Dear Family and Friends,
I am writing this letter to share with you about what the Lord has been doing in my life. I humbly ask for your prayers and support as I respond to His call to ministry.
This summer, I hope to be serving at the ministry of The Bridge of Storm Lake as a missionary through Christ For the City International. I believe God has put this opportunity before me and has asked me to step out in faith. I will be the Summer Youth Program leader for a team of 12 youth workers. Last summer, I served at The Bridge as a youth worker, and I hope to use some of those experiences in leading this summer. I didn’t take this offer of leading lightly; I had to pray on it and pray on it. I feel this is the calling God has had on my life, leading and living out God’s truth. I hope to continue growing in my faith, because I know I still have a lot to learn and grow from.
The start of my personal relationship with Jesus
I remember reading this Bible passage as a child in my native language (Nuer). I never really understood what it meant, but it stayed with me for 18 years:
All authority in heaven and on earth has been given to me. Go therefore and make disciples of all nations baptizing them in the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit. Teaching them to observe all that I have commanded you. And behold I am with you always to the end of age. Matthew 28:18-20
I always considered myself a Christian, but I never really understood the depths of it until college. Two young ladies came to my school and invited me and some others to attend a Bible study. At first I went because the girls were so nice, and I didn’t want to turn down their offer. Then, for some reason, something kept me from going every Friday. One of the leaders, Rachel, invited me to lunch. At one point in our conversation, she asked if I would attend a conference in St. Louis, and I agreed to go. Then, she asked what I thought was the weirdest question ever. She asked, “Hey, what do you think about leading a bible study?”
I immediately declined the offer. To be honest, I didn’t know why she was asking me at all! I didn’t feel I had much knowledge of the Bible and knew very few Bible stories. I certainly did not think I was fit for it. Plus, I knew I had been living in sin for a long time. There is no way I could take that role.
I went to the conference in St. Louis, called Urbana. During the third day there, I felt the Holy Spirit and God’s love so powerfully. I heard the story of the parable of the lost son and just wept and wept (even though I should add that showing emotions in my culture is not encouraged.) At that moment, I didn’t care about my tears, I was just in awe that God was willing to forgive everything I have done. He was willing to love me and, in fact, He has been waiting for me with open arms – not to punish me, but to comfort me. I suddenly had this hunger to know the Lord and seek Him. I even went back on Rachel’s offer on leading the bible study.
I took this offer not knowing too much about the Bible. I went in trusting that the Lord would guide me through it. I thought I would be teaching college students about God and the Bible but, in the middle of it all, I learned more about myself and grew this relationship with the Lord that I never had before.
Sensing God’s direction to ministry
I realized in the midst of leading Bible studies and being involved in InterVarsity ministry that this is my calling, this is where I feel comfortable, and this is where the Lord wants me.
I definitely don’t believe it is a coincidence that, of everyone in my family (which is a big family) that I was chosen and given this opportunity. I believe it was all in God’s plan and His timing was perfect.
I come from a culture and family where God and the concept of having a personal relationship with the Lord is not preached enough. This made it hard to be a true disciple and spread the Gospel with truth. Yet, since coming to Christ, I have learned and yearned for that personal relationship, and I truly believe the Lord has hand-picked me out of my family and out of my broken culture to spread the Word. Now when I read this passage, it has become very personal to me, and this is what I hear:
All authority in heaven and on earth has been given to me. Go therefore Nyamal and make disciples of all nations baptizing them in the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit. Teaching them to observe all that I have commanded you. And behold Nyamal I am with you always to the end of age. Matthew 28:18-20
Getting involved with The Bridge
Now, I have started this journey in my own town. After the school year was over, I couldn’t imagine how the summer would look. I didn’t know how I would continue to grow in my faith and share the gospel, without having the Bible studies to lead.
Then I met Jay and Anne Dahlhauser. They presented the opportunity to serve as a youth worker through The Bridge. I immediately believed God had answered my prayers – and quick! Last summer opened my eyes to different cultures other than my own in Storm Lake. There were similarities and differences. I also learned how I present myself is key and is part of my obedience to God’s calling; I needed to be an example of God’s ways but because of human flesh, I will fall too. During last summer, I served alongside some college students – individuals who were struggling with some of the same things I was. The fellowship and team unity bought comfort that I wasn’t the only one. I was surrounded with great support the whole summer, as we all ministered together.
My relationship with The Bridge didn’t stop that summer though. I continued to meet with Renato and Nellie Jimenez once a week in the beginning of fall. Then, during the winter, I met with the Anne each week for Bible study, and then together we started a little Bible study with the women in her neighborhood.
The ministry of The Bridge is a great opportunity to continue in ministry and growing in my relationship with Jesus. And, I know there is a need for the Gospel in my town. For a small town, it is filled with diversity and people who need to hear about Him. Bringing these cultures together in union through Christ Jesus would be a piece of heaven.
How you can join in this work
In order to commit to the role of being a summer missionary and leader, I will need to raise finances to cover my monthly living expenses for the summer. I feel that I need to take a step of faith and rely on God to provide for me, which means quitting my job. Additionally, I need the prayer support of all of you. If you are willing to join me in this ministry, you can contact me at firstname.lastname@example.org. Also you can donate online here by choosing my name from the drop-down menu.
I want to thank you in advance for standing with me and affirming this calling on my life.