Tag Archives: mission trip

Sunday Stillness – How Can I make Jesus Joyful?

Sunday Stillness – How Can I make Jesus Joyful?

How-Can-I-Make-Jesus-Joyful

We talk a lot about being joyful in the Lord. That’s how I can find joy – looking to Jesus for answers.

But how can I make Jesus joyful?

When I gave a post on Twitter that asked:

Someone answered me back.

“to make yourself feel better”

That shocked me. I believe I truly went on this mission trip to make Jesus joyful.

I want Jesus to use me however He wants. I rely on His strength, His wisdom and His peace.

When I go on a mission trip I leave behind the comforts of home, family, food, soft bed and … sleep. I go where I must trust in God fully.

He gave me strength to have fun with the campers on less than 6 hours sleep. He gave me Holy Spirit words during our Bible Studies. He let me watch as He drew people to Himself. He used me.

I think God is joyful from my obedience.

He also revealed Himself to me. I took on more and more jobs that were not humanly possible (for a grandma fighting a cold) – but God made it work. He strengthened my spiritual connections with the IM staff, the national staff and the campers. God led me to those He wants me to continue to pray for.

God stretched me and sometimes it hurt.

I believe I go on mission trips because God calls me to go. I believe that there will be at least 2 people who will change during my trip. Me and one other.

Every time I go on a mission trip I have seen this.

And I see Jesus smile.

I agree and follow what Oswald Chambers says:

I want that “oneness [with God] which will make [me] not only blameless in His sight, but a deep joy to Him.

Prayer:

Thank you Lord for the opportunity to serve you on an overseas mission trip. Thank you for nudging me to participate. Thanks for showing me how to trust fully in You. May I bring You joy in all I do. In Jesus’ name. AMEN.

 Tweetable:

I think God is joyful from my obedience. (tweet this)


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Here are my favourite links for Sunday Stillness:

The Sunday Community by Deidra Riggs Still Saturday by Sandra Heskaking Sharing His Beauty Missional Women – Faith Filled Fridays Jennifer Miller at Scripture and a Snapshot Fellowship Fridays at Christian Mommy Blogger The Weekend Brew by Barbie Shelly Hendricks at Renewed Daily (Recommendation Saturday)

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Sunday Stillness – How to Live in My Father’s House

Sunday Stillness – How to Live in My Father’s House

How-to-Live-in-My-father's-house

In the next few weeks I plan to muse about my time on a mission trip in Poland. This week is the first of a series. As my thoughts unfold, as I wrestle with what I saw, and as I get over jet lag, I hope to express to you how God is working in my life.

During my time in Poland we sang a chorus to Big House by Audio Adrenaline.  It reminded me that no matter where I go or what I do, I need to be in my Father’s house and to be “about my Father’s business”.

Here are the words to the chorus:

Come and go with me
To my Father’s house
Come and go with me
To my Father’s house

It’s a big, big house
With lots and lots of room
A big, big table
With lots and lots of food
A big, big yard
Where we can play football
A big, big house
It’s my Father’s house

Obviously we have changed it to mean our Father’s House and so I capitalized Father. If you want to hear the tune you can listen and watch on YouTube.

But it started me thinking. Then I read Oswald Chambers this morning.

Prayer in The Father’s House

And he said to them, “Why were you looking for me? Did you not know that I must be in my Father’s house?” (Luke 2:49, ESV).

We had a Bible study in Poland that talked about the “Narrow Door” to God. But it also talked about the time when the door will shut and no one else will be able to enter. It is a powerful passage. The Master says to some, “Sorry, you’re not on my guest list.” Luke 13:22-30 (The Message).

So I ask, does Jesus know me? Am I about my Father’s business?

Then to make it absolutely certain that God was talking to me, I was led to a sermon by Charles Sturgeon – yes on the same topic.

It is amazing how God connects things for me so I will understand.

Charles Spurgeon’s sermon was entitled, Jesus About His Father’s Business.

Salvation is here called God’s work: “it is my meat to do the will of him that sent me, and to finish his work.”

I think this shows that you and I need to work on working out our salvation – not sit on the sidelines watching. Jesus tells us to work hard.

So what are you hearing from Him?

Make sure you take time to listen carefully and then obey without haste.

Prayer:

Thanks, Lord, for the opportunity to go to Poland. Thanks for showing me how to show Your love to Your people. Thanks for leading me to speak Your words so others will know You. Continue to lead and guide me so I can be about “My Father’s Business”. In Jesus’ name. AMEN.

Tweetable:

Am I going about my Father’s business? (tweet this)

Read the first in a series of my thoughts on my mission trip to Poland. (tweet this)

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Sunday Stillness – Why Go on a Mission Trip?

Sunday Stillness – Why Go on a Mission Trip?

why-do-I-go-on-a-mission-trip

This Tuesday I will be heading to Europe to be with a team of missionaries to Poland. This will be my 5th trip with the same leaders, Grace and Gene Fox, of International Messengers.

I have to ask myself – why am I going? I haven’t gone every year. Sometimes I hear a voice that says: NO. But this year, I didn’t hear anything about “no” only a resounding “yes”. Why?

And he said to them, “Go into all the world and proclaim the gospel to the whole creation” (Mark 16:15, NIV).

You know I really don’t know. Except to say that God seems to know when He wants me to go.

I certainly have developed a friendship and love for the people in Poland, especially the Polish pastor and his family. My hubby travelled with me for a holiday last year to meet them and see the country. I have pasted a few of our pictures below.

beauty-of-Poland

Beauty of Poland

one-of-my-first-mission-trips

One of my first mission trips

Zloy-Potok---first-trip

My first trip – Karpatcz, Poland.

So why do I go?

      • When you hear God’s call – you will know it. 
      • When your heart can’t wait to go – you will know it.
      • No matter what weird circumstances happen, if God wants you to go and you obey, you will go.

I won’t be posting any contributors’ posts while I am away. I think that is too much and I won’t do them justice. Hopefully they will be back on August 7th.

I hope to post my Sunday Stillness posts while I am gone.

Here are some posts that I have written about my Poland adventures.

I would appreciate your prayers while I am gone.

Prayer:

Lord, You have called me to go. And I answered. Please watch over all our team and the Polish people. Help us to show them Christ in action. Prepare the way for us so the campers will be able to trust in Jesus. In Your Name. AMEN.

Tweetable:

Why go on a mission trip? (tweet this)
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JOIN THE SUNDAY STILLNESS COMMUNITY –
READ OTHER POSTS AND ENCOURAGE ONE ANOTHER.

Please check out all the places I link to during the week. Thanks to everyone who has joined Sunday Stillness. I do try to get to your posts every week but I admit sometimes I don’t have the time.

Here are my favourite links for Sunday Stillness:

The Sunday Community by Deidra Riggs

Still Saturday by Sandra Heskaking

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Missional Women – Faith Filled Fridays

Jennifer Miller at Scripture and a Snapshot

Fellowship Fridays at Christian Mommy Blogger

The Weekend Brew by Barbie

Shelly Hendricks at Renewed Daily (Recommendation Saturday)

Your turn: Add your link below. Don’t forget to copy the specific URL from your post. Talk to others.

Blessings to everyone.



How Can Going on a Mission Trip Change You?

How Can Going on a Mission Trip Change You?

Beautiful friends in Poland

In 2007 I read an email from Grace Fox about a mission trip to Poland – an evangelical camp to teach English. I had met Grace at The Word Guild’s Write!Canada conference and felt comfortable travelling with her.

I thought I was to go and teach adults, English. God had others plans. A few months before we were to travel to Poland, Gene Fox, the president of IM called and asked me to consider working with the children instead of the adults.

I am a retired public school teacher so that didn’t bother me. However, I felt confused and had to pray about it before I said, yes. And I did say yes. And have gone on 3 other mission trips since (once teaching the adults).

Last week I posted my thoughts from 2010 about my time on a mission to Poland.

I believe I learned 4 important things during my time in Poland:

1. Always trust in God. There were many times we thought something would be impossible – but God showed us that was not the case.

2. Pray with your team, especially when you feel threatened or angry. God can smooth the waters through prayer.

3. Watch what God does around you – and go where He is working. I had to learn not to fret about myself and my feelings but look at all the miraculous ways He works in others.

4. Don’t worry about sleep – you might not get your quota for the days at camp. But God knows how much you need and He will see that you have time and strength to continue to do His will.

4 Ways a Mission trip Changed my LIfe

I learned much more than that but those were the important things that I feel changed me in my time there. These have carried over into my life back in North America.

Have you been on a mission before? What did you learn?

If you want to join this mission trip, please see the Facebook note below and follow the links to learn more about the camps.

www.im-canada.ca/family-camps
download an application: www.im-canada.ca/pub/IndTeam.pdf
request an application by mail: www.im-canada.ca/short-termers/apprequest

Tweetable:

Have you been on a mission before? What did you learn? (tweet this)

How can going on a mission trip change you? 4 ways it changed my life. (tweet this)

Being His – Mission Trip 2010 to Poland

Being His – Mission Trip 2010 to Poland

Week-30-Poland

I found this post on my old blog about my trip to Poland in 2010. I will be travelling again this year for my fourth trip to Poland. To find out how you can be a part of this please go to the end of the post.

Jesus says we can’t become a disciple if we are tied to anyone – we must be His alone.

In order to spread the Good News as a disciple I had to leave behind the NORMAL and RELIABLE. Jesus has to be responsible for me and I have to rely on Him alone..

Oswald Chambers says:

The secret of the missionary is – I am HIS, and He is carrying out His entreprises through me. Be Entirely His.

A COUPLE OF STORIES:

The summer of 2010 placed me in new hurdle. I had to fly the first leg of the journey alone – no one else was coming from Eastern Canada. I had never travelled alone. I had never even had dined in a restaurant alone. Once again God was there. It was actually fun! Except for the 9 hour wait at Heathrow Airport – God kept me company and I became HIS.

But I was so tired… So tired and needing to see a friendly face. When I saw the first 2 orange IM shirts (and they were bright orange) – I embraced this startled couple. I was so excited to see them after such a long wait. Tom and Deb are a very quiet reserved couple – If you know me you will how excited I can get. Tom told me later that he wondered what on earth he had been led into. This was his first trip as a missionary. Even after that startled beginning, Tom, Deb and I became good friends as we grew to know each other and our passion for Christ grew us closer together. Tom teased me incessantly about my energy and jumping about.

A miracle. Pastor Cezary lives in Gorzow and our camp was 5 hours away by car in Karpatcz. Cezary had an 18 year old car in which he travelled with Ewa and three children. It was long past its “last legs”. He was told by the garage not to take it on long trips. Miraculously he drove to camp and back without a problem. We did pray over that car before we left camp and headed for Gorzow. IM fundraised this past year for a van in which Cezary could take kids to camp, pick them up for after school meetings and drive to summer camps as well. Now he drives a 9-person van and is grateful to all who contributed.

MY THOUGHTS

Mission Trips like IM impact three sets of people

1. The national IM staff

The pastor and his family are encouraged by our participation. Without English speakers these camps would not take place. Family camps give an opening to people who would not attend church and it gives them a chance to know a personal Jesus. It gives the pastor an opening into their lives as he continues to build these relationships after we have left.

The campers

For the unbelievers it may be the first time they have held a Bible;

They may discover that God can speak to them without a priest as mediator; One camper said: “This is the first time I have ever been with a group of people who could talk to God as you do.”

Believers are encouraged through fellowship with the North American church – knowing we care and love them.

Campers said they felt unconditionally loved. That’s why they have returned each year. And this is true of all IM camps.

3. Our team members

Most feel inadequate for the task but when they say “yes” to God, they discover His enabling power. They go back home and have courage to say “yes” to other assignments He gives.

Many have to raise financial support in order to go. Those who say “yes” inevitably are overwhelmed with God’s ability to provide.

A trip such as this can stretch us to the max – physical weariness, cross-cultural challenges, working with differing personalities. It is a perfect time to learn true servant hood and relying on God through all times. (Philippians 2)

When we go out of our comfort zones, we must rely on God. So instead of depending on our own abilities and strengths we rest in Him to make us more than we are. We are forced to live by faith. That is when we experience God in deeper and more exciting ways.

When doing something you really love to do, we come alive – it becomes a Holy Time and that is how I feel when I am on these trips. Wrapped in God’s love the whole time.

What makes your Holy Time? It can be anything that you love to do. I love teaching Sunday School, singing with actions, dancing, painting and writing. I think I can even say I love talking to a group.

When we listen to God – we can hear what He is saying.

Where is your heart? When we focus on God we feel a purity of heart. Things become less about us and instead who we are focused on – God. Being HIS.

“Always measure your life solely by the standards of Jesus. Submit yourself to His yoke, and His alone”  ~ Oswald Chambers.

Tweetables:

Missions is simply being touched by people and meeting their needs. (tweet this)

You don’t have to go out of the country to do ministry. Look in your own backyard. (tweet this)

Prayer:

Lord help us all to step out of our comfort zones, to attempt to rely on You, alone. Little steps can lead to bigger steps. Help us. Remind us that You are beside us always. In Jesus’ name. AMEN.

www.im-canada.ca/family-camps
download an application: www.im-canada.ca/pub/IndTeam.pdf
request an application by mail: www.im-canada.ca/short-termers/apprequest

To find out more about this year’s trip check the Facebook page below.

How We Continue to Learn About Prayer

How We Continue to Learn About Prayer

by Grace Fox (reprinted with permission)

As I write this, I’m riding in the backseat of a nine-passenger van between Timisoara (Romania) and Budapest (Hungary). Fields of corn, wheat, and sunflowers border the road. A cloudless sky and a gentle breeze go with us.

Music fills the van. One song, “What a Friend We Have in Jesus,” brings tears to my eyes. I’ve known these lyrics for my lifetime, but the depth of their meaning has become clear to me only in the recent past.

I’m especially comforted by knowing
Christ invites us to bring every concern to Him in prayer. (tweet this)

If I were to sum up what I’ve learned on this year’s ministry trip so far, it would be to get more serious about prayer. Several weeks ago, I asked God to teach me to pray more effectively, and He’s been bringing mini-lessons to me ever since.

The most recent mini-lesson came on the last day of our camp.

Continue to read the entire post at A Lesson About Prayer Learned at Camp.

Here is Loretta Lynn singing “What a Friend We Have in Jesus”.

HOW DID I CHANGE? – Poland Thoughts – Part 2

How Did I Change? Poland Thoughts – Part 2

by Jan Cox

Everything is God – Pray

Last week I talked about the importance of prayer for and on my mission trip to Poland.

Today I want to look at how I changed.

Philippians 4:6 NIV

Do not be anxious about anything, but in every situation, by prayer and petition, with thanksgiving, present your requests to God.

This has always been one of my favourite Scriptures. And I relied on it the whole time away.

Using a Bible Study given to me by International Messengers works so well in preparation, in mission time and on coming home.

In my preparation time I learned:

  • to focus – I was able to make time to do all that needed to be done before I went
  • to get rid of self – I prayed hard about this one
  • everything is God – and one word I learned in Polish is “wszystko” – everything.
  • From my pretrip journal I read my words:

“Having God means everything. He keeps me calm; gives me inspirations; helps me when I falter; He is my shield; He gives me love, defence, protection, refuge and peace.”

During my trip:

We “came along side” our friends in Poland. Just as Jesus came along side his disciples on the road to Emmaus, we came along side and tried to show them Jesus (through our actions and words).

Here was a good prayer for us:

“Father, who can I come along side today? Lead me and guide me to that person. Give me Your words to show Jesus.”

I learned to let go of my agenda – how I expected in my English class to teach beginners to intermediates and ended up with intermediate to advanced. I changed my entire plan. But I loved it.

I had to remember that God had a process in mind and to ask Him to guide and lead me.

Here is an Acronym for my time in Poland:

ALL FOR JESUS

    Accept what occurs
ReLax in Him
    Love fully.

             oFfer thanks
have nO agenda
be Real

   reJoice
bE at peace
     Seek his presence
     Use Prayer
ExiSt in God alone.

Jan Cox

Janis Cox - Author and Illustrator

Janis Cox

Jan, a former school teacher and small business owner, found a new passion in writing in her retirement. She has published two devotionals and a number of articles for magazines and a Bible study. She is owner of Under the Cover of Prayer and moderates the site. She also writes at A Better Way. Jan has completed a children’s book called Tadeo Turtle. She is the watercolour illustrator. Word Alive will be publishing this story and it will be available later this summer. See more about Tadeo at Jan’s Website.

And I am off to Poland

Yes I am off to Poland again this summer. Please read about my experiences in the past few years.

 

Family English Camp in Poland

Being His

The summer of 2010 placed me in new hurdle. I had to fly the first leg of the journey alone – no one else was coming from Eastern Canada … read more.

And the Gypsy Mama is on holidays so there is no Five Minute Friday this week.

I won’t be back until the beginning of August.

Don’t forget to check out Under the Cover of Prayer and subscribe to receive an email when we post. This is a group blog on prayer.

Blessings,

Jan

THE IMPORTANCE OF PRAYER

The Importance of Prayer

by Jan Cox

I returned a few weeks ago from a mission trip to Poland with International Messengers. Our team consisted of five men and seven women. Two of the men were teens. What a fabulous experience we had! Two of the members have offered a few comments about their feelings:

Deb says: “From the chorus of “Beautiful One” I remember:

“You opened my eyes to Your wonders anew
You captured my heart with this love
‘Cause nothing on earth is as beautiful as You.”

For the last two years I have gone to Poland on a short-term mission trip.  God has opened my eyes in amazing ways and the Polish people have captured my heart.  They are eager to hear God’s word, willing learners and teachers, and show God’s love in many ways.  They are beautiful people and yet God is even more beautiful.  I am humbled by what God has done in my life – all because I obeyed Him.  When God asks something of you – obey Him – your eyes will be opened to wonders anew!!!”

Elli says: “Although I was willing to go to the IM Polish camp, I felt inadequate. We were told that God could use us even though we felt this way. God gave the joy and the wisdom that I needed – even in the English teaching. I was impressed by the strong emphasis on prayer both by the team as well as the local believers. God works in response to our prayers.”

Jan says: “We were under the cover of prayer. Each team member was asked to find 10 people to support them in prayer – before, during and after the trip. Thanks to those people who were praying for us.

Prayer:

Lord, thank you for this opportunity to talk to You. We realize we could do better, but we are learning. Help us to learn and make prayer a moment by moment experience. In Jesus’ name. AMEN.

My Gratitude List for this week: up to 264.

  • that I had the opportunity to go on this year’s mission trip to Poland
  • a fabulous mission team to be with for 2 weeks
  • great flights (even the delays were okay)
  • wonderful children in Poland
  • exciting and meaningful worship times
  • listening and singing (yes singing) in Polish
  • an interesting and delightful spiritual talk with a fellow passenger on the flight home
  • a hug from my hubby and kisses from my dog (or was it the other way around?)

———————————————————————————————————

Jan Cox

Jan, a former school teacher and small business owner, found a new passion in writing in her retirement. She has published two devotionals and a number of articles for magazines and a Bible study. She is owner of Under the Cover of Prayer and moderates the site. She also writes at A Better Way. Jan has written a children’s book in which she is also the watercolour illustrator. She hopes to publish it this year.

MY MISSIONARY MUSINGS

My Missionary Musings

by Jan Cox

Almost one week has gone by since I flew home from Poland (via Berlin and London). I had a fabulous two weeks of discovery, connections and faith building. We had lots of prayer times.

Here are some thoughts that I jotted down in my journal about what I learned about God:

  • God works in people’s lives
  • God helps them (and us) to gain a better perspective on their situations
  • God uses us (missionaries) to show His love and to teach His word
  • God’s Word is POWERFUL
  • God helps me stay calm in situations where I could lose control
  • God gives me words when I know I could not have thought of them myself
  • God gave us all strength when were we at the end of our own physical stamina
  • God builds relationships of trust
  • God is the same – in Poland, here and everywhere

As I try to regroup I find that He is teaching me new things. In my week of adjustment I took a sabbatical  – a rest to reenergize, refocus and renew. So I am learning:

  • To wait on Him
  • That He has a plan and I don’t need to rush ahead of Him
  • He will put things in place
  • That although I may be a part of His plan it is not about ME
  • Relationship building is as important here in my little village as it is in Poland
  • My morning time with Him is even more important than before
  • Memorizing scripture is important (and I will try to catch up to my Colossians Scripture Memorizing group)

As I readjust to living in Haliburton and listen to Him I urge all of you to take time for a “Sabbath” rest and be still before Him.

Prayer:

Lord I pray a blessing for those I left behind in Poland, the campers, and the pastors and their families. I pray for my mission team as they readjust to their lives. I ask for Your peace to settle over everyone; for Your inspiration so we can carry out Your plan. In Jesus’ name we pray. AMEN.

My Gratitude List book was left at home while I travelled. I will continue to count God’s gifts. But here are some of the things I had written before I left home. (up to 256)

  • Discipline to keep regular blog posts
  • Hubby barbecuing between rain showers
  • God-incident meeting with a friend to clean up a misunderstanding
  • A great VBS
  • Tired cranky children (reminds me to remember the HALT method of proactive parenting)
  • Loving daughters
  • Swimming in the lake
  • Seeing generosity in people’s hearts
  • Another fawn in the backyard
  • Blue blue cloudless skies
  • My prayer team for my mission trip to Poland

———————————————————————————————————-

Jan Cox

Jan, a former school teacher and small business owner, found a new passion in writing in her retirement. She has published two devotionals and a number of articles for magazines and a Bible study. She is owner of Under the Cover of Prayer and moderates the site. She also writes at A Better Way. Jan has written a children’s book in which she is also the watercolour illustrator. She hopes to publish it sometime.