I’m now sitting back in Mijas pueblo Spain reflecting on the craziness that has happened over the last month. I’m not sure if it feels like 1 week or 3 months but it has been quite a ride. Even though I’m tired and there a lot of things in life to figure out right now, I’m confident that what has happened with the Burn Wagon is something to be thankful for.
I’m not sure exactly where I left off but it was something about how awesome Scandinavia was and I think for this blog instead of hitting on the day by day I’m going to highlight a bit of what this trip really meant to me.
Going into the trip there were a few things I really wanted to see happen not just with Burn Wagon Europe but missions in general. The things I wanted to see would mean pretty big shifts form what I’ve seen in the past. And while this seems like quite an undertaking I simply did what we many times forget to do as we build vision, make strategy, calculate budgets, and prioritize action steps…
I asked God to do it and trusted that the desires in my heart were put there by him and he wanted it more than I did. Yep, no begging, convincing, and trying to make a plan that would please God, just faith and joy and positioning myself in a place to see it happen.
For example, here are some things I really wanted to see as an improvement from some previous mission experience. Remember, my previous experiences haven’t been bad by any means…we’re just moving glory to glory here!
A Better Guy Girl Ratio-Usually it’s been about 4:1 with the girls taking the lead in the past but we had about a 50:50 ratio of guys to girls this trip when you consider everyone who was involved. I’m not really sure why this trip merited this ratio but I was very encouraged.
Long-Term Investment– Something incredible is that we were quite diverse when it came to nations represented all in all we had 2 UK, 3 US, 2 Norwegians, 3 Germans, 1 Swiss, 2 Dutch ( and 2 Polish if you count the hitchhikers we picked up right before the boarder into the UK). Not only did this make for an exciting team dynamic but it also meant that team members were building relationships that would last after the Burn Wagon left which means more sustainability and the opportunity for more discipleship which is the primary mandate of the great commission.
Like-mindedness and Unity– I’ve seen a lot of passion and vision for good things on previous trips but little unity for the same. Some of the most incredible feedback we got almost everywhere we went was how we brought something just by existing as a team. It seems simple but being unified mean a shift in the spirit not just the physical. Every one was willing to serve and sacrifice for the vision, but we also recognized that ministry was not near the top on our priority list but family was. Ministry has never been and never will be the point, relationship is.
No More Poverty Mindset– Finances seem to always be an issue with missions and while it isn;t a bad thing, many times it does drive us into an unhealthy way of thinking where we focus on maintaining our limited resources instead of tapping into God’s provision. This also can easily build a stronghold of not being able to receive blessing and in turn not being able to bless others with a joyful heart. One time I had told the team that it would be good to “bless” our contacts with €100 before we left because of how much they had loved and served us. That morning at breakfast they handed us an envelope with €100 in it. They weren’t millionaires, they just believed in what we were doing and had been blessed by us. Here I was convicted that many times I have an attitude of payment instead of blessing and that I’m not confident that what I brought (non monetary) was worth what they thought it was. Too many times belittle and even impede God’s role to bless by not receiving a bless from others.
Culture without Training– One of the ways I really saw God’s grace was how he put my team together outside of my doing. Aside from an application and Skype meeting I wasn’t able to have face to face time or even training with any of my teammates previous to the trip. This of course meant that a lot could have gone wrong but it didn’t, and God put together an incredible team that were active in the prophetic, hungry for the supernatural, and maintained a high level of honor and servitude amongst one another. The only times I had seen this happen were because of intentional times of training or preparation. Training is good but it’s purpose it to make it the norm and while we weren’t perfect and there might be more prep in the future, this was very encouraging for me to be a part of.
I’m still hearing back form people we visited about the fruit of our journey and this is something that I’m sure will have a lasting effect on Europe. I really feel like we were the catalyst for some substantial beginnings with how the Kingdom of God is moving in the continent.
I was sharing about my trip to the interns here at G42 earlier this week and the overwhelming theme was that going after a dream and changing people’s lives forever isn’t really a complicated thing. Of course it takes a lot of hard work, there are a lot of alone times, and sometimes when you walk in faith it’s just not fun anymore and the adrenaline rush is over (especially when you are 2 days out and still don’t own a van)! It takes sacrifice, money, and stepping into areas you are “gifted” in…
But it’s not complicated.
The simple truth is that as a Christian you have to believe you are daily becoming more like Christ and that your thoughts and dreams are also lining up with God’s. It’s Christ in us the hope of glory not just Christ in the world. I looked back on my initial plan for this trip and 2/3 of it I wasn’t able to carry out this time. Does it matter? Not really. Because the plan is God’s in the first place and he is always looking for those willing to say yes not just those who are capable. If you don’t act on one of God’s dreams someone else will, in fact someone else probably already has…that’s the beauty of moving as a body!
Oh..a popular question: Will I do it again? Of course I will, but I’ll probably try to do it more often and more regionally to better connect and encourage the local church and make disciples.