To begin, I want to fill you all in on whats been going on recently in my life. This past January I went on a mission trip to Jamaica that changed my life forever. It was in Jamaica that I found a passion for mission work, and more importantly, a passion to pursue the Lord with all my heart. Let it be known that when you do decide to seek the Lord with all your heart, you will find that there is no greater fulfillment.
I am writing to share with you an amazing opportunity I have this summer through my church’s college ministry, Veritas. I will be going to Nagoya, Japan for eight weeks with a team of eight other Mizzou students (pictured above) to participate in a cross-cultural mission trip called Project Japan. The purpose of this project is to share the gospel of Jesus Christ with Japanese college students who have little or no exposure to the gospel. We will be partnering with long-term missionaries who are working to reach the spiritually impoverished nation by establishing Christian churches in Nagoya.
Japan is one of the most influential, wealthy, and educated populations in the world. So you may ask, “Why Nagoya?” Nagoya is home to twenty-four college campuses, with its population being less than one percent Christian. Many of these students are still overwhelmed from the effects of the 2011 tsunami, creating a strong desire for spirituality.
During the summer, I will be going to college campuses and spending time with students in order to build relationships with them. I will also be serving the local church through helping with ministries they already have in place. With the help of the missionaries and other Japanese, I will have opportunities to invite students to church, help them understand the gospel, and connect them with the long-term missionaries.
This is an incredible opportunity for me to grow in my relationship with the Lord while helping many Japanese students begin a life-changing relationship with Christ. In order to make this happen, I need a team of partners who will pray and/or give financially to send me to Japan. The total cost for Project Japan (including airfare, housing, food, and ministry expenses) will be $4,750. I am responsible for raising the full amount in order to participate. Would you please consider joining my support team and help send me to Japan?
“What does having a personal relationship with God look like to you?”
For 20 years I didn’t know the answer to this question.
Starting at a young age, I would go to Church most Sundays, and youth group on Wednesdays when Middle School started. I knew Jesus came for us and I started to gain lots of interest in his word towards the end of eighth grade. But as soon as that happened, high school also happened and I decided that following Jesus would be inconvenient for me. I wanted so badly to be the kid that everyone wanted to be. I thought that in order for me to be happy, I needed to be popular.
This was an attitude I couldn’t get rid of, and didn’t want to get rid of all the way through my freshman year of college.
However, things started to change the first week upon moving into the Fraternity house, when I got the news my girlfriend passed away in a car accident. I was devastated and my whole world crashed down on me.
About two months prior to the accident, I met Dane, who was a summer orientation leader who talked about his Faith with me and he gave me his number. He told me that if I ever have any questions or want to go to Church with him to give him a shout. And at the time, I thought that was super weird.
So after the accident, I decided there were two paths I could take. I could party my butt off and do everything possible to “forget about my problems”, or I could seek the Lord and have him help me with my problems. I ended up deciding to seek the Lord and reached out to Dane, hoping he could point me in the right direction. Throughout the entire first semester Dane was a huge help to me, and my relationship with God was subtlety starting to grow.
As my first semester in college passed, I felt like I was “Kyle” again. I decided I wanted to be a normal college kid and do normal college things, and kind of told God “Thanks for getting me through this, but I’m ready to have fun now. Talk to you later.” At the same time, I also started to lose touch with Dane because I didn’t want to feel bad about the decisions I was making. I felt the need to be the cool kid again, and God certainly couldn’t do that for me.
Fast forward to the second week of my sophomore year, I was walking back from class and ran in to Dane and we decided to get lunch the next day and catch up. While at lunch, Dane told me about this greek guys small group, and I was the least bit interested. But because I’m a people pleaser, I decided to try it out, just to make him happy. And I ended up loving it.
About a month after attending small group regularly, I was given the opportunity to go on a mission trip to Jamaica led my one of the guys in my small group. I knew I couldn’t pass this up, so I said yes. This trip changed my life forever.
As soon as we arrived in Harmons (the town we stayed in), I noticed that God’s presence was everywhere, and made it my goal to be able to answer the question, “What does having a personal relationship with God look like to you?”
I spent the week seeking God with all my heart, and in doing so, I found him. And upon finding him, I realized he is all I need. I can now answer that question. To me, having a personal relationship with God means doing everything I do, with Him right by my side, and I’ve found what true happiness is along the way.
If you have a few minutes, please watch these video's to get a better glimpse of what our team will be doing and why were going.
- Curt Meyer
- Herbert Family
- Bunny Pilcher
- Corrine Ferrari
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