Nigeria Mission Trip 2007
What makes a perfect mission trip? Good food, good group, a safe trip maybe, meeting some nice people…. Is this what Mission is really about…..
In a recent contemplation, I read the following verse from Jeremiah 20: 9 “But if I say, I will not mention Him or speak any more in His name, His word is in my heart like a fire, a fire shut up in my bones. I am weary of holding it in; indeed, I cannot.” Here Jeremiah is saying that he cannot possibly keep the Word of God to himself, the Word to him is like a fire… Jeremiah recognises that He has to share the Word of God with others. Do we have that same passion? Do we feel that God’s Word is like a fire in our hearts, a fire that cannot be put out, something that we must share with others?
A true servant of God, as Jeremiah was, felt that desire, the desperation to share with others, who his God is….
What I loved about the Mission trip in Nigeria, is that we would always start our day with Quiet Time, time where we would sit with Jesus on our own, and enjoy His presence. I cannot put into words what it is like to feel the presence of Jesus with you, to hear Him through His word, to feel Him guiding you. Quiet Time for us, was our sustenance and food, without it, we had nothing to share with others during the day. Each day, it was essential that we would spend as much time as possible with our Lord Jesus Christ, so that we could receive from Him the words to share with those that we would meet.
I felt that a huge part of our Mission trip in Nigeria involved each and every single one of us, learning to enter into a deeper relationship with our Lord Jesus Christ. To love Him more, to understand more about His beautiful character and nature, to experience His heart towards us, to be immersed in His promises and to be led by Him. Without doing all this, how could we say as Jeremiah did, that the Word of the Lord is like a fire in our hearts, a fire that we cannot under any circumstances keep within us?
Whilst in Nigeria, we would normally send at least one group to preach in the market place, it was during those times that we really saw how amazing God is when He works in us to speak to others. It was during those times, that we realised how important it is, to feel as Jeremiah felt, that the Word of our Lord is like a fire in our hearts that cannot be contained in us, it must be shared with others!!
It was essential that we also learnt that whilst it was important to spread the Word of God in the villages, and in homes, this was not enough. What would happen after we left, after we had finished preaching? We were meeting people that wanted to be with our Lord, that wanted to praise Him and pray to Him and be in a close relationship with Him… so what next? Well, we were also blessed to take part in the building of a new Coptic Orthodox Church in the village of Calabar!!
I cannot tell you, how many miracles, our Lord Jesus did, to help us start building the Church. One example was that the Governor of Calabar was refusing to allow us to build, but after prayer and the intervention and power of our Lord who is above all, we met with the Governor and he granted us permission to build the new Church, and so the Africans built… (and we tried to help, although we were probably more of a hindrance!) I pray that God will continue the great work that he started in Calabar, and that the Church would be filled with many people who will continue to spread the Gospel of our Lord Jesus Christ throughout Calabar and unto the ends of the World.
I realised in our trip to Calabar, that God wanted to show us what Mission was truly about. Learning to Trust in Him, allowing Him to speak through us, having His word in us like a fire in our hearts, that we cannot contain.
Are you scared to share the Word of God with others, be it at Work, at Home, or in the Street? Is there something stopping you? Ask Jesus to break you free from fear, ask the Lord to set you free from embarrassment and to place in your heart, the feeling that Jeremiah had, that His word is a fire in our hearts. Simply allow God to work in you, and watch the amazing wonders that God will do in your life.