The trip home for this furlough included among other things an eight hour layover in the LA Airport, which gave lots of time to think about the ministry God had planned during my time in the States.
The goal was to get practical experience for future outreach ministries in Australia (specifically focused computer tutoring, Conversational English, and Childrens Ministries). These were all things I was passionate about and could do well so my expectation was for God to offer those opportunities right away.
Two months later all of those doors had closed.
I was a bit confused and to be honest frustrated by this lack of ministry opportunities, then God started opening doors.
But they weren’t the doors I expected…
In November 2012 a woman named Julie got in touch with me about a program that teaches English in the local YMCA’s (focusing on grammar or pronunciation) and the day after surviving the Marine Core Marathon I met my first students. Since then God has made this my main focus of ministry and relationship development.
The thing is I’m not passionate about English or Grammar, and am actually quite bad at it (as you can see by reading my posts). At first it seemed a bit strange that God would take a disorganized individual with bad grammar (me) and make him an English teacher. But little by little the Lord gave more opportunities to use these classes for His Glory.
This afternoon at 4:30 I will meet with my third English student for the first time and we will start discussing the Constitution in preparation for her American citizenship test (I can hear my High School History Teacher laughing hysterically already). Trust me when I say you don’t want a History teacher who has a hard time remembering family members birthdays (and no I’m not kidding).
The thing about true outreach is God uses it to challenge us. Outreach if you do it correctly is scary….it emphasizes our weakness and constant need of Christ’s strength so that when it’s over He is the one people remember.