay connected with your existing partners?
Staying connected with our partners and supporters has been made easier by the various social media platforms. We use Facebook, Twitter, YouTube, Pinterest and other platforms to stay connected with our partners.

We also use more traditional approaches such as our monthly newsletter. That said, nothing beats getting face to face with our partners. I try to attend as many church services, conferences and sit down discussions as possible to share our progress and God's vision for our ministry.

What books, tools, or resources that are important to doing what you do?
My ultimate resource to guide our mission's ministry is the bible—God's instruction manual. There are also a number of books and ministry tools that help guide our path based on lessons from pioneer missionaries. Some of my favorite resources are from the Live Dead ministry lead by Dick Brogden. “To LIVE DEAD is to live life wholly for Jesus. To die to self, know God will do a greater work through you. To announce the life of God among those who are unreached.” I also enjoy reading and learning from Charles Spurgeon's writings.

How do you get ongoing training and coaching?
Ongoing training and coaching is extremely important for sustainable ministry that gives glory to God. I attend mission's conferences, participate in online trainings and spend time with seasoned missionaries to learn from their journeys. I am also a Rapid Response Chaplain with the Billy Graham Evangelical Association. BGEA offers excellent training programs and courses in collaboration with other Christian organizations. Lifelong learning is a vital part of lifelong ministry.

What first steps or training would you recommend that others just starting out?
I highly recommend the Live Dead 30 day journal for those that are starting out in their mission's ministry. I also recommend reading “Operation World” by Jason Mandyrk. I remember Pastor George Daniels of Hope Fellowship Church in Raleigh, NC giving that book to me as a gift when I was getting started in mission's ministry. It was such a timely blessing, and I am sure that it will be a blessing to others. The Live Dead journal helps us with our inward look and “Operation World” helps frame our outward look.

I also recommend that new missionaries connect with a seasoned ministry team or missionary couple for mentoring, prayer and accountability.

What is a critical mindset or perspective regarding listening, teachability, flexibility, grace, etc?
It is of utmost importance that we enter the mission's ministry with an open heart and a willing spirit. We must surrender our preconceived ways of thinking and working as we yield to the leading of the Holy Spirit. We've all heard the expression, “Life happens.” Well that saying is greatly amplified on the mission field.

Many times we are serving in underdeveloped areas with non-existent or minimal infrastructure. Timeliness and structure may seem to be figments of our imagination. We must have a teachable spirit that yields to the spirit of God and the local leadership in the country where we serve.

Believe it or not, there are very different approaches to do just about everything in underdeveloped areas. Our ability to remain flexible, listen to understand and demonstrate limitless grace will enable our ministry to flourish in the face of unsurmountable challenges. We will see the hand of God perform miraculous deeds when we embrace the “Surrender all” mindset.

Knowing what you know now, would you do it all again?
Absolutely! Being a missionary is what I was created to do. My very existence is validated when I am surrendered to God, guided by the Holy Spirit and serving the children of Haiti.

La'Wana Harris

La'Wana Harris

Author, Speaker, Missionary

Disclosure of Material Connection: Some of the links in the post above are “affiliate links.” This means if you click on the link and purchase the item, I will receive an affiliate commission. Regardless, I only recommend products or services I use personally and believe will add value to my readers. I am disclosing this in accordance with the Federal Trade Commission’s 16 CFR, Part 255: “Guides Concerning the Use of Endorsements and Testimonials in Advertising.”

Our Fundraiser!

We're raising funds to help Global Initiative equip the Church to share God's love with Muslims. Visit our fundraiser page for more information about Global Initiative and how YOU can be involved.

How to Raise up Leaders and Make Disciples in the World, with Rick Preato – EM189

How to Raise up Leaders and Make Disciples in the World, with Rick Preato – EM189

engaging missions

How to Raise up Leaders and Make Disciples in the World

Episode 189 - Rick Preato

Throughout the Gospels, Jesus calls others to follow Him and become fishers of men. Our guest, Rick Preato, discusses how we become fishers as soon as we become followers. He currently works to make disciples in his local community.

After seeing the move of God in South Asia, he felt the Lord call him to minister to those around him back in the States. During the episode, Rick shares about abiding in Jesus, walking in obedience, and raising up leaders. As he talks about his experiences, he shows his passion for the Lord and his heart for others.

Listen to the Episode Below (00:40:33)
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What we talked about

(more…)

Is What I’m Doing Significant in God’s Kingdom?

Is What I’m Doing Significant in God’s Kingdom?

Does it ever feel like what you do doesn't matter? Like you're just marking time, checking boxes, and filling a seat?

I don't think it's supposed to be like that. Of course, sometimes it still seems that way. Maybe because we're growing in faithfulness or maybe because God is working in our lives to reveal the reality of how He sees things.

I suspect that many times, we just don't see things the way He does because of our preconceptions. That we think maybe if we're not doing [insert IMPORTANT thing here] like [some friend or famous person].

But that's just wrong.

We are all important. We all matter. And God's calling in our lives is high and holy, whether we think it is or not.

For some of us, the roots are in our childhood

I remember how church camps went when I was growing up. They were a great time to meet some people and set aside some time to meet with God in a special way.

I remember that there was almost always a call to recognize people who felt called into vocational ministry. And I see the value in this – after all, you want to remind people that there are important priorities other than money and fame.

But the unintended consequence is that those who see plumbing or homemaking or bus driving or analytics in their futures might feel like their path is somehow less important.

Of course, I know that the leaders didn't feel that way. They probably even said things to remind us that God has a calling – a vocation – for each of us.

But that doesn't mean that NONE of us walked away with misconceptions. After all, there is an enemy of our souls who wants to separate us from God. To mar the image of God. Or at least to diminish it in our eyes.

Check your heart and your thinking

When we feel like what we do doesn’t matter, we might need to check our hearts to see if we’re walking in obedience. But as we bring it to God, we may find that the truth is tied up more in our perspective than our actions.

Here’s the truth that Seth Brooks shared.

We often don’t feel like what we do matters but it’s about looking at the bigger picture.

– Seth Brooks

Easier said than done, right?

A two step framework to see value in your work

Try this out for size. Every morning, remind yourself (speak to your soul)

  1. I am deeply loved by God
  2. He has called me according to His purpose
  3. I am an ambassador for His Kingdom

Then ask God one question (and write down the answer)

If these things are true, what does that say to the day that’s in front of me?

Because if these things are true, they should impact everything that we think, say, and do.

  • What we think forms what we say.
  • What we say forms what we do.
  • What we do forms what we think.

And while this isn’t a “silver bullet” answer, over time, these reminders will more completely align us to God as He forms us into the image of Christ.

And as we’re more aligned with Christ, we see things more clearly the way He does. We see a different picture. We see the bigger picture. And then we can trust that what we do matters, even if we don’t see it.

Why not give it a try?

Try it for a week or two. Leave a comment about the results – whether good, bad, or indifferent.

We often don’t feel like what we do matters but it’s about looking at the bigger picture.

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