The Mission Alongside the Mission
SuNica hosted its first mission trip of 2014 from January 16-23. On that trip was Jeff Ramsey, head pastor of Oak City Church. Jeff experienced something on the trip that he says will stick with him for the rest of his life. Read on to learn how God made himself present during that week.
What ended up making my recent trip to Nicaragua so awesome was that, unbeknownst to me, God had brought the mission along for the mission. Let me explain…
A group of us Christ-followers went to Nicaragua to observe and take part in the activities of SuNica. This involved caring for orphans, loving our neighbor, preaching the gospel and serving those on the margins (as well as a little cliff diving and volcano-boarding). As such, we were the body of Christ – the church – doing the types of things Jesus did when he was on earth, the same things he called his church to do (I can’t prove it, but I’m pretty sure Jesus went cliff diving).
Alongside us in SuNica's mission was a young Nicaraguan man, who is a friend of Josh’s, named Emilio. God had clearly been at work in Emilio’s heart in advance of us being there, and continued his work as Emilio came along for our activities, shared meals with us and participated in our devotional times. While he was with this team, he saw the body of Christ doing the types of things that Christ does. He saw Jesus. And it mattered. Over the week we saw revelation after revelation come to Emilio. We saw him wrestling with the truth of who Jesus is. We were focused on the tasks in front of us, but God was focused on the young man he had brought alongside us. And by the end of the week, Emilio had accepted the reality of who Jesus was and what Jesus had done for him. He had become a follower of Jesus.
Paul wrote to the Corinthians, “I planted, Apollos watered, but God gave the growth. So neither he who plants nor he who waters is anything, but only God who gives the growth.” That happened here. Josh and Alan planted this seed long ago and have been watering it since. The team definitely helped in the cultivation of Emilio's heart that week. But it is God who gave us all front row seats to see the growth he was producing. For all that happened during the week, seeing the power of God at work in Emilio’s heart is the thing that will stick with me the longest — God's mission alongside our own.