Missions

MISSION LIFE

MISSION LIFE

If you’ve ever been part of a meaningful cross-cultural experience, you’ve probably found yourself wondering after your return home, “Now, how do I live here in light of what I learned there?”  This is a necessary and challenging question, meaning you don’t just see this as a stand-alone event to check off of the Christian to-do list. We at Envision pray and hope that these “mission trips” merely serve to be a continuation of a life lived on mission.  But, we know that it’s a lot easier said than done.

There’s just something about the mission TRIP mentality that is hard to translate into a true missional way of life. I’ve certainly been convicted and humbled to recognize the disparity between I am on the “mission field,” and who I am at home. Why is it so much harder to be a light in the darkness in my own city than it is in Indonesia or inner-city Chicago? Why are the practices that come so easily for me on a short-term trip, like fervent prayer and daily Bible study, not an absolutely essential habit in my long-term real life?  Why do I seem to have more boldness, passion and burden for the lost when I cross a national border than when I cross my own street? 

MOVE OVER FOR MILLENNIALS

MOVE OVER FOR MILLENNIALS

His text lit up my phone like a Christmas tree. “Can we meet for breakfast?” It came from one of the guys who went to Africa with me and it seemed important, so I swallowed my fatigue and lack of coherence and said sure. 

Ben and I had just spent 10 days in Burkina Faso, West Africa. We went with Envision and we traveled in the bush, the wild places of Africa with no access to phone or internet. We built a church, saw some wells our church helped to dig and met some of the most incredible people. Coming home, I was looking forward to spending time with my family and catching up with them, but Ben seemed to want to meet urgently.

A PRAYER FOR MIXED MOTIVATIONS

A PRAYER FOR MIXED MOTIVATIONS

Abba,

You said that whatever we do for the least of these, we do for you. And yet, as I open my heart and put my hand to the plow to cultivate this small corner of your creation, I become aware of a tangle of motivations behind my service. Part of me wants to try to earn your approval, even though it is boundless and given freely. Part of me just wants to be liked. Part of me wants to do this myself, Lord, and to take the glory that rightly belongs to you. 

BY WAY OF THE WILDERNESS

BY WAY OF THE WILDERNESS

Sometimes, life doesn’t turn out the way we planned. The death of loved ones, unemployment, unfulfilled dreams, failed relationships, denied visas, sickness… the list goes on.

There are some chapters in life that we just don't understand. They seem to derail us from the journey we expected to be on, the milestones we thought were certain. All of a sudden, we find ourselves on a different path, reeling with grief, confusion, and anger. We want answers, we want clarity, but these don't come. It's in these moments, that we approach a fork in the road, leaving us with two options. Do we continue to trust that He's good? Do we press in to believe the truth that He's got this; or do we allow for doubt to be planted into our souls and start questioning His goodness? Is He really a God to be trusted? 

FELLOWSHIP IN THE TRENCHES

 FELLOWSHIP IN THE TRENCHES

He is standing before a drapery of smoke. Hair sweaty and long. There is a sword on his back, and when he draws it the metal shings in the silence. He smiles at me, then turns and runs into the fray.

This is how I’ve seen Jesus lately, and I think it points to an important truth: true fellowship with Christ is found in the trenches of our mission. Oftentimes, I am crying out for a greater sense of God’s nearness. Sometimes it’s as if I can see his form, but not his face, and my soul feels like it will break, like I can’t possibly wait to be closer to him. Led by the Spirit, this intimacy has the potential to grow like “an oak of righteousness” throughout our lives as disciples, but I think there is a key element, a “fertilizer,” if you will, that we often neglect.  

4 WAYS TO GO FROM DREAMING TO DOING

4 WAYS TO GO FROM DREAMING TO DOING

I actually get sick of prayer meetings.

I know, I'm not supposed to say that. But I've run into so many young adults, and even old adults that think they are young adults who are still "praying" about their next decision, still "waiting-on-God" to provide for them a spouse, a house, a job, a German shepherd, etc.

While there is a place for praying about decisions and waiting on the Lord, I want to pull the pendulum back a bit and talk about getting things done. It's not enough to want to change the world...but you actually have to start moving in that direction, or any direction. Just start moving! 

TRANSFIGURATIONAL ART

TRANSFIGURATIONAL ART

The Christian artist often fears that what they creates lacks importance, and has no place in a missional life. Taking the time to create art feels to them, at best, like a selfish use of time. This false belief has had the effect of keeping the Church from firing a highly effective spiritual weapon: art that transfigures, or reveals to the world the ultimate nature of things. 

WHY PREACHING IS FOR EVERYONE

WHY PREACHING IS FOR EVERYONE

“Those who had been scattered preached the word wherever they went.”(Acts 8:4, NIV)

The context for this verse is the inauguration of persecution for the young Church. Just thirty-some years after Jesus left, his followers are starting to have significant impact, which began to feel a lot like a threat to those in power. The early Christ followers decided it best to disperse and spread out to stay safe. 

5 REASONS YOU SHOULD TRAVEL IN YOUR 20'S

5 REASONS YOU SHOULD TRAVEL IN YOUR 20'S

In high school, I had no desire to travel or see the world. I was totally happy living in New Jersey, and possibly becoming a cowboy at some point in my life. I didn't realize this at the time, but I would soon regret those words. Not only did I get the travel itch, I was destined for it. Then the travel itch hit in my early 20's.

Mark Twain, the writer and humorist of the 1800's makes the best case for travel that I've ever encountered: