We go to serve and to bless others in the short mission trips, but always we end up blessed by the ones we came to serve
By Seth and Anna Bocchard.
In January of this year, Seth and Anna went to serve for 20 days in our Mission Training Center, in Nias, Indonesia. They beautifully wrote about their experience during those days.
January 16, 2020 - Nias, Indonesia
S: “Why did you drag me here? We could be sitting in Minnesota right now. Why did we leave YoungLife? That’s ministry and we actually liked it! I’m made to do more than dig holes - I’m not even good at that. They don’t need us here. Why don’t we just support people with our money? This isn’t good for our marriage to live like this - I can’t even freakin’ hug you here!”
They say sooner or later everybody reaches a point of breaking on the World Race. My first time came on the second day of life on Nias Island.
I was feeling overwhelmed with every emotion imaginable, most notably frustration - and fear. Fear that we made the wrong decision, fear that I was inadequate, fear that I couldn’t cut it doing this “ministry" thing. Fear that I couldn't live in these kind of conditions for a week - let alone a year. Ultimately, I feared that God was not in control, that he'd made a mistake.
A: “Seth, you need to talk to God about this.”
S: “Why? What’s he going to do? He’s not going to just magically change my heart overnight.”
I didn't go to God that day, I didn't pray about it.
He didn’t magically change my heart overnight; he changed my heart that night.
Our host J (redacted for security) had informed us 30 minutes earlier that there was “session” tonight. The night before we had a session where the students at CTM worshipped, fellowshipped, and welcomed us into their family. I assumed tonight would consist of something similar.
It started off paralleling the previous night. We sang a couple worship songs in Bahasa - then J called Anna & I up to the front.
What’s going on?
Shortly after, I am looking around at this room of ~60 Indonesians laying hands on us, passionately & fervently praying blessings over our marriage in Bahasa, telling us in broken English that we are world changers and an example of what it means to live a mission-focused marriage. These people whom we literally just met yesterday cared so deeply about our marriage that they devoted an entire evening to lifting us up in prayer and encouragement. Anna and I were completely wrecked.
Thank you Jesus. You knew the situation we were in as a married couple was tough. You knew my spirit was broken & sinful. You changed my heart & you used your people to do it.
Never had I been so wrong before.
We made the right decision. In Him, we are more than adequate, we can do this “ministry" thing. We don’t need air conditioning, running water, or a bed. God is worth infinitely more than my comfort. He is in control.
That day, Jesus answered the prayer that I refused to pray.