I had a sweet visit from my dear friend Darian Tarver today before she leaves for a two week mission trip on Monday. As she was telling me about all the excitement she has about the trip, she nonchalantly mentions that they are still a great deal short of what they need for the trip financially.
This statement, which stopped me in my tracks, she seemed to breeze right over.
“There is no fear of financial lack in any of us,” she continues, “We have been praying all summer, and we know that God is going to provide”
And with that, she moves onto telling me about her audacious expectations for this trip, like seeing people supernaturally healed just to name one.
That is the matter of fact faith that moves God and brings Him great pleasure.
And that is the type of faith that lights a fire of excitement in me!
I was way too excited not to share this with everyone. Though I had different plans for this week’s blog post, the wheels in my head started turning yesterday and when I heard that, I just knew that God had other plans.
We took a walk outside my apartment building, and I captured a little of Darian’s radiant, joyful, pure spirit. I simply love this girl's heart and how she loves Jesus.
Read on hear more about this trip and how you can help though prayer and even financial giving if you feel that Holy Spirit tap- you know, that little, "who me?!" tug on your heart.
It is only 3 days until Darian and 25 other college students from Antioch Church in Baton Rouge, leave for a two week mission trip in Capetown South Africa.
They are going to meet up with the Antioch church planted there and go on outreaches throughout the city and college. The college they will be visiting is, as Darian put it, “like the Harvard of Africa.”
This church is not even 2 years old. The school is thriving. The college ministry? Not so much.
Darian said, “We are going to tell people around the city about Jesus and how he loves them and also try to connect people and college students to the church."
Is this not what you were expecting when you read “Mission Trip?”
Going to to a generally well-off town in South Africa with nothing but the word of God and hearts completely in love with Jesus and full of faith is not typically what comes to mind.
“When I imagined going on a mission trip, I pictured going to a needy place and being with lots of children, but going to a place where people are well-off is a reminder of what Mission work is about,” explained Darian.
She continued, “It is a reminder that what we will be doing cape town is the same thing we should be doing in America, sharing Jesus with everyone- not only people who have never heard of Jesus but people who have and just didn't think they wanted a part of it.”
It isn't about food. It isn't about water, and clothes.
It is about the living water.
Mission work, although it can involve these things, isn't just about meeting the immediate needs of people, but it deals with something far more profound.
As Christ followers, our mission is to go beyond meeting the needs of the flesh, and to show people the love of a Father that will change the destiny of their eternal soul.
The young men and women that Darian and her crew will meet on this journey are just like you and me. They are students, parents, sisters, brothers, friends. Going about their everyday jobs or their studies. Some of the students will become business owners, doctors, councilors.
Regardless of their status or place in life, they all have one thing in common: influence.
They all, just like us, have the ability to influence the lives of people around them.
Can you imagine if they felt a touch from God and dedicated their life to Jesus?
Can you imagine the impact that these men and women could have in their community, city, and even around the world for the Kingdom of God?
Can you imagine the effect of the salvation of just one person rippling though generations?
Cause it sure gives me shivers.
Darian has prepared for this trip through prayer, fasting and reading the word, though there have been times when she has struggled, not with doubting God, but with doubting who He has called her to be.
She said, “I had deal with doubt before; that I wouldn't have the faith or power to let God move through me to reach or heal people, but God has just been reminding me that if I have him, I have the power to do everything that Jesus did.”
She taped this scripture up in her car as a reminder of what God has called her to.
“I, the Lord, have called You in righteousness, and will hold Your hand; I will keep You and give You as a covenant to the people, as a light to the Gentiles, to open blind eyes, to bring out prisoners from the prison, those who sit in darkness from the prison house."
“There were times when I would be temped to believe,
‘No you can’t heal the sick. You are just one person, you you are not a light…you are just a little light in such a big place.’
Then God comes in...
and says, ‘No, you ARE a light and you CAN see people healed,’
So I have just been preparing in faith to see things happen, allowing expectations grow and to getting to the point of,
‘I am not going to leave this place until I see this happen.’”
Darian is the type of person that you can talk to for 5 minutes and feel like you have known her for 5 years. She is excited to hear the stories of those she meets and connect with them.
“I really want to get to know people and let them know that we aren’t much different. That I went through so much stuff, and Jesus saved me from it all, both small and big.”
She believes that this type of personal connection along with miracles will help show people who Jesus really is.
“It stands out to a lot of people when something happens in the natural. A lot of people say, ‘I believe it when i see it.' God does move even if something doesn't change in the natural, but God uses things as like visible miracles and healing so that he can have the glory to bring people to himself.”
The cool thing is, as part of the body of Christ, Darian and her crew are not alone in this journey. We are all one in this mission to see more and more people fall in love with Jesus.
I am asking that as they prepare for this trip we as believers be in prayer with them, for missionaries around the world, and for the people who will be touched. Lets stand in belief for crazy miracles and testimonies of God’s power and goodness!
Darian said, “The power of prayer is so huge. We are seeking prayers for boldness, for no fear, for hearts to be on fire, and for the people that God has for us to speak to. That we are confident in the seeds that are planted while we are there.”
As I said before, Darian and her team are still in need financially. If you want to give you can of to antiochbr.com/giving and enter the amount you would like to donate in the South Africa 2 space.
Don't forget that wherever your feet tread is the mission field. There are lost and hurting people all around us who are dying for a touch from God,