As I survey the last five years of my life, I see countless experiences God used to prepare my family and I to take the gospel to the unreached: those who have little or no access to hearing about Jesus. One of the major experiences God used to prepare us for our current Equip missionary training program, as well as for a potential future among the unreached overseas, was one of International Project’s Seed Weeks in July, 2018. There are many reasons why I think Seed Weeks are valuable and worth considering if you want to get more involved in the Great Commission, but I only have time to list five!
“No passport required”
First, Seed Weeks don’t require a passport and they won’t break the bank! International, short-term, missions trips are often great experiences for participants. However, international travel can come with its fair share of headaches, including a large price tag and time commitment. For us, NYC was just a 2-hour drive north and we didn’t have to sell all our possessions to go for a week!
Second, Seed Weeks provide participants with real cross-cultural ministry experiences here in the United States. Did you know there are over 50 Unreached People Groups represented in NYC? Did you know there are over 800 different languages or dialects spoken in NYC? These incredible facts show us God is truly bringing the nations to NYC! We no longer need to cross oceans or national borders to meet people from another culture or religious background; they are right next door! I’m not lying when I say there were times during my Seed Week when I forgot I was in the United States, simply because we were learning and doing real cross-cultural ministry in areas of the city that looked and felt more like Asia.
“I did not know what to expect”
Third, Seed Weeks are geared toward both the beginner and the seasoned missionary. Whether you are someone who has lived and worked cross-culturally, or you are someone who knows nothing about missions and have never shared your faith with anyone, Seed Weeks are for you! You will be educated, inspired, and given practical tools to effectively engage people from a different cultural and religious background with the Good News of Jesus Christ. Going in to my Seed Week, I did not know what to expect. I was nervous and did not feel as prepared as those around me. But by the end of the week, I grew exponentially in my confidence, and God used me countless times to tell Muslims, Hindus, Buddhists, and atheists about Jesus Christ.
Fourth, Seed Weeks allowed me and other participants to experience the power of prayer and the Holy Spirit like never before. I can’t speak for every participant, but I can honestly say I had never prayed and depended more on the Holy Spirit’s power than during that Seed Week. That dependence, neediness, and humility gave God so much room to work in and through me and my team. As a result, we were filled with faith and joy, saw many prayers answered, interacted with countless people God was miraculously preparing to hear the Gospel, and we experienced our fear being completely overcome by God’s peace.
“Seed Weeks change people”
Finally, Seed Weeks change people! My Seed Week team and I were stretched, and we were challenged. But we returned home having been awakened to the significance of the Great Commission, God’s heart for the lost, and the possibilities for discipleship and church-planting in NYC, the US, and around the world. We also asked ourselves: “What is God calling me to do with what I just experienced? How do I fit into the Great Commission? What can I do with the tools and experiences He has graciously given me this week?”
I encourage you to consider participating in an upcoming Seed Week. It is too good of an opportunity to pass up, and I assure you that you will not be the same after returning home from one of these!