I am often amazed by what I hear during that short time.
It is a habit of older generations (myself included) to bemoan changing times and cling to the days gone by. Yet in spite of the changing times, I am grateful for that which has remained immutable: the desire of many young Christians to cling to Christ and fulfill the Great Commission.
I believe there are incredible opportunities awaiting the next generation of believers who are willing to answer the call to follow our Lord.
This hit me on a personal level this fall as my son Stuart began university and I experienced the joy of watching my son step out in faith to begin his journey of following God’s call.
While we were moving Stuart into his dormitory, I took some time to have a chat with him. The words I left with him are not very different than what I tell young MAF candidates:
“In your own quiet way, hang on to Christ. You will need to stay strong in your faith because the world will tear at you. You will overcome challenges if you maintain your trust in Him. You have an incredible opportunity ahead of you … Don’t blow this.”
From my perspective both as a parent and as the leader of a mission organization, it is really emotional for me to watch these young people. They are willing to go around the world and they are willing to step out in faith. That is just astounding to me. It is incredibly encouraging for me to see that there are still young folk who are willing to serve go and go to hard places.
However, it can still be difficult as a parent and as a leader to watch them go.
Tanya and I handed our children over to the Lord when they were born and we at MAF hand our candidates to our Heavenly Father as we send them out around the world.
We pray they won’t walk away.
I have intrinsic faith that God’s plan for all of us is sovereign and that he is with the next generation of believers as they play their role in the grand story of God’s work in our world.
This Thanksgiving, I am thankful for the hearts of the younger generation of Christians who are willing to follow Him.