Minding the Gap: From here to the mission field

The moment I heard the Holy Spirit speak into my heart, that I was called to lead His people to Him, was the moment I knew I was called to missions. I had felt like Jesus' disciples when the Lord called them to follow Him and told them He would make them great fishers of men (Matt 4:19). They had no idea what was ahead of them, but they knew they were simple men called by someone bigger to a journey that would leave a lasting legacy. I remember my vision being filled with million of possibilities. 

YET, JUST LIKE THE DISCIPLES HAD TO GO THROUGH A 3 YEAR PROCESS, BEING UNDER THE AUTHORITY OF JESUS, BEFORE THEY WERE RELEASED TO FULFILL THE GREAT COMMISSION, I MYSELF HAVE BEEN THROUGH A LONG PROCESS BEFORE GOING TO THE NATION THE LORD HAS CALLED ME TO, BELGIUM.  

It has been a journey, a worth and much needed journey of taking step by step to this beautiful but spiritual hurting country. Watching the Lord lead me to the organization, Greater Europe Mission, that had the same heart, vision, and mission for Europe, showed me how the Lord truly aligns and is detailed about everything.  

Jon Burns (president of GEM) and new missionaries under GEM.    

Jon Burns (president of GEM) and new missionaries under GEM. 

 

When I was in candidate orientation, it felt like my first chapter in this journey had come to a close, and a new chapter, a new season, a new process had begun. From the point of receiving my calling at 19 years old, to going through Bible school at Elevate Life (which included some of my hardest moments), to going to Belgium and feeling that this was the country the Lord had called me to, to trusting the Lord when it was all just in my heart to step out and pursue the call to Belgium, and going through each process to Candidate Orientation. Led me to the point of being commissioned and appointed as a missionary under GEM.  All in the span of 3 years, it's been a long but precious chapter, and it's only the beginning. 

It was during our ceremony that the president of the organization talked to us new appointees to mind the gap from now to arriving to the field. He told us that in a metro station there is a gap between the train and the station. As the new passengers are ready to enter the train, a voice over the intercom will come on and say, "mind the gap" to prevent passengers from tripping or falling. He went further on to explain that the gap we are to mind is the ministry and partner development season, the one I'm currently in. It is a season one needs in order to succeed in what the Lord has called them to. We are to mind the gap between being appointed to arriving, because if we don't, we will fall. 

Since being commissioned and leaving candidate orientation I'm learning more and more to mind the gap as I prepare to go to the field. My new chapter in this journey is not to keep me a little longer from the destination, but it is a chapter of preparation, and seeing how the Lord truly goes before me. This chapter is to prepare the ministry the Lord has called me to in Belgium, by preparing myself in mind, soul, and body. It is about growing MY HOME TEAM, who are my partners who faithfully stand with me financially and prayerfully to make an impact within the people in Belgium. 

 I've had some of the most precious moments where I have seen the Lord do marvelous things, and there have been other moments where I have to keep reminding myself that it is all a process, and that the Lord Who has brought me to it will get me through it. I often leaned on this verse that I stumbled upon my first trimester of Bible College, 

PHILIPPIANS 1:6

AND I AM CERTAIN THAT GOD, WHO BEGAN THE GOOD WORK WITHIN YOU, WILL CONTINUE HIS WORK UNTIL IT IS FINALLY FINISHED ON THE DAY WHEN CHRIST JESUS RETURNS.

In the past week the Lord brought me back to a book in the bible that was highly relevant as I took a step of faith in pursuing my call to Belgium. It was in Deuteronomy chapter 8, that Moses was specifically speaking to the Israelite's going over all that they have been through and how the Lord has led them up to the promise land. In verse 8:16 Moses said, "He led you through the vast and dreadful wilderness.....to humble and test you so that in the end it might go well with you." I read further on as the Spirit was tugging my heart to continue in chapter 9 verse 3, "But be assured today that the Lord your God is the one who goes across ahead of you like a devouring fire." 

Moses was speaking to them when they had finally reached the promise land after leaving Egypt with a promise to that destination. I couldn't help but relate to them, and I felt the Lord whisper softly that this season of building my team for the ministry and mission that lies ahead is like the wilderness. In other words, the wilderness is the gap between the train and the station. 

 The gap between here and Belgium is much needed, it is a place where you see the Lord going before you in a new way, learning to listen, and trust. It is a place of learning, new things about yourself, and new things about the Lord. It is a journey that prepares you, builds you up, but also humbles you, as you see that the Lord truly goes before you and you are by far the last person in control. He leads every step, every lesson, and every alignment for partnerships. He leads us through this season so it might go well for us when we arrive to the field. 

THIS NEW CHAPTER TO THE FIELD IS A PLACE OF GROWING IN UNITY, AND REALIZING THAT ANYTHING THE LORD DOES REQUIRES RELATIONSHIPS, REQUIRES A TEAM. MINDING THE GAP HAS BEEN SO FAR ONE OF THE HARDEST THINGS TO DO, BUT ALSO ONE OF THE MOST REWARDING THINGS THE LORD IS TAKING ME THROUGH. I'M LEARNING THAT AS A MISSIONARY, YOU FIND A NEW APPRECIATION AND DEEP LOVE FOR THE COUNTRY THE LORD HAS CALLED US TO, AND A APPRECIATION THAT YOU ARE NO ONE BUT A VESSEL AND THE LORD IS IN CONTROL.