I know I say this all the time, but blogging has blessed me immensely. One of the ways it blesses me is that it has caused me to ‘meet’ many wonderful Christian bloggers who encourage me on my walk of faith. One such friend is author and blogger, Ardis Nelson. I discovered something I had in common with Ardis earlier this year: we are both going on short term mission trips this calendar year. Enjoy this guest post from here today and also, take a trip over to her blog: Making Me Bold.
On a Mission of Faith
by Ardis Nelson
Don’t let anyone tell you otherwise, but walking a life of obedience toward God takes courage. At times it feels like you are walking on a tight rope, in fear of falling, and wondering if there is really a safety net below to catch you. That is where I am right now in my life, and I’ve done some pretty ‘crazy’ things as a servant of the Lord.
This fall I will go on my first mission trip, not unlike Julie at ChristianMommyBlogger.com is on this week. My mission is not something that I signed up for at my church. I am going to Spain at the invitation of a Protestant pastor and missionary to teach pastors and church leaders about Celebrate Recovery, a Christian 12-step ministry, founded at Saddleback Church, in California 21 years ago.
It has taken me 10 years on my recovery journey of healing from my own addictive and compulsive behaviors to reach this point. I’ve led groups. I’ve taught. I’ve had failures and relapses, but I never expected to be bringing this ministry into a country where I barely know the language. (We will have full time translators for the conference.)
The point is that I feel like I am walking on a very, very high tight rope. Why would I or anyone do something that seems so unnatural, risky or courageous? It is because of the Call.
Back when I started my recovery journey, I was anything but compassionate. But the Lord was transforming me from the inside out and unbeknownst to me, was preparing me for this Call—step by step, year by year, until He put the timing and pieces into place. Now here I am leading a compassion ministry into a foreign country.
Crazy? You bet. It is not something I would seek to do on my own. However, after an extended stay in Spain last summer, I got a sense of God’s longing for spiritual revival in the country. He started speaking to me more clearly through scripture, through the people around me and during my quiet times of prayer—all confirming this new direction in my life.
Even with all of that confirmation, it still hasn’t been easy, and doubt creeps in from time to time.
It takes courage and faith to depend on the generosity of friends and family to fund a mission into a foreign country. It takes perseverance to push through the cultural, language and religious differences to teach a Christian 12-step program from the ground up. It will take lots of prayer to fertilize this ministry of healing and hope into Spain.
But if God is for us, who can be against us? (Romans 8:31)
Have you ever thought about going on a short term mission? Do you have a passion for serving God and want to be used in bigger and more stretching ways? What is stopping you? Pray about it. Give God time to show you His heart for His people. And be open to His leading.
If your Call is anything like mine, be ready to respond like Isaiah did when he said, “Here I am Lord. Send me.”
About Ardis A Nelson
Mother, wife, writer, blogger, follower of Christ and music manager to my Spanish son, Pedro Gonzalez Arbona. I am a big supporter of Christian 12-step groups. Step 12 calls us to carry this message to others, and to practice these principles in all our affairs. My writing and speaking are my “12th Step”, where healing turns to hope. My writing includes regularly blogging at ardisanelson.com/makingmebold/ and the inclusion of my story, “Walking My Mother Home”, in the compilation, “Journeys to Mother Love”.