David Elliot (centre) cruising with the locals

Lessons learned

I FIRST FELT THE LORD leading me towards a life of ministry when I was in my mid-teens. Since then I have pursued this desire with a youthful ‘optimism’ that has been questioned many times. However, regardless of how difficult things may be at times, I continue to believe that God enjoys using the simple things in life to show His glory and love as He builds His Kingdom; a lesson I’ve learnt time and again through many cross-cultural experiences within countless people groups.

World Outreach International (WOI) gives young adults a chance to learn such life lessons through our short-term team outreaches and internships.

During a recent outreach amongst the Koti people on the coast of Mozambique, Rachael from Australia had an opportunity to reassess her priorities: “Sometimes holding a stranger’s child in your arms whilst you listen to a language you don’t understand, and see people who live with nothing, worship with everything, can just move things inside around to where they should be.

As we sailed to islands, shared testimonies, baptised young believers and walked from village to village, we discovered that God had been working in the Koti long before we ever visited.”

Prisca from India testified: “I witnessed… discipleship at its rawest and saw great leadership in the hearts of many men. We were not just ministering, but we got ministered [to] by them.”

Sometimes it’s the simple pillars of our faith that take on a fresh dimension of importance as Daniel from Singapore observed in West Kalimantan: “Prayer didn’t just move mountains here; it moved the very indifferent nature within my own soul. I firmly believe that I would never look at prayer the same again.”
Although much can be achieved by a short-term team, inevitably, the greatest work happens as the Lord impacts the character of each team member. Samuel, also from Singapore, testified that the most significant lesson he learnt while serving at a WOI project in Indonesia was: “… to be used effectively for Christ, it is never by our own strength. Humility before God and others achieves an immense [amount].”

I remain optimistic.

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