Tuesday, August 6, 2013

Extreme Pilgrim

I recently read a quote in a friend's blog from Brennan Manning's Ruthless Trust in which he says, 
"The reality of naked trust is the life of a pilgrim who leaves what is nailed down, obvious, and secure, and walks into the unknown without any rational explanation to justify the decision or guarantee the future. Why? Because God has signaled the movement and offered it his presence and his promise."
It was three and a half years ago that I had to leave everything that was nailed down, obvious, and secure to follow God's call on my life. That call has so far lead me to Peru and Ecuador. In the course of this journey that began in Arequipa in February of 2010, I have been a part of planting three churches, been part of two evangelistic mega-events, helped construct multiple churches, seen countless people repent and become new creations, organized paperwork, cast the XSA vision to numerous churches, interviewed many other young people eager to follow God's call on their lives, worked alongside amazing short-term volunteers, and worked with many incredible long-term Extreme staff. 


Today, I find myself reflecting on the truly extraordinary things I have seen God do during this time. 

Some days, I was exhausted.

Some days, I rejoiced with the angels in heaven for new lives in the Kingdom. 

Some days, I felt stuck in the routine.

Some days, I could have exploded with joy.

Some days, I felt busy and stressed.

Some days, I felt like I could reach out and touch the Holy Spirit. 


Most recently, I was part of the leadership team for the Love Extreme project. My principal job was communication with the 82 short-term volunteers who were part of the project. The project included construction, medical clinics, and tons of promotion, and I had such an incredible time working alongside the short-term volunteers who came from across the US (and Colombia!). Instead of recapping everything myself, I am going to let Mike Wheatley, the project lead for Love Extreme, tell you about it: 
"During the 3 weeks that the short-term volunteers were in Peru, we participated in 6 medical clinics that attended 402 patients, we built foam block walls for 2 sets of churches and installed one of those churches in Juliaca, and promoted throughout Arequipa for the Mega Event on July 20 with Jose Ordóñez.   Our promotion included 7 TV interviews, 60 radio spots, 1 ad in the Sunday morning newspaper, 1000 posters, and 30,000 flyers.   All this promotion helped bring 1,143 people into the Palacio de Bellas Artes for our Mega Event.  José Ordóñez, who holds the Guinness Record for telling jokes for 80 straight hours, presented his comedy show about relationships and marriage.  At the end of his 2-hour show he invited people to accepted Christ, and about 150 people went forward to do so!  Of those, just under a hundred went into the back rooms to meet with our counselors and give us their contact information.   The following morning José Ordóñez preached at our church service, which was held in the park.  We had over 225 in attendance counting the short-term volunteers, and at the end of the service about 15 people stepped forward to accept Christ!"
All I can say is, thank you Lord for allowing me to be a part of something so big and so beautiful!


I will continuously "walk into the unknown" with my life, because it is so much better than all the nailed down, obvious, secure plans I had for my life. I may essentially live as a homeless nomad, but I will continually say, "Here I am. Send me!" It is so much better than anything I could ever have asked for or imagined. 

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