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WRITE: Here I Am, Send Me? Courage in Costa Rica (Never the Same Missions, Part 4)

For the past couple of weeks, I’ve posted excerpts from my unpublished article, “Here Am I. Send Me? Courage in Costa Rica.” If you missed any of the other excerpts, you can find them by clicking these links: Part 1, Part 2, Part 3. You’ll want to make sure to read those before you read the final section, posted below along with a sidebar that offers some fundraising tips. Send Me? The courage all these student missionaries displayed came from the same source as the prophet Isaiah’s: a living, loving relationship with a God who wants to draw people of all nations to Himself. Is your courage stuck on Empty? Do you make excuses instead of stepping up and stepping out? Check with your heavenly Father. He has grace for all, on the mission field and at home. No matter the situation, He’ll provide the courage you need to say along with Isaiah, “Here am I. Send me!” [Sidebar: Courage to Fundraise] Do you suffer from EWS, Empty Wallet Syndrome? Not to fear. The God who owns the cattle on a thousand hills can provide moo-lah for missions. Check out these fun ideas from some of our Costa Rica missionaries: KaytLyn: “My mom and I had a dessert business. We sold chocolate strawberries, chocolate pretzels, cake pops and caramel corn. For two years, all the money we raised went toward my trip!” Stephanie: “I had people sponsor beaded bracelets I made to give to children in Costa Rica. I asked for $5 apiece, but some people gave much more. Felicia: “My sister and I had buckets at the front of our church, each with a picture of someone’s face attached. The person whose bucket ended up with the most money got a pie in the face!” Felicia (part 2): “We also forked people’s yards [placing hundreds of plastic forks tine-down]. People had to pay $15 for us to remove them or $20 to fork someone else’s yard.” Have you served God in international missions, or would you like to? Is God giving you the courage to connect? I’d love to receive your questions and comments below, on social media, or through the email link at the top of this page. If you have other fundraising ideas, feel free to add those as well. My husband and I hope to join Never the Same in Ecuador June 29-July 12, 2015. Teen guys and girls as well as adults are welcome and needed to make a difference. Will you be the next one to say, “Here am I. Send me”?...

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Write: Here I Am, Send Me? Courage in Costa Rica (Never the Same Missions, Part 3)

So far, I’ve shared two installments of my missions story from last year’s Never the Same Missions trip to Costa Rica and four stories of courageous people. You should know that I always have more stories than will fit in the word count limit the magazine gives me, so if you want a few more stories, check back to last summer’s blog (try here and here for examples). But I love the stories reserved for Part 3, and I hope you will, too!   Courage to Speak: Sammie Unlike John, “I’m a worship leader,” Sammie says. “Not a speaker.” That’s what she tried to tell God one morning as her team prepared for ministry. Her head team leader, Rob Kirkpatrick, needed someone to share the gospel after the second drama of the day. “Who’s gonna do it?” he asked. No one volunteered. “It felt like God was pressing his hands on my shoulders,” Sammie confesses. “I knew He was saying, ‘You do it.’” So she did. So well, in fact, that the crowd in the noisy street market had no idea she was anything but an experienced speaker. So well that God used her to help others receive His message of salvation. So well that she kept sharing with anyone who would listen. Watch out. When you follow God in obedience, He’ll give you courage to speak, too.   Courage to Connect: Yemi                                                                                                                                                                                                                          Yemi, another Faith in the Wait entrant, was the contest runner-up. But when it comes to courage, she’s a big winner. She shared her story before one of the group’s supercharged evening worship services, called FUAGNEM (Fired up and Going Nuts Every Minute). Yemi’s unusual background—adopted from Ethiopia at age 10—helped prepare her for the missions trip in ways she never expected. On their first day of ministry, her team spent time at a home for abused girls ages 12-18. Leah, one of the head team leaders, asked Yemi to share her testimony. “I forgot she was adopted,” Leah says. But God didn’t. As Yemi spoke, she didn’t know...

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