Many of you who might be reading this blog might not even be considering doing a Short-Term Internship (STINT) with the organization I work for. Even if you aren’t, please bear with me and read this post. I think we could all use a little encouragement in setting a fire in our hearts for evangelism and also lighting a fire under our feet to move us into action in going forth to all nations with the hope of our Lord.
This past week we had our annual mid-year conference in Nerja, Spain. Let me just show you a picture of the scenery so that you can get a glimpse of how refreshing this past week was:
At this conference, over 200 STINTers from all over the world gathered to debrief hard things, be encouraged by staff, encourage other teams by what God is doing within their ministry, and come into Christian community. I was so encouraged to hear about amazing things God is doing in countries I had never even heard of before STINT. How faithful is He?! This week I was encouraged by many other teams that are working in locations like ours, that God is beginning a movement in Senegal. That’s what we are there for: to develop a fully student led evangelistic ministry on our college campus.
What God has been doing in Senegal: We’ve seen weekly evangelism with students initiating and sharing the gospel, many for the first time. One of our students, Israel, has a new nickname: Soul Winner. Literally every time he shares the gospel, someone gets saved. Our student meetings (much like Thursday nights for you UTC/Lee people) is almost 100% student led. Last week, one of our students, Kante, led the message on humility! And Israel and Stanislass led worship. Amazing things are happening in this country that is known for being super hard to the gospel. 95% of the people in my country do not know Christ. They do not have forgiveness of sins. They do not have assurance of salvation or hope. But, God is faithful. We’re beginning to see steps towards a movement of around 10 students taking the gospel out to a campus of 65,000. Slowly but surely! or in Wolof, Ndanka danka moy jappo golly ci ney (Little by little we will catch the monkey in the forest). I mean totally applicable in your context, right….
Really, what I’m wanting to say is that we are praying for you.
Whoever you are, wherever you are, you are being prayed for by hundreds of STINTers and international staff from all over the world. There are people in the regional offices who are praying for you. There are people who don’t know Christ in countries I can’t even name who are crying out to God for people to share with them who Jesus is. You are being prayed for.
The last session at our conference was taught by a man who had lived in an unnamed country for 12 years. He had this to say (paraphrase of course):
Building a movement in a foreign land takes blood, sweat, tears, energy, and sacrifice. If you don’t believe me, look at Jesus’ ministry. Right now there are 8,000 unreached people groups. Unreached doesn’t mean your neighbor who has never been to church. Unreached is where people do not have access to hearing about God for whatever reason (living conditions, government control, etc). People who will not have access to information about Christ unless people are sent.
Here’s the great news: movements are launching in places where there have never been Christian movements before. Think Senegal. God uses college students in most of the significant movements worldwide. Revivals that lead to missions starts a lot of the time with college students. I think you guys are the most daring. Way to go! You are unique. There’s only 1 out of every 50,000 college students that would STINT. I wish there were more, but as of right now, that’s it.
And the last thing he mentioned:
“We need you. If you don’t do it, who will? There aren’t 1000s of people lining up to do this… We want to invite you into that, but the Lord has to lead you.”
I love that so much. Again, I wish that there were 1000s of people lining up to follow Christ to the end of the world, to share the gospel, to build up believers, and to send them out with the same mission. That isn’t the case. But I don’t believe it’s due to people being selfish. I think it’s because no one has ever presented the opportunity to go to the nations. Maybe you’ve never been encouraged to pursue that. Maybe you wouldn’t know how to. Please, talk to me about STINT. If you’re in college and there are Cru staff at your campus, talk to them about possibilities of STINTing.
I want to let you know that I am not perfect. I am not holier than anyone else because I’m a STINTer. I’ve been redeemed with the same blood you have. When God looks at you, He sees the same Christ that He sees in me. There’s no difference. So, if you’re thinking, “I’m not good enough…” or whatever those phrases in your head are, you’re right. You’re not good enough. But Christ is. And good news, Christ is in you. He’s the only one who can change hearts and bring His lost home. He wants to use you to do that.
So, here’s a few questions I would love for you to process through:
- Where am I in regards to my relationship with Christ? Am I living daily by the Spirit? Am I experiencing His grace daily? Am I spending time reading His word and allowing Him to guide me in my daily life?
- Am I willing to lay all things down at the feet of Jesus and follow Him wherever he leads (even if that’s to Omaha)? If not, what are those things? This can be hopes, dreams, hurts, etc. If I had a nickel for every time the Lord convicted me of this one….
- What are some of my giftings that the Lord has specifically given me to further His kingdom? What are things I really enjoy doing? Is there anything that you notice that the Lord has given you that is specifically unique in regards to relationships with people outside of the church (i.e.: ability to make friends with strangers on a train)? If you don’t know, ask a friend!
- And the last question, in ten years what would you like to be able to say you’ve accomplished in your life?
Again and again, like this man said, I want the Lord’s plans for your life. I don’t want you to feel pressured to serve internationally overseas if that’s not where the Lord is leading you. I want you to follow Him faithfully wherever that is. If it’s to Starbucks every morning, a daycare, to India, wherever! I want to follow Him and I want you to also. I do want to let you know that I had to be challenged to go on STINT otherwise I never would have considered it. So, I want to let you know I’m challenging you to go to the nations because I am so thankful someone challenged me.
My heart is for you to walk in obedience and sometimes that obedience is staying until He says go. So, just know that we (people scattered all over the world) are praying for you. You who are reading this, I’m praying right now that the Lord would give you clarity on what is next for you. I love you and let me know how else I can be praying or if you have any other questions.