During the month of June, I’ve had the privilege of being a part of three Short-Term Domestic Mission Trips. I didn’t know exactly what to expect because I have never been on an Adventure in Missions trip before. What I saw on these trips has given me a new and deep hope in God’s unstoppable work to reach the lost, and to raise up, for himself, the next generation of missionaries who will carry the Good News of Jesus to the ends of the earths, and fulfill the great commission.
The most powerful experience I had was in Chicago. On this three day mission trip, roughly 50 high school students from suburban Indiana entered the intentionally uncomfortable environment of a primarily Spanish-speaking part of Chicago. We packed kids in from wall to wall of the small space available at Dunamis Life Church. They slept on the hard tile floor without grumbling and began their ministry initiatives eagerly, readily, and boldly. The youth of this team didn’t not hold them back from the powerful things God intended to use them for.
Standing in the same room with these students while they worshiped was enough for my heart to be filled and inspired. There was no elaborate performance, or elegant speech. No light show, fog machines, or electric guitars. There were only humble students who simply and deeply love Jesus. The faith that they had likely learned from their parents, was clearly not their parent’s alone.
One high school girl, named Kierstan, had taken a couple years of Spanish. She knew some vocabulary and could string together some sentences to communicate basic ideas. However, she didn’t know the Spanish word for “prayer”, so she looked up and wrote it on her arm so she would not forget it.
Later that day, Kierstan and the rest of the team were giving away clothing to people in need and she ended up meeting a man who spoke no English. She asked him if she could pray for him and he said yes. The Holy Spirit moved and Kierstan felt led to pray for the man in Spanish, and so she began, and suddenly began praying beautifully and powerfully in fluent Spanish over a man she had never met. Later that day I asked her about it and she told me that she didn’t know where the words came from, but in the very moment she knew exactly what she was supposed to say. She said, “I didn’t realize that God could use an ordinary person like me.”
This is one example of the numerous powerful interactions that this team had in Chicago. Never in my life have I seen a young group so bold in their faith. So willing and eager to pray for strangers, feed the homeless, and step out into what is foreign. What others would consider to be dangerous or scary, these teenagers saw as a plentiful harvest full of people in desperate need for a relationship with Jesus. This group believed and understood that they were protected by God, and that Jesus was the only one who could really heal them. I can’t help but wonder what would happen if we all had the child-like, radically, relentless faith that these students had.
There is hope in the faith of Gen Z. Many people have written them off, thinking they have not been taught well, or are too attached to technology. I completely disagree.
Amidst the chaos, uncertainty, and hostility of the world that we live in today, God is doing a new thing. He is raising up a generation of faithful laborers, calling them by name and preparing them for their unique roles in His Global Mission. And they are willing and eager to bear the torch of faith.
In Freedom & Power,