My time at OTR was stretching and beautiful. I was reminded of God’s sovereignty, love, and patience throughout our busy week. All the missionaries’ hearts and attitudes seemed genuinely full of joy and energy and if there were ever any cracks of weakness the other brothers and sisters were there for support. Key themes for me throughout training and during our time at OTR was flexibility, intentional love, and letting God take control. One of the biggest challenges on this trip for me was to surrender and let God truly become greater than any fears or insecurities that were dividing my heart. I was constantly being reminded that it is God working in OTR not my own doing and how much His love is overflowing into our brokenness.
Being able to share the gospel and pray for strangers on the street was no easy feat day 1 but I know that God still redeemed those encounters. I was caught in the moment growing discouraged when my Street EV team had received negative feedback and I feared that I was not articulating my words well. Despite this, I could see that the 2 others I was with still had a prayerful heart to continue and go seek other people which was encouraging. They even initiated a group prayer to really find rest knowing we were all struggling. I prayed for comfort and confidence in my faith that night which helped set the tone for the rest of the trip. I was able to have a more Christ centered heart with the rest of the time doing street evangelism leading into Kids Camp.
One of the blessings for me occurred while I was outside passing out flyers for Kids Camp one day and being able to talk to two women at different times as they passed by. They both had open hearts and let me share the gospel and pray for them. One of the ladies asked for more information on bible study and that was encouraging knowing that she wanted to learn more about this God of ours. At Kids Camp I was able to be with the 3-10 year old group as their line leader staying with them the entire 2.5 hours bringing them from station to station. Being with the kids reminded me of how great of a Father we have. The first day I could barely keep track of who was in my group and what their names were. I was humbly reminded that our God knows each of us by name and will constantly seek us out if we are lost.
The kids had so much energy and were just eager to be at Kids Camp. They could have fun in this safe environment where they can express themselves and learn about God. There were a few moments where I had to wipe some of my kids’ tears off their faces which really triggered an even greater sense of urgency of wanting them to know that God loves them so much. I was encouraged when they were learning how to pray at the storytelling station and how eager they were when we asked for a volunteer to pray out loud during the snack station. Being with the kids kept triggering the prayer in my heart for finding security in our identity as a child of God and to understand His unconditional love for us.
Living Water Church and the AMI community really displayed hearts of humility. Just their attitudes showed so much spiritual maturity and passion. They genuinely wanted to serve the community holding nothing back. As we transition back to our daily grind, I pray that we would hold onto that desire to truly understand God’s grace and to hunger to spend time worshipping our God.