Frontline Friday – The Joy of the Sower (Madrid)

It is always good to see our first time students (those students that are serving for one week in Western Europe) embrace the core values. First timer Jasmine Castille shares about the Joy of the Sower during her time in Madrid. 

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I was prayer walking around an area of the city called Fuen Labrada with Lauren, a girl in my trek. We started out by asking Father to guide us on His path and to speak through us. After a while, Lauren needed to use the bathroom. A young lady at a fruit stand let us use hers a few days before, so we decided to go back there.

Shortly after we walked in, our JSI (JD) walked in behind us. We were focused on plowing at the moment, but JD encouraged us to engage in the work of sowing by starting a conversation with the lady from the fruit stand. He translated for us and Father helped the conversation move smoothly.

We started out talking about her life, then moved on to her beliefs. She told us that she believes no one really knows if they will go to heaven when they die. We asked her if that scared her, and she immediately said yes. I knew then that it was time to share the good news, so we asked her if we could share what we believed.

Lauren and I were worried at first that we would offend her, so JD asked if we could still be friends. She looked at us and said, “Si! Amigas!” After that, we were able to share the great news with her. She understood everything we said. We told her that we believed we are going to heaven to spend eternity with Father when we die, her face dropped. It shocked her that we were able to have confidence in Jesus to know where we would be going after this life.

She agreed to let us come back the next day to talk more. We came back to find out that her stand was closed on Sundays. At first I felt depressed that I would never see her again, but then I remembered to stay thankful and humble because Father allowed us to plant a seed in her life. That was my first opportunity to sow. What strikes me as amazing is that I put so little effort into it. Father took control, put me aside, and worked through me. The Joy of the Sower is so real.

What about you? How have you experienced the Joy of the Sower? 

 

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Checkpoint #3 on the MAP – 4 Things You need to Be

At iGo Global over the years we have developed a MAP for our students as they return from an overseas experience. This Missional Action Plan (MAP) won’t help you find your music appreciation class, but it will help you continue to continue the journey to becoming someone who lives on mission day in and day out. Check it out.

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Checkpoint #3 – Stay on Mission

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Ok, so this one seems a little self-explanatory, but we aren’t going to take any chances. Too many short-term mission participants see mission as a trip you take rather than a life you live. If you are going to embrace an on mission life you have to stay on mission after the trip ends. Which means that the things you learned and participated in on your mission trip, need to continue to be part of your life back home. While you were in Denver, Amsterdam, or the Middle East you were living on mission. So take a few of those habits and bring them into your daily life here.

Here are four things you need to be:

1. Be a prayer walker. Have you gathered some friends and walked around your school campus praying for God to move and show you where He is working? That’s what you did before anything else on the field, right? Do you walk to school? Prayer walk to school, then. Do you drive? Prayer drive, but keep those eyes open! Ride a bus or a bike or a hovercraft? You get the point. To read a more detailed reminder about praying, check out Making Him Famous…On Your Campus Part 1.

2. Be an ambassador. Paul says we are Christ’s ambassadors in 2 Corinthians 5. The reality of that truth is God has already placed you where He wants you to represent Him…your campus. But let’s get more specific. Why do you have English when you have English? Why do you play that sport? Why are you in that club? The easy answers are that’s how your schedule worked out, you have an ability and passion for that sport, or maybe you are simply interested in that club. However, if you understand that you are His ambassador, the answers have new depth. God arranged your schedule. He gave you that ability. That passion. That interest. Why? So he could place you as His ambassador to the students that sit near you. That are on your team. That share your interests. God sees your campus as his field ready for harvest and He already has His workers strategically in position.

3. Be accountable. The Christian life and especially the life on mission is not meant to be a solo activity. This is crucial to understand. If you aren’t walking with some like-minded friends to live on mission, you are stacking the odds against you. Don’t know another like-minded believer? Then you and your mentor (See 3 Steps to Finding a Mentor) need to spend some time working on that. Living on mission takes place in the context of Biblical community. Pursue that even if it means pulling some others alongside you and investing in them first.

4. Be intentional. When you were on the mission field, you saw every interaction as a potential for sowing seeds of the Gospel. Every market transaction, every lunch order, every person on a park bench was a chance to see God at work. And as you were living on mission, you initiated those conversations, praying God would open doors for spiritual truth. Ask God to open up conversations with friends, classmates, etc. Pay attention to what He might be doing when you are paying for your latte or your Whataburger. Initiate conversations.

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The detour for this checkpoint is pretty serious. The enemy is always prowling about like a lion ready to steal, kill, and destroy. Here is the truth: While you were overseas you were praying like crazy, walking in community, and digging deep into the Word. It is really easy to come back home and let your guard down in those areas. And when you do, the enemy finds the opportunity to attack. And by attack I mean distract you, tempt you, lead you off course, discourage you, and lie to you like a dog. So be aware. Be on the lookout. Stay grounded in the Word. Embrace community. Keep praying. Resist the devil and he will be forced to flee. And you, with God’s help, will stay on mission.

What about you? How do you stay on mission on campus? Got any cool stories of God at work back home? 

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Checkpoint #2 on the MAP: Share Your Story

At iGo Global over the years we have developed a MAP for our students as they return from an overseas experience. This Missional Action Plan (MAP) won’t help you find your home economics class, but it will help you continue to continue the journey to becoming someone that lives on mission day in and day out. Check it out.

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Checkpoint #2 – Share Your Story

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No doubt you have a story. You probably have several. And sharing that story is part of the process of continuing to live on mission. As you tell others what God did, you are constantly reminded of the Bottom Line, the Ancient Work, the Joy of the Sower, and the Hope of the World. And that helps you see your world back home through those lenses. So make sure you make the most of every opportunity to tell your story. And as you do, we suggest you keep these four things in mind.

1. You know the hero, and the hero is not you. As you returned to your family, your community, and your church we hope you were greeted with signs and streamers at the airport, hometown parades in your honor, and a good old-fashioned Sunday night potluck dinner at church with peach cobbler made by the Dorcas class. As that happens, tread lightly. It is really easy to shift your focus off the real hero of the story and make this about you. So as you get opportunities to tell your story, make this about what God did. Talk about how you saw God work, how God taught you, how your view of God expanded, and how your life is different now as a result of getting to be a part of God’s story among the nations.

2. Shout it from the rooftops. Figuratively speaking of course. Please don’t literally start shouting your story at people from your roof. What we mean is don’t miss any opportunity. If you still haven’t sent a newsletter to your support/prayer partners then do that this weekend before your schedule gets the best of you. Ask your student pastor where the best place would be to tell your story. For some this might be in big church, for others this might be to the youth group or a couple of the Sunday School classes. Be proactive. And yes, pictures on your Facebook profile can help you share your story. Post those pics, but read point #4 below before you do.

3. Begin with the end in mind. What is your goal for telling your story? Ultimately it should be to give God all the glory. Beyond that let us suggest you tell your story in order to enlist others. Who do you know at your college or in your youth group that would be great on an iGo trip next summer? Share your story with them. God has even used some of our students to get their youth group involved in missions. iGo does Group Treks as well. It can be a temptation to hold tightly your identity as the missions guy/gal. Instead, focus on encouraging your friends to join you on the journey.

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Remember, every checkpoint comes with a detour that could get you way off course. The detour here is the reality that your story may not be as exciting to others as it is to you. Even some of your closest friends simply may not get what you did or why it is such a big deal. Keep in mind that you might have acted the same way before this experience and show them some grace.

Aware of this potential detour, keep this fourth thing in mind:

4. Short, Sweet, and Image-driven. You could probably talk for hours about all the things that happened on your trip. You might have 145 pictures to go with it. Whatever you do, please don’t put on a six-pocket missionary shirt and roll a slide projector to the front of your youth group room. When you have the chance to tell your story, keep it simple. Focus on the one story you want to share. Highlight 1-2 things you saw God do. Show them a handful of your most meaningful pictures. And stop. If you get no questions, you are done. If they want more, they will ask.

What about you? Share your successes when it comes to sharing your story. How did you share and how did it go? 

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The M.A.P. Checkpoint #1 – Three Steps to Finding a Mentor

At iGo Global over the years we have developed a MAP for our students as they return from an overseas experience. This Missional Action Plan (MAP) won’t help you find your world geography class, but it will help you continue to continue the journey to becoming someone that lives on mission day in and day out. Check it out.

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Checkpoint #1 – Enlist a Mentor

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Find someone you can talk with regularly who will hold you accountable and encourage you to continue the journey. You need help and you need someone to spur you on just like you needed a team leader while you were overseas. In fact you are practically looking for a team leader as you embrace a life on mission. Here are three helpful tips when it comes to finding a mentor.

1. You may not want to ask anyone. People are busy with a capital BUSY and the thought of adding one more thing to the calendar may be a deal breaker. This is especially true for someone that you would seek as a mentor in your life. So what does this look like? Instead of a formal mentoring relationship that adds to the calendar, try telling the potential mentor that you respect them and think they could offer words of wisdom for the journey. Ask them if it would be ok for you to spend time with him from time to time as a part of his regular schedule.

Example: Your student pastor would make a great mentor, but he is already really busy. So why not ask if you could ride with him to a football game or sit next to him at the volleyball game he is attending. Run errands with him on Wednesday to help him get ready for church that night. You could also simply ask him to meet with you one week, ask him to speak into your life, and then wait a couple weeks and try to meet with him again. The less formal the approach, the more likely you are to get what you need – mentoring.

2. Pursue the right person. You need peers to walk with you as you live on mission and live out your faith. No doubt about that. However, very rarely can a peer be your mentor. Mentors need to be at least a step or two ahead of you in life and ministry. Look for the person who is being faithful with the things that are right in front of her: job, marriage, family, church, etc. and pursue time with her. She doesn’t have to be your youth minister or your BSM director to mentor you. She just has to be ahead of you in this journey and demonstrating the ability to be faithful with small things. Then you just want to learn from her experiences as she has walked in obedience to the Word.

3. Make the most of every opportunity. There are some elements to mentorships where you just do life, hang out, and talk about something. But keep in mind that what you want here and need here is to be mentored. So be prepared. Be ready to ask your questions when you get the opportunity and then actually listen to the answers. Take notes. And above all, be vulnerable. You will get help when you admit you need help. Share your struggles. Ask for specific prayer. The life on mission isn’t any easier now that you have spent part of your summer in Morocco. Be real. Be honest. Seek help.

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Every checkpoint on the map has a potential detour. An obstacle that could prevent you from embracing a life on mission. The detour for Checkpoint #1 is reverse culture shock. Depending upon how much time you spent overseas you may encounter some levels of culture shock on the back end of your trip. That can get really intense when school starts and you see so many people falling into the same old routines, habits, and relationships. As you experience frustrations with your peers and the American way of life, it will help you to remember the Ancient Work teaching. God is at work right where you are, all around you even, just as much as He was when you were overseas. And His plan is to use you in this work. In fact, He sent you to that school at this time as His ambassador to make Him famous right there. See your classmates as people who need to know Jesus. Pray for them. And ask your mentor to help you see all of life as a mission.

What about you? What tips would you add to the list on how to find a good mentor? 

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Back to School MAP Part 1: Four Checkpoints for Missional Living

In case you haven’t seen the book of faces, just about everyone in the human race seems to have started school this week. So this post is for all of you students that put on some new clothes, stuffed ridiculous amounts of supplies into a backpack, packed a marginally nutritious lunch, and arrived on time this morning ready to connect with friends, tell stories from the summer, hang out in the hallways, and maybe even learn something.

Some of you attending some of the larger universities in our land may actually be in need of a map of the campus as you navigate your class schedule. For most of you, a map is not going to be necessary. Or is it?

At iGo Global over the years we have developed a MAP for our students as they return from an overseas experience. This Missional Action Plan (MAP) won’t help you find your trigonometry class, but it will help you continue to continue the journey to becoming someone that lives on mission day in and day out. Check it out.

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If you could actually see the MAP up close and with readable font right now, you would see that this MAP has four basic checkpoints for you on your journey. These four checkpoints are:

1. Enlist a mentor.

2. Share your story.

3. Stay on mission.

4. Engage the body.

With each checkpoint there are some detours lurking that could get you sidetracked and way off course. Over the next four days we will talk about each checkpoint, how to avoid those detours, and what it looks like to live out this year on mission on your campus.

We are praying with you that God will use you on your school campus this summer. We are praying that you will see His ancient work all around you and know just where to He wants you to enter.

What about you? What are some of your prayers for this school year? 

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Frontline Friday: Sharing the Gospel and Life with New Friends

Our students are encouraged to write up and send us stories of how they saw God at work during their summer trip. As you read this story from one of our Middle East team members, would you join us in praying for the work throughout that part of the world, and specifically for the young lady in the story? 

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My two teammates and I had just finished up our day of prayer walking and prayer journaling near the university and were heading back home when a sweet Arab girl approached us. She spoke English and immediately asked where we were from and what we were doing. She wasn’t shy at all and invited us to go inside the university. We were so excited and happily accepted.

We went inside and sat down and got to to know one another. Her name was Halla, she was 21 years old, and she was attending the university to get an English degree. That first day we got to begin a sweet journey of sharing Christ with Halla. We continued to met up with her. We laughed and told stories and just did life together as we truly became friends. We were able to share the gospel every time we met up.

One day when we went to see Halla she introduced us to her two American friends Claire and Elizabeth. They were our age and were spending 2 months here to learn Arabic and more about the culture. It became obvious that Claire and Elizabeth were not there just to learn the language. We shared a common purpose for our time in this country. Along with these two girls we were able to again share the gospel with Halla.

She was so shocked to learn how we can pray anywhere and anytime. She told us that it was frustrating how she must cleanse before prayer. God opened a door that day for us to pray over Halla and show her how Jesus cleansed us because there was nothing we could do that could cover our shame.

Claire and Elizabeth continued to pour into Halla that summer as so did we. As our summer drew to an end we again met up. The two girls left that day and had seen Halla one last time and gave her a English bible. She showed us proudly and proclaimed how beautiful it was. I couldn’t contain my excitement. We showed her where to start in the Bible and told her more about it.

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The day we left we brought Halla another Bible. This one was in Arabic. She was SO excited because she could really understand it. She told us she’s been reading her English one already. As we sat and talked, another Arab girl approached and took the Bible from Halla. She sat down and began to read it. As she read she asked questions like “How could God have a son?” We answered her by showing her scripture that she could read.

As she left she told Halla she wanted a Bible and asked her to get her one. That day Halla got her a bible. We asked why she wanted one. Halla said casually “she wants to see if she believes it. Me too.”

This summer I got to see God begin to draw a sweet young Muslim girl to Himself. I can honestly say that I love Halla and I pray and hope one day she will fully accept the good news of Christ. God is doing sweet sweet things in the Middle East.  All for His glory.

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The Ancient Work on Your Campus

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I know I’m not telling you something you don’t know when I say that school is back. You have either started or you are frantically trying to suck the summer marrow out of these last few dwindling days. This isn’t breaking news from iGo, this is more like iGo rubbing it in. Sorry.

That was a risk we had to take in order to make sure you know that God is sending you to your school campus this year to make Him famous. Just like He sent you to Madrid, Paris, Amsterdam, or some other place that I am not allowed to call by name on this here blog.

God’s Ancient Work is going on right there on your campus, and He is ready for you to join it. Last year about this time we ran a 5 part series here on our blog (Cucumbers and Tomatoes) to help you make Him famous on your campus. This would be a great time to read those again or for the first time. Here they are linked for your viewing ease and enjoyment.

Making Him Famous on your campus Part 1

Making Him Famous on your campus Part 2

Making Him Famous on your campus Part 3

Making Him Famous on your campus Part 4

Making Him Famous on your campus Part 5

What about you? Hit the comment button and let us know how you plan/hope to make Him famous this year.

 

 

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An Irish Folk Band and Hope of the World. Think about it.

Most of you know that at iGo we teach four core values coming at you straight out of Scripture. Those core values, when embraced, lead us to a life on mission.

One of those core values is Hope of the World. It emphasizes the Scriptural truth that God’s plan to bring hope to the world is through His church. The local church is the hope of the world.

Take some time to meditate on that truth today. Let it sink in and let it inform the way you approach your youth group gathering this evening. To help you reflect, I thought I would make sure you know about the song below from The Rend Collective Experiment. This folk band from Ireland seems to have a pretty good grip on this whole hope of the world idea. Check out the third verse of their song, “Build Your Kingdom Here:

Unleash Your kingdom’s power
Reaching the near and far
No force of hell can stop
Your beauty changing hearts
You made us for much more than this
Awake the kingdom seed in us
Fill us with the strength and love of Christ
We are Your church
We are the hope 
On Earth

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Congratulations Student Ministers! You did it…again. Now what?

To the student minister who has survived another crazy summer:

You did it! The church van is cleared of summer camp’s discarded lanyards and Snickers wrappers. Your sunburn from “Beach Reach” is  fading and your ankle is healing from your weekly pickup games. You’ve  effectively scheduled, planned, reserved, and survived another summer of Student Ministry. Well done! Sleep well tonight knowing no teen beauty queen’s hair dryer will wake you before 6 A.M.

As you turn towards a new year of reaching out to your students and looking into new ways to equip and train them as disciples of Christ, we at iGo want to help!

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Every year iGo Global digs deeper into what it means to live missionally  in our everyday lives by hosting the iGo Conference, a two day event in Wylie, Tx. Here’s just a few reasons the conference should be on your upcoming Student Ministry calendar.

1) We believe in biblical teaching and training.

Throughout our summer, iGo Global teaches the teams that travel with us biblical based doctrine or “Core Values.” At the iGo Conference we gather together to explain and dig deeper into these values, as well as, take the opportunity to teach new ones we are walking through and learning.

2) We believe in equipping not only the student, but you as well.

Throughout the weekend you, the Student Minister, will receive several opportunities to take part in round tables alongside others like yourself. You will have opportunities to ask questions, give feedback, and share ideas with fellow student ministers about different things you have implemented in your own ministry and how you reach your students effectively.

3) We believe in fostering growth in your student within community.

The Conference offers great opportunities for your students to ask questions and make connections with their peers while at the Conference. There are opportunities for discussions and debriefs, as well as time for engaging other students and staff members as they process the weekend. Our goal is for your student to leave the Conference not only encouraged but also equipped and focused.

Get more info (group rates offered!) and register today for the 2013 iGo Conference, November 15-16 at the FBC Event Center in Wylie, Texas as we gather together to learn how to become “Rewired” in our understanding of biblical worship. We guarantee it’s gonna be “just real nice.”

The iGo Conference Webpage

 

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Frontline Friday: On the Flip Side

Every summer iGo employs mobilization interns (Jimmy is what we call them) to assist us in the complex tasks of training, mobilizing, recruiting that take place throughout the summer months. These college students get to learn first hand what it looks like to be on this side sending out teams. This summer we had six mobilization interns, one design intern, and one media intern. Cody Hale (media intern) shares about his experience. 

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In April, I had never even heard of iGo Global. Come May, I had been sucked into the wonderful world of Jimmy. How that came to be is a little complicated and unnecessary to explain in detail, but I will say that the plans I had for the summer fell apart at the last minute and, in God’s awesome provision, an old friend informed me of the Media Jimmy position. I applied with very limited knowledge of missions, what I would be doing, or what iGo even was. New and unknown things have never scared me before, and applying for this position was propelled primarily by a “sure, why not?” sort of inclination. Two weeks later, there I was.

As someone who has had the privilege of traveling quite extensively in the last few years, I was really excited to be a part of an organization that sends people all over the world. I love sharing my passion of travel and adventure with others, so this seemed like a good fit from the start. What I had not considered was how truly rewarding the mobilization process would be.

Many, including myself, often do not consider those who send when discussing missions. The focus is almost always placed primarily on those who are going, at least from what I have experienced. There is nothing wrong with that; those who go are a vital and imperative part of fulfilling the Great Work that God has called us to do. What I soon learned, though, is just how essential the mobilization process is, too. There is a reciprocal relationship that exists between those sending and those being sent, in that one could not be done without the other, and I have a new level of appreciation for the entire missions process after experiencing it from both angles.

As the Media Jimmy, I was able to use the skills I have learned and studied over the years to create both informative and entertaining videos for those at Base Camp, as well as public audiences. Like my previous internships, this summer with iGo has been an excellent learning experience that has allowed me to strengthen those skillsets. This was my third internship, and while each one has centered primarily on video production, the subject matter could not be more varied between each. Through these vastly different settings, I have learned that it really does not matter what the content is that I am shooting or editing but simply the process itself that I enjoy.

Working at iGo has differed greatly, however, in that there is an inherent joy in the staff here that can only come from the Lord. I have been blessed with really awesome jobs in the past and have had the opportunity to work with a lot of great people, including Christians, but working for an organization whose bottom-line goal is to give glory to God and share Him with the nations has helped me grow in ways that go far beyond anything I could ever learn with a camera or sitting at a computer. Being surrounded daily by real people who have similar struggles and are pursuing Christ creates spiritual growth and accountability in a way that nothing else can. This aspect is without a doubt the most redeeming thing I will take with me once this summer is over. Being an iGo Jimmy resulted in a real tipping point in my faith, and it has helped me form habits that I hope will stay with me forever.

Looking back on the summer is extremely bittersweet. It has gone by so fast and been so full of memorable times with lots of people I can now call best friends. I have known the seven other Jimmies for only a few short months, but it feels like years. Thanks to iGo Global, I have an entirely new understanding and appreciation for the mobilization and training of those who are willing to be sent, and I would not trade this summer for anything.

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