In Matthew 16, Jesus makes it very clear that His true identity did not come in revelation to Simon (Peter) because of any human effort but because our Father in heaven ordained it to happen at that moment. I didn't start to really grasp the sovereignty of God over the heart of man until my time overseas.
I had my first taste of evangelism in college and God encouraged me by using me in the lives of others and allowing me to see very tangible results. During my first six months overseas I couldn't even make friends, much less share the Gospel. No matter how many lunches I ate with strangers, how many hours I spent on event flyers, or even how clearly I shared my three-minute testimony - I had no control over the hearts of those I was trying to minister to or over their response.
God allowed the word "manufacture" sit in my heart. He taught me in those two years I do not have the power to make anything happen. I will never be able to manufacture anything when it comes to His children.
It honors me to know that God invited me to share His love with my friends overseas and allowing me to see more of not only His heart but the amazing power only He holds.
Author: 2012 iEDGEr
Before I went through iEdge I thought of myself as a great person. There were a lot of ways I was faithful to God and to those around me. I looked forward to my time overseas with naively high expectations of myself.
Immersed in the pressure of pioneering a ministry in a foreign culture and closer relationships than I had ever experienced, I saw a more raw and honest picture of myself and I didn't like it.
The sin, the great selfishness I saw in myself was a painful but necessary dose of reality. I held my teammates to impossible standards of understanding me. God showed me that this wasn't new but the way I had approached relationships my entire life.
Two years with my team meant I was forced work through rough patches and both give and receive forgiveness for hurt. It's not hard to be grateful for that now knowing that my pattern of relating to others is transformed for the rest of my life!
Author: 2012 iEDGEr