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Searching for Ripe Fruit

It typically happens sitting around on a couch. The cups of tea or coffee have been drunk or gone cold, and most of the interesting stories have been shared. It’s that point in a Serve Asia mission trip debrief where you get to ask perhaps the most important question:

“So, now that you have had this short-term mission experience: what are some practical next steps God is encouraging you to take?”

It’s such a critical question because it can reveal or reinforce a concrete way for someone to go deeper into God’s mission purposes. Five teams or individual short-term workers went out from my region as part of Serve Asia during summer 2016. Here are some of the responses given to the ‘next steps’ question:

“I want to help mobilise another team to go again next year – and I’m willing to lead it.”

  “I want to pray more. And I’ve asked God to bring a Muslim friend into my life.”

“Before going, I was scared of sharing my faith with my friends or family… since coming back I’ve been talking about God with lots of people – and even have to tone it down sometimes! I want to keep learning more about God and His mission.”

“Even though Asia isn’t the place on my heart, I’m still so glad I went because God has used this experience to increase my passion. I’m going to tell my family: I’m going to go to West Africa.”

“When I was there, I found myself getting upset that there was no one in the pipeline to come and do these key support roles. But I’ve realised – maybe I’m the one who is in the pipeline. I think it may be time for me to go.”

  “The English Resource Centre is so great. With God’s help, I want to start one in my home town in South East Asia.”

Hearing these responses was like searching for ripe fruit on the tree you have been tending – and coming away with a bucketful!

Tim, OMF Mobiliser


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