Faith Journeys: The Beginning of Us
We're nearing our 3 year anniversary of the birth of Faith Journeys. Over time, several people have asked how it all started and we thought we'd share the beginning of us with you.
About 4 years ago, I (Susan) was an associate pastor, helping to lead parts of the local and global missions ministries at our church. I loved this work so much. I had learned a great deal from our leadership team and partners and I had developed a passion for helping others in a way that fostered love, dignity, and faith. My time on staff taught me that doing that...serving that way...was easier said than done and that the hard work was worth every minute.
At some point, though, the Lord called me out of that. I gave my notice without really understanding why, Sometimes, I think the Lord calls us to let things go (even good things) just to see if we are willing to obey. Do we trust Him enough?
I spent the next 9 months praying for an answer. "What's next, Lord?". Silence was typically the answer. It was a frustrating time, to be honest. I realize now, though, that the Lord was working some stuff out within me. I had some things in my heart that needed healing and some beliefs about who God was that needed to be sifted. Right around the 9 month mark, though, revelation came. Through prayer with family and friends, God spoke to us about Faith Journeys; a missions organization centered around discipleship.
Eric actually named the ministry. Faith Journeys is such a fitting name because this is what we do. We lead others on "faith journeys"...and it isn't just about the mission trips. Actually, the trips are the 2nd half of the journey. The first half is one of discipleship and it begins months before our teams ever set foot on a plane. Volunteers who sign up for a faith journey, are signing up to go deeper in their relationship with Christ. Accepting Christ as Savior is such an important decision... but so many Christians have stopped or stalled there. A journey with Christ is just that; a journey. Our organization exists to help people understand the love God has for them, to dispel lies they may have been believing in terms of what His expectations of them are, and ultimately, to get people to a place of living into the fullness of who they have been created to be. If you want to love well...if you want to serve others the way Christ did...you need to know WHO you are. Do you know? Do you know that you are God's child? Do you know it to the depth's of your spirit? Do you know that you are enough? This is our heartbeat.
Once our teams are in a place of understanding better who they are and how great God is, we get to walk out that faith by heading overseas to love and be loved on by our partners. We have been blessed with incredible partners in Ghana, Israel, and Ecuador and our investment in them and partnerships with them are year-round. Over time, they have truly become more like family to us and they help our team get an even deeper understanding of the redemptive work of Christ. Although our goal is always to go and serve, the truth is that, without exception, our teams come home feeling like we were the ones being blessed by the experience. It's just funny how God works it out that way.
So that's our story, as it's still being written. Eric and I continue to take turns leading teams and retreats and following God with all our hearts. Would you like to join us? Here are several upcoming opportunities.