This year we are celebrating 10 years of serving the Lord as missionaries! We can hardly believe everything that’s happened since 2008! In January of 2008, Isaac did his initial training with Youth With a Mission in Costa Rica and joined staff as a full time missionary as soon as he finished in June. I graduated from college in May of 2008 and two months later returned to Honduras (where I had spent a year serving in 2004-2005) to begin my career as a missionary teacher.
Over the last 10 years we’ve had the incredible privilege of sharing the good news of Jesus in 14 different nations (Mexico, Guatemala, Honduras, Nicaragua, Costa Rica, Panama, Haiti, Dominican Republic, Colombia, Venezuela, South Africa, Lesotho, Mozambique, Tanzania). When we look at the map below of where we have served and lived, what we most reflect on are the people; the stories of others that are now intertwined in our own stories and lives. The kids that we walked with through good times and really hard times. The moments when we’ve prayed with people to give their lives to the Lord, and the people who we saw develop and mature in their relationships with Jesus. We think of our own triumphs and heartaches in each location and how God has been faithfully with us each step of the way.
Recently I was asked “What is the core of what you do?” It was a a really great question, because we’ve done a lot of things. At Joseph Project we ran the kids center and trained local children’s workers. In Jaco, Costa Rica we worked with kids from the slum, taught them to surf and did after school tutoring with them. In San Jose, Costa Rica we took the big Metro truck to do church services for kids who weren’t able to go to a church. In Colombia Isaac taught at a school for street kids. In Honduras I taught at a Christian school and worked with the church youth group. While it might seem like we’ve been all over the place in what we do it is because discipling people looks different in different contexts.
When Jesus gave the Great Commission to his disciples, he didn’t tell them to go and simply tell people about himself. He told them to make disciples and to teach them to obey the things that Jesus had commanded them. Jesus made his own disciples through friendship. He lived life very closely with 12 people and rubbed off on them, through his teaching and example, to the point where they knew exactly how to live like Jesus. That is the core of what we do. We want to make disciples the way Jesus did. As we get to know children and youth through different activities, programs and ministries, we walk through life with them closely- through all of the ups and downs, and point them to Jesus each step of the way. The programs and ministries allow us to serve and help others in very practical ways- but they are also an outlet for us to bring the good news of Jesus in word and in deed.
Take a look at some of our adventures over these last years:
One of the ways God has continued to amaze us throughout these 10 years is how He has provided for us through ministry partnerships. Our organization does not pay us, provide housing, travel, nor give anything towards our living expenses. We have been fully funded through you– friends, family members, churches, people we’ve met on the journey, people who have heard our story, etc. It is truly amazing when we consider that we have lived for the last 10 years from the generosity of others. Just as our journey has had its ups, downs and changes, so have the lives of those in partnership with us. There have been times when partners can give much and when they are no longer able to give financially. We so appreciate each and every sacrifice partners make that enables us to keep serving as missionaries.
With this in mind, we would like to invite you to become a partner in ministry through monthly giving, which can be set up through our new page on the World Outreach website: www.worldoutreach.org/198.
We are humbled, honored and privileged to continue serving as missionaries. We don’t know all that God has in store for us in these next 10 years, but we do know that living for God is a great adventure and are excited for what is to come.