Blessed outside my comfort zone

By Wendy Woods

There are a few things I struggle with, including change, new people and new places. So when I felt called to apply for the Grow Leadership program, which would include spending time in a country I had never visited with people I had never met, I wasn’t sure how I would cope. Thankfully God’s plans […]

There are a few things I struggle with, including change, new people and new places. So when I felt called to apply for the Grow Leadership program, which would include spending time in a country I had never visited with people I had never met, I wasn’t sure how I would cope.

Thankfully God’s plans are always good! We were only away for two weeks on Grow Leadership’s Stretch and Grow experience in Myanmar and yet I feel I have grown so much. Some things were reiterated for me, while some things I learnt for the first time.

In the LCA/NZ we live in countries where it is so easy to want things we do not need. When I spent time with locals in Myanmar, seeing them so joyful with what seemed so little, I reflected on how I should be thankful for what I have and whether I really need anything more.

We worshipped with local Christians in a country where they are persecuted for their faith yet have a love and passion for God and his word that I have not experienced at home in New Zealand. It reminded me to not take for granted the freedom to live out my faith in my own country.

We visited the Myanmar Christian Fellowship of the Blind, where children who are blind come each day for schooling. Those children trusted us immediately. I had come into the country with fears of the unknown, yet every time I felt overwhelmed or anxious, I could feel God giving me comfort and peace. I knew that he was listening even when I wasn’t speaking.

Even though I have physical sight, being with those children prompted me to think that perhaps I may be the one who is blind to God’s reassurance and presence.

I had never previously travelled to a place where I did not speak the national language. So there were many times when I hoped that what I was saying was being understood.

Through this experience, God showed me what it is to trust in his graciousness. He showed me what it is to trust that he would keep me and people around me safe, to trust that he would be with my words even though it was a different language I was speaking, to trust that I would cope with things that I found difficult, to trust that what I had was enough, and to trust that this was his plan for me.

Why did Grow Leadership go to Myanmar?

  • To provide cross-cultural interaction between young adults from the LCA/NZ and Myanmar
  • To provide practical opportunities for LCA/NZ young adults to gain an insight into mission and ministry in Myanmar
  • To provide leadership opportunities for young adults from the LCA/NZ and Myanmar
  • To introduce LCA/NZ young adults to partnerships between LCA International Mission and the Federation of Lutheran Churches in Myanmar
  • To allow young adults to be inspired by what God is doing in and through his people in Myanmar

If you would like to consider the opportunity to serve as a volunteer in mission, serving in practical ways, teaching English, teaching in the seminaries and institutions of our partner churches, or in local churches, you are invited to phone Nevin on (08) 8267 7300 or email nevin.nitschke@lca.org.au. For more information, go to http://www.lcamission.org.au/join-gods-mission/volunteer/

Read more stories about volunteering at http://www.lcamission.org.au/category/join-gods-mission/volunteers/

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About the Author : Erin Kerber


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