2 years ago the Lord began to awaken me in a way I hadn’t before experienced. A junior in college, I began to question a lot of things about my life and why it looked the way it did. Why was I still in college if I had no idea what I wanted to do for a career? Why was I in America- in the bible belt at that, where almost everyone had heard the gospel at some point (or so I thought at the time). Almost exactly when the Lord started to bring these thoughts to mind, He also presented me with an opportunity. I soon found out about the Journey internship with Choose to Invest. I wasn’t intentionally seeking out a discipleship or an overseas opportunity. I was actually looking for a camp to serve at for that upcoming summer. But the Lord was so faithful to show me another opportunity outside of my original plans.
When I finally began the interview process, I had a peace and confidence about it all that was unexplainable- for the most part. Honestly, the first detail I noticed about Journey was the amount of funds that were required. I saw this huge number that somewhat hindered me from applying. Ultimately, the Lord showed me that all finances belong to Him and that he provides for His children to fulfill His plans. After making this realization, I prayerfully stepped forward and was accepted for Journey. God did huge things even in the season leading up to the internship. He taught me trust like I had never known. With money, with big decisions, with family, and so much more. At the end of the day, I guess the only reason I pursued this opportunity was Jesus. It didn’t make sense for me to go to Africa or join this organization I knew nothing about. It did make sense however, to follow Jesus. And I knew this was where he was leading.
So what happened once I actually Journeyed? Too much to write in a blog post. What I will say is I learned more about Jesus than I ever had prior to that summer. God constantly brought me back to 2 Corinthians 12: 9-10 – “9 But he said to me, ‘My grace is sufficient for you, for my power is made perfect in weakness.’ Therefore I will boast all the more gladly of my weaknesses, so that the power of Christ may rest upon me. 10 For the sake of Christ, then, I am content with weaknesses, insults, hardships, persecutions, and calamities. For when I am weak, then I am strong.” This was one of the many truths I was taught. I am sinful and broken and weak, but Jesus comes in there. I will fail every time I strive to do anything out of the “strength” of my flesh. But Jesus never will. Throughout Journey, I was reminded of my need for Jesus-that it is constant. And Jesus was so sweet to remind me that yes, my need for Him is never going to leave. And neither is He. In my weakness, I can fall at the feet of my Father and that’s all He wants me to do. Sure- Africa was beautiful. The community I developed was rich. The people I met were incredible. But at the root of all this goodness was just Jesus. He brought me to this foreign place to unplug and hear from Him. What a sweet gift that was to just be separated from the quick rhythm of everyday life to hear clearly from my Father that He is worth praising and following. So worth it.
Life since Journey has been awesome. Yes-the internship eventually came to an end and it stunk, but Jesus stayed the same after it was all over. He’s just as good in every season, whether in Africa or America. Since coming home from this experience, I was challenged to live life in a new way. Awakened to powerful truth, I have been challenged to approach people and relationships with humility. Being part of Journey also taught me what true leadership can look like. Returning home from Africa, I found it difficult to take on a biblical role of leadership as a man rather than the worldly role that is often placed on guys my age. Following Jesus doesn’t always look “manly” or even successful, but it is rewarding and satisfying. At the end of the day, I deeply encourage all people in my generation, especially the men, to seek out what Jesus has for us even when there is fear and uncertainty. Jesus is worth it. I will forever be thankful for the opportunity God brought forth through Journey. I strongly advise anyone even remotely considering this, to step forward with confidence in Jesus and remember that He will lead you.