Friday, November 28, 2014

Christian Challenge November 2014 Update!


     Happy Thanksgiving!  This month we want to give thanks for what God is doing through the ministry!  We also want to give thanks to God for all of our friends and family who are behind us and the ministry!

     With the ministry things are going awesome!  Challenge is going well.  We’ve been studying “why we should help the needy?”  We ran two events with this in mind to help put faith into action.  The first was an event called Homeless and Hungry.  We first ran this event many years ago and it was very successful.  We camped out on campus for 24 hours and raised money/canned foods for the soup kitchen.  We thought, “Hey, why not do it again?”  Unfortunately, the campus police never gave us the okay to camp this time around but we were still able to set up a table.  And again, it was really successful.  We even met a lot of new students.  Many students ended up giving money and food towards the cause.  (Most of it organic, of course, being in Durango.)  It was awesome to see.


     We followed that event with filling up boxes for Operation Christmas Child.  In the past, we’ve done this for Dinosaur, CO, a very poor community in Northwest Colorado but unfortunately, our connection up there moved out of the area.  So this year, we went with the official OCC.  Next year, we hope to focus more locally, maybe at the women’s shelter in town.  Like last year, we ended up filling up a lot of shoeboxes with our students.  It’s always great to see how excited our students get for the event every year.

     FCA went great as well.  We had it out at the new house.  We’re so excited to be able to use it for ministry!  About half of our regulars weren’t there due to their teams traveling but we ended up having just as many as normal with all the new students who came.  We studied a topic that really hit home for the students.  There was a lot of “That spoke to exactly where I’m at!” and “Wow, mind blown!” from the students.  It was an awesome time with all of them.  Rachel and I always feel so blessed coming away from those nights.

     So I’ve been wanting to give you a look at the kinds of students coming this year but I’ve kept putting it off due to not wanting to make these updates too long.  But I think that’s always going to be an issue so now’s as good of a time as ever.  As always, we certainly have a wide spectrum of students.


     One of our students that comes is a strong atheist who is really searching for truth.  When he first started coming, we’d ask what he thought about Christianity and he’d say basically that he thought it was a “load of crap.”  Then he’d follow it up with “But I’ll see you tonight.”  He definitely doesn’t pull any punches with what he thinks.  The awesome thing is that he has a ton of great questions that we get to work through with him.  Keep him in your prayers because the Holy Spirit is working on him.

     There is another guy who is a Mormon I’ve been meeting with for three years.  We’ve always been able to talk about spiritual things but finally, after all that time (and a lot of prayer), he has opened up to going through scripture with me.  We are currently working our way through Romans verse by verse.  It’s been really great!  It’s really a picture of why we’re here: to do our best to keep anyone from falling through the cracks.  We’re not going to move on or stop walking with them because God works in His own timing.  We want to make sure we’re there for when He opens that door.

     Another student we have comes from the Midwest.  He wants to be a church planter or missionary someday.  It seems like there was a lot of pressure for him to go to Bible college but he ended up at Fort Lewis.  Kind of different ends of the spectrum to say the least.  Recently, he said something to the effect that he thinks he’s grown more with Challenge at the Fort in the short time he’s been here than if he’d gone to Bible college for a full year.  At FLC with Challenge, he’s able to be on the front lines in the trenches applying what he learns spiritually immediately.  It’s awesome to see his heart for the Lord and how much he’s grown in such a short time.

     I could really talk forever about all of our students but I’ll leave you with this last student.  He’s one of our international students.  He’s not a Christian but really has a heart to serve the needy.  He’s actually already done work with that overseas.  He’s seems to be intrigued by what we talk about and how we live as Christians.  He’s tried to come to just about everything that we do.  He’s even been going to church.  Now, he doesn’t understand everything due to the language barrier but he’s very interested and God’s definitely working.

     I really want to share about all of our students but I’ll stop for now.  Just know that we have a great group of them this year.

     Lastly, I just want to remind our friends and family who do end of the year giving, that the time is coming soon if you’re wanting to get it in for 2014 tax purposes.  Know that we definitely appreciate that support!  Here's a quick link to our giving options: http://thewallscall.blogspot.com/p/other-giving-options.html

     Thanks for all the support and encouragement already given!  We are super thankful for that!  Again, hope you have a great Thanksgiving!

Cheers and God Bless,
Mike and Rachel

Prayer Requests:

Housing Praises-

     We praise God for providing us this house.  We also praise Him for the supporters who really helped us get into a house so that we could do more ministry, not just outside of our home but inside it as well.

     We finally found our septic tank and had that pumped after three days of digging so we’re thankful for that.  We can actually have students over and not scare them away with a sewage smell.

     We’re also very thankful that we finally have phone service after not having it for a month.  There are too many other things to list but we certainly praise God for each step He takes in preparing this place better for us and the ministry.

Housing Needs-

     There are some things we definitely are praying God provides.  It’s looking like we may need a new well.  Those aren’t cheap at all but it’s hard to do ministry here if we don’t have water.  So we’re praying for a new deeper well where we know there is plenty of water or that God would miraculously bring water back to our existing one.

     We are also praying for a heavy duty snow blower or 4-wheeler we can put a snow plow on.    We will need a way of clearing our long driveway so we can get out and students can get in when we get big snows.  In looking at used ones online, everything is still pretty pricey so we pray we can find a good deal somewhere soon.  Thankfully, God has held off the big snows so far.  (Goodness, I never thought I’d ever say that.)

     Lastly, we are hoping to install a wood stove in.  Clearly, this is not a dire need as we do have propane heat.  But we do have all these downed trees on the property.  That’s free heating when you have a wood stove…and free is much cheaper than expensive propane which the house currently runs on.  If we installed a wood stove, we’d still run on propane sometimes at least to keep the pipes from freezing but we’d save a lot because a small place like ours can pretty much be fully heated by only a small wood stove.

Students-

     Keep them in your prayers as they go into their finals.  Also pray for their safe travels as roads in our area can get pretty sketchy during their drives home.

Rachel and Mike-

     Pray that our marriage would stay strong keeping God always at the center of it.  Also pray that we get some much needed rest over this Thanksgiving break.

Friday, October 31, 2014

Christian Challenge October Update 2014!


Hello team!  Yes, we are still alive.  It’s been a busy time for us.  Sorry we haven’t gotten a newsletter out since early September, I think.  It feels like it’s been forever and there is so much to catch up on.  So this might be a little longer than normal.

First off, my computer is finally working again, hence, being able to finally write a newsletter.  I ended up upgrading my operating system which then caused more problems but those were eventually worked out.  I now have a working computer!  The only problem was that then, we didn’t have working internet.

That leads into the next thing.  We've moved!  Our old landlords finally sold our place and the new landlords were going to significantly increase rent.  So with that, we decided it was time to move on.  We found a place for under what our new landlords were wanting to charge and cheaper than anything else we could find.

It’s a great place but it’s smaller and a bit farther away from campus.  It’s definitely more rustic and we’ll be roughing it a bit more.  Its water well doesn’t always produce and has a distinct smell at times.  Hopefully, that’s something that can be remedied.  There’s pest problems which can be taken care of eventually, too.  Oh, and the snow.  We’ll get much more of that (maybe even over 200 inches this year if El Nino actually develops) come winter with sketchier roads.  We definitely feel like God provided this place for us but it’s not going to be easy.

With the move, it’s been really stressful.  Having to pull it off during our busiest time of the year has been trying.  I’ll spare you guys of most of the details.  But I guess I should tell you why we didn’t have internet.  We’ll, after moving in and switching over all of our new mail to the new address, we found out our new address doesn’t actually exist according to the postal service.  After talking with them, we finally got that straightened out but not before a lot of our mail went into limbo…including our internet router which was being sent to an address that didn’t exist.

Our cell phone service at the house is also in limbo as we had to order a signal booster but it couldn’t be delivered to an address that didn’t exist.  So that on top of everything else has made things fairly difficult.  Thankfully, the Lord is working things out step by step so we won’t have to learn how to use smoke signals and carrier pigeons.  Still, be praying that things would go smoothly with the housing transition.

Ministry-wise, things are great.  Our numbers for our Tuesday night discussions on campus have slimmed down a bit but our small group family dinners in town continue to be consistent and if you combined them, bigger than they were last year.

With FCA, we have cut that back to meeting once a month.  Rachel and I have the student-athletes over for dinner and Bible study.  With their crazy schedules, this seems to be much more successful with a good mix of old and new students coming.  They are more committed to making it this year now that it’s only once a month.

Exchange, our ministry to international students has gone really well too.  The group this year has been very open to what we’re doing.  They’ve come on our retreats, camping trips, and other adventures where we’ve not only been able to help them with their conversational English, but we’ve also had great discussions with them about Jesus.  They end up having a lot of good questions that we get to work through with them.  They are a very adventurous group this year and not afraid to step out of their comfort zones in life and spiritually too.

Speaking of adventure, we’ve had probably one of our busiest starts of the semester with events ever.  We’ve pretty much had an event every weekend since the start of the semester.  I think my favorite so far has been the camping trip we did.  We camped and had some rain move in overnight.  The storms dropped about 4-5 inches of rain on us.  Most had a couple of inches of water in their tents by morning.  Thankfully, we had a roaring campfire and hot chocolate to warm us up.

With the storm, our hiking plans ended up getting snowed out in the high elevations so we ended up making snowmen and having a snowball fight instead.  The best part was watching two of our freshmen lead devotionals for the group.  It was awesome seeing them passionate about their faith, willing to step up and share about Christ with their peers.  It’s something we’ve really been praying for.

With discipleship, we’re seeing a lot of growth in the students we’re meeting one-on-one with.  It’s been very cool to see.  It’s encouraging for us to be able to be a part of what God’s doing in their lives.

It's been such an awesome semester with the ministry so far.  We love that at Fort Lewis, we can reach Jerusalem (Durango), Judea (Colorado), Samaria (the rest of America from Alaska to Florida) and the ends of the earth (Japan) all in one place...and we're thankful that you guys can be part of that too!

Prayer Requests:

-That the Holy Spirit would be working on the hearts of our students.

-We praise God that He has answered our prayers and brought us some solid student leaders.

-That our housing transition would go smoothly.

-That God would help us not neglect our marriage.

Tuesday, October 14, 2014

Meditating on John 1:1 and John 1:14...and more!

Just after I finished my run yesterday, I was meditating on some scripture while going through my cool-down regiment.  The cool-down is always my favorite part of my workout.  Most of the time, it gives me some peaceful moments to process the podcast sermons I've just listened to on my Ipod while I run.

Yesterday though, my mind drifted.  I began thinking about John 1:1 and John 1:14 for some reason.

"In the beginning was the Word, and the Word was with God, and the Word was God."  John 1:1

Here, we see that God and the Word are synonymous.

"And the Word became flesh, and dwelt among us, and we saw His glory, glory as of the only begotten from the Father, full of grace and truth."  John 1:14

Here, when we look at the context of the verse, we see that the Word and Jesus are synonymous. 

So as I was thinking about these verses, four things came to mind:

1.  If you don't respect God's Word, you don't respect Jesus.

2.  If you don't give God's Word authority in your life, then you don't give Jesus authority in your life.

3.  You can't know Jesus if you don't know the Word.

4.  You can't follow Jesus if you don't follow the Word.

When I look at America, I see a nation heading downhill very quickly.  I see a nation that has left Christ for the most part.  The nation has left biblical principles for selfish desires.  We have redefined right and wrong as if we know better than the God who has been here for all of eternity.  Do we actually think we are going to change His mind?  Maybe we're saying He made a mistake.  When we call ourselves Christians and then redefine the laws of right and wrong He put in place, it certainly sounds like we are telling Him He was wrong on this matter or that matter.

Is it rebellion or just plain ignorance?  Probably a lot of both and neither are okay...especially when we have the Word right at our fingertips.

This nation doesn't know biblical principles anymore because God's Word isn't present in most people's daily lives.  A lot of churches barely preach it and most Christians don't read the Bible even once a week outside of church.  That makes for a lot of people who claim they are following Jesus but don't even know what He taught.  How does that even work?  How do you follow a teacher if you never go to class or read the assigned reading?  The answer is...you don't.  You fail the class.  The simple application here is that you shouldn't call yourself a follower of Christ if you don't even try and learn what He taught.  In being a follower, application of teachings is important as well and it's hard to apply things that you refuse to learn.

It all reminds me of Matthew 7:21-23...

21 “Not everyone who says to Me, ‘Lord, Lord,’ will enter the kingdom of heaven, but he who does the will of My Father who is in heaven will enter. 22 Many will say to Me on that day, ‘Lord, Lord, did we not prophesy in Your name, and in Your name cast out demons, and in Your name perform many miracles?’ 23 And then I will declare to them, ‘I never knew you; depart from Me, you who practice lawlessness.’

Those are some scary verses when I look around at what I see in this nation.  I don't want anyone to fall into that...but how many that call themselves Christians in this nation will?  They call themselves followers but there is no evidence of it.  My heart breaks for that.

In Revelation 3:1-6, it talks about the church in Sardis:

1 “To the angel of the church in Sardis write:
He who has the seven Spirits of God and the seven stars, says this: ‘I know your deeds, that you have a name that you are alive, but you are dead. Wake up, and strengthen the things that remain, which were about to die; for I have not found your deeds completed in the sight of My God. So remember what you have received and heard; and keep it, and repent. Therefore if you do not wake up, I will come like a thief, and you will not know at what hour I will come to you. But you have a few people in Sardis who have not soiled their garments; and they will walk with Me in white, for they are worthy. He who overcomes will thus be clothed in white garments; and I will not erase his name from the book of life, and I will confess his name before My Father and before His angels. He who has an ear, let him hear what the Spirit says to the churches.’

To me, that sounds a lot like the American Church and America as a nation.  These verses should be a wake up call.  We have God's Word so easily obtainable.  Ignorance is no excuse in this nation.  It's time to wake up and dedicate ourselves to learning what the Word actually says and applying it.  Not only is there a great danger to this nation if we don't but more importantly, there is greater danger on the personal level with eternal consequences.  Nations will come and go but what we do personally with God affects our whole eternity.  There is nothing that will ever be more important.

Lastly, if you are going to follow Christ (and I pray that you will), truly follow Him.  Seek Him and actually be a follower.  Sure, you may make mistakes along the way.  I know I'm certainly not perfect and have made plenty.  Just don't be deceived into thinking simply calling yourself a Christian is really being a Christ follower.  There is so much more you miss out on when being deceived like that.  God has such a better plan for your life when you truly follow Him.

Friday, September 5, 2014

C4C Mission: Peru 2014...Version 2

This is the second version of the Peru mission video, the "director's cut" so to speak.  This one is a little longer and a bit more artistic musically to paraphrase my wife.

Sunday, August 31, 2014

Christian Challenge Late Aug./Early Sept. Update 2014!

Hello Team! Sorry for the delay in updates. We’ve been trying to switch over our updates to Mail Chimp but are having a lot of technical difficulties in the process. It was supposed to be a much easier system to use but we haven’t seen that so far. So for now, Mail Chimp will have to wait.

Anyway, we are already deep into ministry. It’s going fantastic. We have certainly had our bumps so far like Josh taking a fall, getting a concussion, and having to go to the ER the night before the new semester’s craziness began. Thankfully, he is good now and the rest of the team seems to be healthy. This is the first time we haven’t had anything major health-wise or family-wise happen during the first of the semester. We are praising God for that and praying it continues!

So far, we feel like we are having the most successful semester ever. We have had to change our strategy quite a bit to meet freshmen with the campus not allowing ministries to help out with the freshmen move-in. Instead of moving people in, we focussed on prayer walking around campus and getting up flyers wherever we could.

We also held tables at Walmart and the visitor’s center in town to meet freshmen. These, though, weren’t as successful as we had hoped. We at least tried and can learn from it for next year. We held a table on campus also during freshmen orientation last week which was much more successful. Normally, parents get excited but their student maybe not so much. This year, we had less parents but a ton of freshmen coming up on their own interested.

Saturday night, we held our international dinner. We had over half of the Japanese students come. It was great to see and connect with them. Sunday, we had our block party on campus. We served up 60 large pizzas to the students who came. Our numbers were down from last year due to there being something like 400 less freshmen this year but we ended up making more contacts this year than ever before. We’re stoked for that and praise God for it! We just pray that those contacts turn out to be fruitful.

Now onto prayer requests and upcoming events:

-Tuesday nights, we have our conversational English class called Exchange at 5 p.m. We have Christian Challenge on campus for the first time at 7 p.m. We really don’t know how that will affect things moving it from in town to campus but with the extremely close proximity to the dorms, we hope it will help bring in more students.

-Wednesdays, we’ll be having Commuter Christian Challenge during the day on campus for those who commute to campus and can’t make it to night stuff.

-This Thursday, we have another table for the club fair.

-On Thursday nights at leaders’ houses, we’ll have our family dinners where we feed students dinner.

-Event-wise this month, we have our night hike, rafting trip, fall retreat, camp/climb, and many other things.

-Pray for open hearts, for many to join us prayerfully and financially to bring the Gospel to Fort Lewis.

-Pray that we can raise a bigger ministry budget.

-Pray that God would continue growing us closer to Him and help us not neglect our first ministry; our marriage.

Thank you for joining with us to reach Fort Lewis College in Durango, CO! -Cheers and God Bless, Mike & Rachel

Saturday, August 30, 2014

C4C Mission: Peru 2014 Video...Version 1

Here is the video I put together from the Peru mission trip. This is the first version I was able to put together. Another version will be coming soon. I recommend viewing it in full-screen if you can. Check it out and remember to keep praying for the people of Peru!

 

Thursday, July 31, 2014

C4C Mission: Philippines Update 2014!

Hello Team! We hope everyone is doing well!

Rachel and I are doing pretty well, just getting ready for the coming semester. It’s crazy to think our students will be back within almost a month.

Anyway, I guess I’ve kept everyone waiting long enough. Time for the Climbing for Christ Philippines mission trip update!


Well, the trip was amazing! It was an absolute success! God had plans for us beyond the scope of what we could see before the trip.

On the surface, our goal was to hike into the mountains bringing Bibles in the local Kankanaey language. We’d also be showing publicly the Jesus Film for the first time ever in that language.

At first, we’d only be going to the village of Badeo but God opened the door for us to travel to Mogcao as well.


Along with the other goals was bringing a student, Sarah Mellberg, along with us, keeping her safe, and making sure she had a good experience where God could use her.


Thankfully, we can check off all of those goals. Praise God! We brought in 20 Bibles to the area. It’s less than last year because the Bibles are becoming more and more scarce unfortunately.


We were able to show the Jesus Film to over 200 people. Most of them had heard the name of Jesus but out of those who had heard, 90% didn’t know much, if anything, about our Lord and Savior. Through the film, the Lord certainly changed that. It was awesome to see them hang on every word. We had packed rooms with people in the doorway standing on their tippy-toes just to get a glimpse. I imagine that’s pretty much how it was back in Jesus’ day with people just trying to get a glimpse through the crowds.


Looking back over our goals, Sarah also had a great time. She was a perfect fit for the team and a great addition.


But again, God had more than we ever dreamed of. I got to lead worship a couple of times once we finally tracked down a guitar. The first time was just for our team. The second time was just before we showed the Jesus Film. Both times were great blessings for me.


I also got to preach twice. The first time was out of Acts. I was just going to use the same sermon again for church the next day as there would be different people at this service. But then God told me I needed to preach something different. He just wasn’t going to tell me what that was until I only had 10-15 minutes to prepare the next morning. Talk about having to really rely on the Holy Spirit.


I preached for around an hour about how if we live for God, He will get us where He wants us. Sure, we need to pray and seek wisdom but we shouldn’t worry like many of us tend to do.

I don’t share that story to toot my own horn but just to say, “The Holy Spirit is awesome!”

Okay, moving onto more of God’s bigger vision. I know another big thing was that Rachel was encouraged by how passionate believers were there to live for God. Durango can be draining sometimes. It was refreshing to see their passion.

Oh and I can’t forget to mention, Sarah now wants to move to the Philippines after college to be a missionary. God was really showing and teaching her things on this trip. That in itself was a huge reason why Rachel and I were there.

We also got to go to Don and Molly McAlvany’s orphanage which was awesome.


Looking back, it was a great trip where God did amazing things!


Prayer Requests:

-Praise for the very successful trip and the connections we were able to forge for the future of the Kingdom!

-That the Holy Spirit would continue working on the hearts of the local villagers.

-For wisdom and discernment for C4C on how to move forward with best ministering to the Kankanaey people.

-That God would provide more Bibles for the region as there is still a great need.

Know that God did so much more than the few things I was able to share! Thank you so much for making this trip possible with your prayer support and financial support!

Cheers and God Bless,
Mike & Rachel

Sunday, July 20, 2014

Durango C4C Prayer Peaks Day 2014


Prayer Peaks Day is a day where climbers and hikers all across America climb to a high point and pray together for their town, their state, and their nation. In Durango this year, we hiked Smelter Mountain.


The team assembled around 10:30 am at the Smelter Mountain trailhead. We had three from Durango, CO and three from Farmington, NM join us. It was already becoming a very hot day. We prayed for safety and quickly started our hike wanting to beat possible afternoon thunderstorms.


It wasn't long before we were at the top. We were blessed with beautiful views. We snacked and rehydrated taking it all in. You could see the La Plata Mountains to the west of Durango, the San Juan Mountains to the north, and the Animas River flowing through town.


Soon, it was time for prayer and worship. I pulled out my guitar and we sang worship songs over Durango. We then prayed for the town, the state and for Farmington, and New Mexico. Lastly, we prayed for a safe, cloudy and cool journey back down to our cars. And wouldn't you know it, as we started down, a storm popped up to our northwest bringing us a cool breeze and the cloud cover we were asking for. It was awesome seeing prayers answered like that.


When we returned to our cars, we decided we couldn't finish the trip without some blizzards from Dairy Queen. It's becoming a PPD tradition in Durango. What better than ice cream after a summer hike? Not only were we thankful for ice cream after the trip but even more thankful that we have a God who hears our prayers and cares. That Saturday, we were blessed by great fellowship, a great hike, and an awesomely great God!

Tuesday, July 15, 2014

C4C Mission: Philippines Video 2014!

Check out the video I put together of pictures from the mission trip!


C4C Mission: Philippines 2014 from Mike Wall on Vimeo.

C4C Mission: Peru Trip Update 2014!



Hello Team! We hope you guys are having a great summer so far.

Rachel and I have certainly had a pretty busy summer. We actually just got back from the Philippines not too long ago. With that, we’re working on getting caught up on post-trip things.

Enough of what we’ve been doing since we’ve been back, though. I’m guessing you’d rather hear about the trips...but the Philippines trip will have to wait for the next update. I still need to update everyone on the Climbing for Christ Peru trip from back in May.


Well, the trip was amazing! It was an absolute success! I don’t think I’ve ever seen a place more ready for the harvest! It was so encouraging!

Unfortunately, my wife wasn’t able to make it on the trip with me. I’m hoping next year, Lord willing, she’ll be able to make the trip.

Our team started out in Lima ministering to a family who C4C had met on past trips. Before we left, we were able to pray over the family and the serious health issues they were suffering from.


From Lima, we headed up into the Cordillera Blanca. There, we handed out Bibles around a village and shared the Gospel with every door God opened. It was a great time of ministry that saw souls come to salvation!

There was a 15 year-old kid, named Angel, who had just become a believer a month before. He came out with us because he wanted to share his testimony with people. Seeing him share his testimony was certainly one of the highlights of the trip.


Later during our time in the village, we were able to put on a church service for the locals in a field across the street from the church C4C is building for ministry in the area. That night, we worshipped with the local believers and prayed over the sick.

In attendance was a lady who a year before, had to be carried to the church service because she couldn’t walk. After being prayed over at that service, she got up and walked home. This year, she walked to the church service under her own power. Praise the Lord!

From the Cordillera Blanca, we headed into the Cordillera Huayhuash. After setting up camp that night in the new mountain range, we went out to meet the locals. The first lady we met didn’t have a Bible so we gave her and her family members Bibles.


She asked us then to put on a church service later that night for everyone in the area. So with that, we set out to invite everyone we could before the sun went down. We invited probably 25 people and had around 20 show up later that night. We were able to give out Bibles to those who did not have them and prayed over the sick.

The next day, we headed to a village that was a little bigger. We set up camp and went out to evangelize. We only made it 10 feet before we gave out all of the Bibles we were carrying with us. We went back and got more. We made it 20 feet this time before we ran out.


We returned that night after a day of evangelism to 40 kids playing around our camp. We played “keep away” with a volleyball for 2 hours and then shared the Gospel with them. It was a great day.


From there, our team split up. Part of our team would continue ministering in the villages. My group would head further and deeper into the high Andes mountains to reach the unreached...those beyond the reach of missionaries and pastors, those too far from any church.


We found plenty who had never been visited. We were able to encourage them that God had not forgotten them. Jesus had sent us to remind them of His great love!

Wednesday, June 4, 2014

Quick Mission Trip Update

So I'm back from an extremely successful and fruitful mission trip to Peru!  God is working big time down there!  I was blessed to be able to be a part of that!

So now that I'm back, it's time to turn around and head off to the Philippines with Rachel and one of our students.

When we get back, I'll get out updates and put some videos together of both trips.

Keep our team in your prayers while we are in the Philippines and be praying for the places we'll be ministering!  Thank you so much!  We appreciate your prayers more than you'll ever know!

Cheers and God Bless,
Mike

Friday, May 9, 2014

Early May Mission Trips Update 2014!

Hello Team! We hope this update finds you well!

Rachel and I are just putting the finishing touches on our upcoming mission trips. Our Peru trip is May 10th-25th. The Philippines mission trip is June 4th-20th.

We wanted to give you a quick update on the trip and some bio’s on our students who are joining us.

We are absolutely stoked to be able to take these students to the ends of the earth to serve alongside their brothers and sisters in Christ from other nations in order to reach villages in the high mountains of Peru and the Philippines with the Gospel.

For Peru, our team of 9 will head into the Huayhuash Mountains between 9,000-16,000 ft. in elevation visiting high mountain villages as we go. We’ll share the Gospel, give out Bibles, and show the Jesus Film with the unreached people in the region.

For the Philippines, our team of around 15 will spend most of our time immersing and sharing the Gospel in the village of Badeo which we will have to spend a full day backpacking to. With us, we will carry Bibles in the local language, discipleship materials, medical supplies, and school supplies.

For more info on the trips and the bios on each team member, you can click on the following links.

Peru: http://climbingforchrist.org/Expeditions/Peru/Peru2014.aspx

Philippines: http://climbingforchrist.org/Expeditions/Philippines/Philippines2014.aspx

Thank you so much for your support! Keep on praying! -M & R



FLC Team Bios:

Rachel Horton is originally from Kendall, Kansas. She’ll be on the Peru mission trip. She is an adventure education major spending most of her semesters outdoors. God raised her full support for the mission trip in just one night through a silent auction her family put on for her. For more info on Rachel, feel free to check out the following link: http://climbingforchrist.org/Articles/tabid/545/ID/968/Rachel-Horton.aspx

Jessica Vose is a Fort Lewis College graduate. She will be on the Peru mission trip. She now works at Mercury System Payments in Durango. During her time at FLC, she spent a lot of it studying abroad. Despite her experience traveling overseas, this will be her first out of country mission trip. For more info on Jessica, feel free to check out the following link: http://climbingforchrist.org/Articles/tabid/545/ID/963/Jessica-Vose.aspx

Sarah Mellberg is from the Colorado Springs area. She’ll be on our Philippines mission trip. This past year, she was the roommate of Meagan Prins who went to the Philippines with us last year. Guess, the excitement Meagan had after getting back rubbed off on Sarah. Fun fact: This will be her first time on an airplane. For more info on Sarah, feel free to check out the following link: http://climbingforchrist.org/Articles/tabid/545/ID/1012/Sarah-Mellberg.aspx




Prayer Requests:

-That God would open doors for the Gospel to be received and understood.

-That the Holy Spirit would be working on the hearts of the local villagers.

-That God would keep our teams safe and healthy.

-That God would give us strength and keep us in good spirits despite a possible lack of sleep.

Peru Dispatches Link

Just wanted to put a link up where you can follow the Peru team's daily updates through the dispatches we will post online.  They will start May 10th, the day the trip heads out for Peru.

http://climbingforchrist.org/Articles/tabid/545/ID/1069/DISPATCHES-Peru-2014.aspx

End of the School Year Christian Challenge Update 2014!

Dear Family & Friends,

It’s been an amazing semester that has now come to an end. Looking back, there is plenty to praise God for. Christian Challenge continues to grow. As a staff, we are discipling right around 30 students one-on-one. It was an encouraging semester as students who had disappeared for awhile got plugged back into discipleship.

Our dinner and discussions went great as well. I think my favorite topic was when we discussed the persecuted church around the world. We turned the lights out, read scripture by candlelight and could only whisper to communicate. It gave the students a new perspective on what some Christians around the world have to live daily. Makes us realize how blessed we are.

Continuing on, finals week is now over. Graduation has passed. We’ve since had our end of the year local staff retreat and our state director meetings in Colorado Springs to plan for the next year.

We’re now back from that and gearing up for the summer mission trips we’re taking students on. Those occur May 10th-25th and June 4th-20th. Getting back after those, we have some student weddings. We’ll be heading up to Denver at some point as I have some doctor’s appointments up there.

Rachel and I will fill in the rest of our summer support raising wherever God opens doors for us. We might even make our way down to Louisiana. Thank you all for making these past two semesters possible with your prayer and financial support! Keep praying for FLC!

Love you guys, Mike and Rachel

STUDENT SPOTLIGHT:

"L": He probably would have fallen somewhere between atheist and agnostic when we met him. He was a student who was investigating and searching. We met him after he was invited to Christian Challenge by a group of our girls. Since then, he has become really involved with the ministry coming to almost everything we do. With that, we’ve been able to have great spiritual discussions with him and work through many of the questions he has.

"M": We met her at the beginning of the year on the whitewater rafting and inflatable kayaking trip we put together. Rachel tried to follow up but never heard anything back until students returned after the Christmas break. Since then, Rachel has been able to start discipling her, and she has really been growing.

PRAYER NEEDS:

-Praise: We now have our monthly living expenses raised! Still need to raise our ministry fund but we’re excited with what God has brought in!

-Pray that we find some rest and recovery time this summer between support raising, the mission trips, and continuing to meet with students.

-For our students, that they continue to grow in Christ and make good choices over the summer.

-Pray for safety on our mission trips and that they would be fruitful.

Tuesday, April 1, 2014

Upcoming Summer Missions 2014


Dear friends & family,

We hope this letter finds you well! When Rachel and I began leading collegiate ministry full-time with Christian Challenge, a goal of ours was to energize our students to partake in summer missions. We’d hoped to provide opportunities for students to put their faith into action across the world.

Last June, the Lord opened the door for us to take students to the Philippines with Climbing for Christ. This year, the Lord has opened even more doors.

After seeing how well our trip last year went, we were asked to bring students not only to the Philippines this summer but also to Peru. So this summer, we will be in Peru May 10th-25th. The Philippines trip will be tentatively June 6th-19th. We are extremely excited for what God is going to do on each trip!

With the Peru mission trip, we will be working with a local missionary already on the ground. C4C has been working with him for the past few years. We will take our team up into the Huayhuash mountains around 14,000 feet in elevation and possibly even up to 18,000 feet traveling on foot from village to village.

This is a region C4C has never made it into, where there are many unreached peoples. On this trip, we will distribute Bibles, show the Jesus Film, and share the Gospel with the mountain people.



The Philippines trip will be much like the one last year. We will team with Filipinos and backpack into villages not accessible by roads in order to bring in Bibles in the local language, medical supplies, and school supplies deep into the mountainous jungles.

This year, plans have changed slightly in that we will not be making it to Tacadang and Les-eng which we backpacked to last year. Instead, we will be visiting the village of Badeo. It’s exciting because we will spend less time traveling and have much more time to share with the villagers.

Our team will be teaching on the importance of the Bible, and sharing the Gospel with those who have not yet heard.



We will focus our ministry efforts with a medical outreach, a children’s outreach, women’s outreach, and the Bible outreach.

At the moment, our Peru trip is full. We’re pretty excited about that. As for the Philippines trip, we still have a couple of spots open. There are some other students who have expressed interest but are praying for direction. We should have things finalized here pretty soon. When we do, we’ll get you names and bios on the team we’re taking so that you can be praying for them specifically.

We will certainly keep you up-to-date as the trip gets closer. Thank you for teaming up and partnering with us! We love you guys!

Prayer Needs:

-Pray that the Holy Spirit would be preparing for the Gospel the hearts of the Peruvian and Filipino people in the mountain villages.

-Pray for our safety.

-Pray for our students as they prepare for the trips and raise support.

-Pray that our funding for the trips would come in as well. With time closing in, we still have a lot of ground to cover.

Cheers and God Bless,
Mike and Rachel

Monday, March 31, 2014

Christian Challenge March 2014 Update!


Hey team! Hope everyone is doing well! Looks like it’s already time for another update.

Things are going well here...other than me being a tad bit sick with strep or tonsillitis. We are on the tail end of spring break so I guess this is a good time to deal with it and rest up.

With it being spring break, we were able to send out mission teams to two different locations which is exciting. Josh and Jennifer took a team to Juarez to work at a school there and share the Gospel with the kids. Randi took a team down to the Dallas area to work with a ministry there sharing the Gospel in some of the poorer areas of the city. From all accounts, it sounds like both trips have shaped up to be pretty awesome and everyone made it back safely. We praise God for that!

With FCA, we’ve been going through a DVD which follows four college students as they break away from Christian culture and head to Europe. Their goal is to is to find out how the Bible says a Christian should live, not how our Christian culture says we should live. So far, we’ve covered topics like identity in Christ, materialism, and relationships.

With Christian Challenge, we’re still growing, still meeting new people. It’s been exciting to see. What’s also been exciting is seeing how many people our ministry is discipling one-on-one. We’re up to around 20-25. With a campus like Fort Lewis, I’m pretty stoked by the numbers God has brought us to disciple.

One of the nights at CC, we did a pretty interesting icebreaker. We had everyone do a personality test. It turned out that about 90% of our students were introverts. This was awesome to see. It still makes me laugh that God can bring that many introverts together in a group setting.

As a ministry, we’ve always tried to be different and minister to different people than the other ministries on campus. We’ve tried to provide a place for those who don’t feel comfortable in other ministries, the misfits, the introverts, those who see the world differently, the square pegs in the round holes. (Yes, I know that probably sounds a lot like a Steve Jobs quote.)

As the Body of Christ, we can’t ignore or discard them...because God doesn’t. God has a plan for those people too, and we want to help them get there and fulfill that plan!

Prayer Requests:

-Praise: One of the students I’ve been discipling, the one who had scarlet fever over the summer, lost contact with me. I tried contacting him all semester with no answer. Turns out, he got a new phone number over Christmas. After praying, I was finally able to get a hold of him. We’ll start meeting again when he gets back from spring break. Stoked for that!

-Keep praying that God would bring us student-leaders that would be willing to build the ministry with us.

-Keep praying that God would continue growing us closer to Him and help us not neglect our first ministry; our marriage.

-For open hearts, for many to join us prayerfully and financially, to bring the Gospel to Fort Lewis. If the Lord is leading you to give, please go to: http://thewallscall.blogspot.com/p/other-giving-options.html

Thank you for joining with us to reach Fort Lewis College in Durango, CO! -Cheers and God Bless, Mike & Rachel

Friday, February 28, 2014

Christian Challenge February 2014 Update!


Hey team! Hope everyone is doing well! Rachel and I are doing pretty well. February flew by for us.

We are dog-sitting for my mother. She is on a trip to Israel with some friends from her women’s group at church.

So a huge praise with that, the other night, Rachel and I felt the need to pray for my mother and their trip. Well not too long later, we got a text from her saying that they had lost an engine, had to turn back, and do an emergency landing at JFK Airport. Everyone ended up being safe. The Holy Spirit certainly has great timing. I’m glad we listened and prayed.

Ministry wise, things are going pretty well. Josh and Jennifer are back from sabbatical. Christian Challenge is going very well. We are still seeing new people find out about us and show up on Tuesday nights!

FCA has been up and down. We have a really solid group of guys coming right now which is really encouraging. Unfortunately, it’s been a struggle making progress in other areas.

I want to leave you guys with some good news, though, to finish it things up. In the last update, we announced the upcoming summer mission trips.

Now, most students can’t afford to just go on the trip. They have to support raise like Rachel and I do.

One of our students is so dedicated to making sure she has the funds to go on the trip, she loads her car up with her friends, and they drive an hour to give plasma as a way to raise money. She is also using her photography and selling that to raise funding for the trip. It’s awesome to see that dedication so that she can take the Gospel to the ends of the earth.

Another one of our students going, is from a small town in western Kansas. She organized a silent auction using many of her art pieces she’s created. I figured, it’s a small town. She’ll probably raise a couple hundred bucks from the night. Nope, she raised all she needed and more in just one night. Truly unbelievable! God is good!

It’s encouraging seeing God work like that. It’s also awesome seeing students serious about their faith and sharing that faith with others!

Prayer Requests:

-Be praying for all of our support team. Supporters like you are a huge part of the ministry. I feel like it’s a prayer need that is often overlooked, unfortunately.

-Be praying that God would bring us student-leaders that would be willing to build the ministry with us.

-That God would continue growing us closer to Him and help us not neglect our first ministry; our marriage.

-For open hearts, for many to join us prayerfully and financially, to bring the Gospel to Fort Lewis. If the Lord is leading you to give, please go to: http://thewallscall.blogspot.com/p/other-giving-options.html

Thank you for joining with us to reach Fort Lewis College in Durango, CO! -Cheers and God Bless, Mike & Rachel

Friday, January 31, 2014

Christian Challenge January 2014 Update!

Hey team! Hope everyone is doing well! Rachel and I are doing great getting back into the swing of things. Classes have been back in session for three weeks and the ministry is running smoothly.

We’ve had a lot of positives so far. One of them being our ministry has been allowed to set up a table on campus again. We set it up once a week by the cafeteria which allows us to not only meet new students but also spend time and build relationships with students we already know.

Monday nights, FCA has been going well. Though our numbers fluctuate due to the demands of being a student-athlete, we continue to build up our athletes. We’ve been looking at the Holy Spirit and learning about that part of the trinity.

Tuesday nights, Christian Challenge has been going great as well. Second semesters always tends to bring a bit of drop-off but we really haven’t seen that this semester. We’ve covered topics like “Can God really use me?” to “How do we handle friends and family who bring stumbling blocks into our lives?” We also had Caleb Cunningham, Rachel’s cousin and one of our young adults, share about his recent mission trip to Ireland.

For our conversational English class, it’s been a bit of a challenge. Our numbers have really dropped off. We certainly have a few that we’ve really been able to pour into and encourage but we may have to make some adjustments going forward with the class in the future.

Event wise, we ended up having to cancel the worship fundraiser we were going to put on. The band that was going to come in ended up having to cancel less than two weeks before the event. Unfortunately, it was too late to bring in someone else to play despite my best efforts.

On a positive note though, our hot springs trip with the students was a hit. We ended up having twenty-three total. That was close to triple what we had last year for the event. We moved it back a week this year and I think that really helped. It was a great relaxing way to kick off the semester with the students.


We are looking forward to a packed rest of the semester. Discipling, FCA, Christian Challenge, English class, tons of events, mission trips...I have a feeling the semester is going to fly by. Pray that it’s an awesome semester and that God does great things on the campus of Fort Lewis!

Prayer Requests:

Huge praise: Though they found cancer in Jennifer’s dad, they caught it in time and were able to surgically remove it all!

For the FLC students, that the Holy Spirit would be transforming their hearts and minds.

That God would continue growing us closer to Him and help us not neglect our first ministry; our marriage.

For open hearts, for many to join us prayerfully and financially, to bring the Gospel to Fort Lewis. If the Lord is leading you to give, please go to: http://thewallscall.blogspot.com/p/other-giving-options.html

Thank you for joining with us to reach Fort Lewis College in Durango, CO! -Cheers and God Bless, Mike & Rachel

Friday, January 17, 2014

Writer's Commentary on "Now is the time to go"

So not too long ago, I was blessed with the opportunity to write an article for the internationally distributed magazine, The Climbing Way.  The magazine is published by Climbing for Christ, a mission organization I've been working with for almost 5 years now...if I remember right.

The article came out in the latest edition.  Being that the magazine is not easy to get your hands on, I've been asked to post the article on Rachel's and my blog site.  The funny thing is that I don't have the actual article as it was printed.  But I do have two draft versions of it.  I sent those two versions of the article to the editor and he took the longer of the two and cut it down so that it would fit in the magazine while also adding some pictures.

So being that I don't have the final article, I figured I could at least post both of the drafts.  If you don't have much time, you can always just read the condensed version.  If you have more time on your hands, give the extended version a read.  Don't be afraid to pass them along either if you feel like it might encourage someone.

Condensed Version: http://thewallscall.blogspot.com/2014/01/now-is-time-to-gocondensed-version.html

Extended Version: http://thewallscall.blogspot.com/2014/01/now-is-time-to-goextended-version.html

Cheers and God Bless,
Mike

Now is the time to go...(Extended Version)


One of the biggest misconceptions with young folks is that they’re young and they have plenty of time to do things like mission trips in the future. "There’s always next year." That’s unfortunately not always true though. There will always be something holding them back from going. There will always be an obstacle. There will always be an excuse. We as Christians need to break through that and find out what our priorities are. Are our priorities the obstacles or are our priorities God’s work? Many times, they’re not necessarily bad things. They can actually be really good things. But all too often we settle for good things when God’s got something great for us to do.

For college students, now is the time to go. Not next year. Not when they’re done with college. In truth, things don’t get easier after college. With every year, responsibilities grow. More and more is put in front of us. After college, there’s working full-time. Then maybe marriage. Making car payments and house payments. Then taking care of kids possibly. Health might start to go. Then maybe taking care of your parents when they get to that point. Things only get more complicated with less and less free time to do something like a mission trip as people get older.

Being in college, sure you have to possibly work during the summer or train if you’re in athletics but it’s still much easier to take time off to serve God on a mission trip than after college. The responsibilities most have in college are much more flexible than the responsibilities that come after college. So why wait? Why put it off till next year? I can tell you from experience that normally, the people who put it off until next year never end up going. By the time they get to next year, something else has come up. It almost always does. Life has a way of doing that.

As Christians, we desperately need a sense of urgency. No more, “I’ll do it next year.” We need to realize that the people God is calling us to reach may not have next year, especially if the Lord is calling you to a C4C trip. With the places C4C goes, these people are living in harsh conditions, in dangerous places, and without much medical care.

Whenever I go on a C4C trip, there always seems to be a natural disaster or great tragedy just beforehand where a lot of people lose their lives. Now, these things happen all the time around the world. I think I’m just more tuned in to what’s happening right before the trips so I notice them more. It’s always a reminder to me of the urgency we need to have as Christians. The people we are reaching may not have tomorrow. We may not have tomorrow. I feel like a lot of times, western Christianity has lost that urgency. We are too comfortable sitting in our churches. We have either forgotten or ignored the call on our life to go.

Now, some are reaching people right where they are at and that’s great. We need to be reaching people who are far from God and encouraging on those who are close to Him. That can happen in your home, at work, at school. But maybe, just maybe, God has something more for you. Maybe He’s calling you to not just go reach your community but to reach communities far, far away.

Years ago when I was in college, I had a strict plan and vision for my life. I wanted to do ministry in America with middle school and high school students. I wanted to be a youth pastor. As I became older and matured ever so slightly, I felt God shifting my focus to college students.

I thought to myself, “My mission field is right here in the States!” I loved overseas missions but it wasn’t for me. “America desperately needs Jesus too!” I was perfectly happy and comfortable on the path I was on doing collegiate ministry at Fort Lewis College in Durango, CO. It wasn’t as sexy as going overseas but having just graduated from the college, I knew how many students were falling away from their faith and the great need on college campuses for the Gospel.

It wasn’t until God brought a student into my life that my that my heart started to change on North American ministry vs. overseas ministry. I remember meeting him first at a retreat and him telling me all about this mission trip up to Denali he had been on. He glowed when he talked about it. I thought it was pretty awesome. It seemed like it was really something that impacted his life.

Later that year over Christmas break, I was watching the news and saw a report on a climber, Lygon Stevens, who had been killed in an avalanche not too far from where I lived in Colorado. While watching the news report, something caught my eye. The photos that they used were courtesy of Climbing for Christ. I immediately jumped online to research this Christian climbing organization. I soon connected the dots. The student who had talked to me about Denali was on the trip with Lygon and they had become pretty close. It had been a C4C trip.

As anyone would, the student took her death pretty hard. Over the next semester, we did a lot of talking. I heard a lot about how awesome Lygon was and a lot about how awesome C4C was.

It was through that tragic circumstance that I found C4C and decided to become a C4C member, myself. I wasn’t a climber but I certainly had a heart for people in mountainous regions and thought I could at least be praying for the mission trips going out. I’d pray for overseas missions but my mission field was still in America. God was working on my heart behind the scenes, though.

Soon, an email came into my inbox that peaked my interested about a chance to serve in a high mountain region overseas. I thought, I’ve always had a heart for that region and the people who live there. “I need more information on that trip so that I can pray for it more specifically.”

I replied to the email and Gary Fallesen sent me an application to join the expedition. I told him, “No, no, no, I just want to pray for the trip.” He told me to fill out the application and get it back to him.

So I did knowing that there was no way a non-climber would ever get accepted to go on a C4C mission trip to this region of regions for climbers. Well, a couple weeks later, I was accepted to the team. But there was no way I was going to be able to raise the funds for the trip. Well, of course that was no problem for God to do. The funding came in.

Three C4C trips later after some amazing experiences with overseas mission trips, I found myself wanting to take the college students I was working with on a mission trip overseas. I wanted to give them an opportunity to put their faith into action. Going on missions trips overseas truly changed the course of my life. I wanted that life changing experience for the students I work with. I wanted to help them get out of their comfort zones and see God grow their faith in a way that rarely happens in the comfort of America.

After a lot of prayer, I felt God leading us to the Philippines. We started plugging it with our students in early September even though the trip wasn’t until June. We figured, the more time students had to support raise the better. Well, we didn’t have people actually commit until after Christmas. The timing didn’t seem to be a problem. Though the students were a little scared of the cost of the trip, God provided the funding for them. For those students who had to raise their support for the trip, it was really a faith builder seeing God provide.

Before we knew it, June was upon us. We had a team of five from the U.S., three students, my wife, and myself. We flew to Manila where we joined with our Filipino team.  All together, it was five Americans and nine Filipinos. We were welcomed with open arms.

From there, our team headed north into the mountainous jungles of the Philippines. We hiked and climbed to villages with no roads leading to them, only footpaths. Most didn’t have electricity or running water. These places were remote. With us, we took medical supplies, school supplies and most importantly, Bibles in the local language. These villages hadn’t had a Bible in the local language in thirty years. It was a great experience for our students to be able to be part of a team that was bringing them in. There, we were able to see a people extremely thirsty for the Word and for spiritual growth.

With the mission, our C4C team was able to run the Bible outreach, a medical outreach, a women’s outreach, and a kids’ outreach. Our students focused mostly on outreach with the kids really getting to minister to the youth of the villages. One of our students, Cody, remarked after working with the kids, “I didn’t know I could have this much fun on a mission trip!”

Along those lines, as much as our students gave and poured out on the mission trip, they got much more back in return. We all felt so blessed by the people and what God was doing in these villages. I think one of everyone’s favorite moments was when we were getting ready to head out in the morning. The school children lined up and began singing a song they had been taught the day before by our team. “Jesus loves me, this I know, for the Bible tells me so...” They then finished it off with a song thanking the team. It’s something we’ll never forget.

Looking back on the trip, it was a lot harder for us Americans than we envisioned. It was humbling. It wasn’t so much the hiking or climbing but more the heat and humidity. Coming from Colorado, there’s just no way to prepare for it. A week before the trip, we were still doing our training hikes in the snow. The heat and humidity were certainly out of our comfort zone and really pushed us to rely on God. In that, we saw prayers answered daily and our faith really grown.

When we left the Philippines, even while still on the plane I thought, “We can’t bring students back soon enough.” It was such an amazing experience for our students.

People always say mission trips are life-changing and Meagan, one of our students would attest to that. When she first arrived home, she didn’t feel any different. She didn’t feel like her life had changed. As time went by, though, she realized that the perspective she received on the trip had worked its way into every aspect of her life. She realized how much it had changed her life. She now tells everyone who will listen that they need to go on a mission trip. She has so much excitement for missions now.

So with as successful as the trip was, Lord willing, this summer, we hope to take more students on C4C trips to Peru and the Philippines. Words can’t express how excited I am for that!

Jesus commanded us to go to reach our communities and even go to the ends of the earth to share the Gospel. This isn’t one of those “only if you feel like it” kind of things. It’s not a command for only other Christians. This is for all Christians. It’s a command, not a suggestion. I pray that many others will listen to that command, that calling. That they would feel the urgency to go and not wait. If you feel God calling you on a mission trip, it’s time to stop making excuses. God’s waiting to work through us. We just have to be willing to step up and go.

Now is the time to go...(Condensed Version)


One of the biggest misconceptions of the college generation today is that they have plenty of time to do things like mission trips in the future. There’s no rush, no urgency. Unfortunately, that thinking can be a dangerous place to be.

For college students, now is the time to go. Not next year. Not when they’re done with college. In truth, things don’t get easier after college. With every year, responsibilities grow. Things only get more complicated.

Sure, college students may have to work during the summer but it’s still much easier to take time off to serve God on a mission trip than waiting until after college. The responsibilities most have in college are much more flexible than the responsibilities that come after college. So why wait? I can tell you from experience that normally, the people who put it off until later never end up going. By the time they get to next year, something else has come up. It almost always does. Life has a way of doing that.

As Christians in general, we desperately need to develop a new sense of urgency. No more, “I’ll do it next year.” We need to realize that the people God is calling us to reach may not have next year.

The people God is calling us to reach may not even have tomorrow. We may not have tomorrow. I feel like a lot of times, western Christianity has lost our sense of urgency. We are far too comfortable. We have either forgotten or ignored the call on our life to go.

Now, some are reaching people right where they are at and that’s great. We need to be reaching the lost and encouraging the saved. But maybe, God has something more for you. Maybe He’s calling you to not just go reach your community but to reach communities far away.

Years ago when I was in college, I had a plan for my life. I wanted to do youth ministry in America. As I became older and matured ever so slightly, I felt God shifting my focus to college students.

I thought to myself, “My mission field is right here in the States!” I loved overseas missions but they weren’t for me. “America desperately needs Jesus too!” I was perfectly happy and comfortable on the path I was on doing collegiate ministry at Fort Lewis College in Southwest Colorado.

Eventually, God would bring Climbing for Christ into my life. It would change my perspective on reaching the ends of the earth with the Gospel forever. Three C4C trips later, I found myself wanting to take our college students on mission trips overseas. I wanted to give them an opportunity to put their faith into action.

Going on missions trips overseas truly changed the course of my life. I wanted that life changing experience for the students I work with. I wanted to help them get out of their comfort zones and see God grow their faith in a way that rarely happens in the comfort of America.

After a lot of prayer, I felt God leading us to the Philippines. Before we knew it, the mission trip was upon us. We flew to Manila where we joined with C4C Philippines. We were welcomed with open arms.

From there, our team headed north into the mountainous jungles. We hiked and climbed to villages with no roads leading to them, only footpaths. Most didn’t have electricity or running water. These places were remote. With us, we took medical supplies, school supplies and most importantly, Bibles in the local language. These villages hadn’t had a Bible in the local language in thirty years.

With the mission, our C4C team was able to run the Bible outreach, a medical outreach, a women’s outreach, and a kids’ outreach. Our students focused mostly on outreach ministering to the youth of the villages.

As much as our students gave and poured out on the mission trip, they got much more back in return. We all felt so blessed by the people and what God was doing in these villages.

Looking back on the trip, it wasn’t easy. It was humbling. The trip really pushed us to rely on God. In that, we saw prayers answered daily and our faith really grown.

When we left the Philippines, even while still on the plane I thought, “We can’t bring students back soon enough.” It was such an amazing experience.

Meagan, one of our students would say it was even life-changing. When she first arrived home, initially she didn’t feel any different. As time went by, she realized that the perspective she received on the trip had worked its way into every aspect of her life. She realized how much it had changed her. She now tells everyone who will listen that they need to go on a mission trip. She shares about her experience with such a passion and excitement.

In the Bible, Jesus commanded us to go to reach the world with the Gospel. This is for all Christians. It’s a command, not a suggestion. I pray that many others will listen to that command, that calling. That they would feel the urgency to go and not wait. God’s waiting to work through us. We just have to be willing to step up and go.