Letters from Missionaries | Vol. 17

Jake Anderson | February 9, 2021

God is on a mission, and He has called us to partner with Him! Short term travel is only one aspect of that, but after a year of redirected travel plans, we are safely, strategically, faithfully pursuing Go Trips again for 2021.

Check out this story from Jake as he shares a glimpse of his experience from Go Trips in the past. Praise God that He uses us to advance His gospel, and praise God that He grows us in the process too!

Our hope in sharing this is that you would pray for our partners all around the world, celebrate the work of the gospel, and consider how God is inviting you to join in His global mission. If you wish to apply for a Go Trip this year, you can find more information at cbcsavannah.com/2021gotrips. Apply for summer trips by February 15th!

–Whitney Reed, Missions Mobilizer

I think most of you reading this may be like me: you see one of these “Letters from Missionaries” posted and you look forward to reading something written by someone who has answered a call to the vocational mission field.  You may expect to read an update from one of CBC’s mission partners, learning more about what God is doing through them in the ministry and place to which they have been called.  You may expect the letter to describe things that are much different than the daily life that you yourself live here in Savannah.  Well, I don’t really bring those kinds of experiences to the table.  Like most of you, I’m not a vocational missionary.  I’m someone who lives and operates a fairly “normal” life here in Savannah (whatever that means).  You’ll usually find me in the 8:00 a.m. service at CBC on Sundays, working as an engineering supervisor and attending community group during the week, playing the keyboard for the college ministry on occasion, taking care of my home in Pooler, and running at Forsyth when I can find the time.  Fairly ordinary, if there is such a thing?

This time two years ago, though, God used CBC’s short-term mission trips to change my life.  After being at the lowest of points in my relationship with God, He did not abandon his pursuit of me.  He continued pursuing me by giving me a desire to combine my love of travel and my being a part of CBC into applying for some of the short-term mission trips in 2019.  I didn’t really know which trip I wanted to go on or how I could possibly be of any help…I just knew I wanted to go.  Little did I know that God gave me the desire to go so that He could then show me just how big He is, how sufficient He is, how sovereign He is, how patient He is, and how good He is.  His goal was not so that I could go be the hero on a mission trip.  Instead, He showed me how much of a hero He is for each of us.  I ended up serving on two of the teams that year – the Queens, New York, team, and the Costa Rica summer team.  The community that was established among our team members before, during, and after the trips was incredible.  The relationships and interactions with New Yorkers and Costa Ricans – some unbelievers, some believers – provided numerous opportunities for much to be made of God’s name.  The very specific answers to the prayers of our teams were clearly visible along the way – whether it was for specific opportunities to be made available for us to serve, or for us to prevail against certain distractions or overcome specific challenges.  It was clear to me after those two trips that when God sends people on mission, he is sending them on his mission.  He was no doubt in control of those trips, and the trips were ultimately about him.  It is his mission of having us make more disciples (Matthew 28:19) of him so that those disciples then follow him (Matthew 28:20).  We are simply given the great privilege of being his instruments for carrying out his task (Romans 10:14-15).  So, in retrospect, 2019 was a year in which God changed my own heart and used two short-term mission trips to show me those traits I mentioned earlier – how big, sufficient, sovereign, patient, and good He is.

As CBC prepares to form mission teams this year, I highly encourage everyone to think through how you can participate in our calling as the church to make disciples of all nations.  It could be to apply for one of the trips!  It could be to consider financially supporting some of the people who apply for the trips.  It could be to find someone who is going and commit to praying for them and for their team.  It could be becoming more familiar with some of the mission partners – both locally and globally – that CBC has and finding a way to partner specifically with some of them in prayer support, financial support, or helping out in person if they are local (and there are several local ones!).  I admit that it is easy to wonder where we will actually be able to go this year.  However, our church remains committed to forming teams that will come alongside our mission partners and serving in a short-term capacity with them.  While we pray now that we will be able to visit them in person this year, we know that God will work through our mission partners and through us through any circumstance if we are simply obedient to his calling.  I encourage you to think back to where I was two years ago.  I didn’t know where I wanted to go…I just knew God had given me a desire to go.  He changed my life as a result.