Total Obedience: Dayspring Recap
By NMC - January 14, 2016
Posted in Partnerships, Global Impact, Stories from NMC
What happens when a team of 17 people says yes to God? What happens when they choose obedience over comfort? For Beth Bessinger, saying yes meant applying for a Global Impact trip to Mexico. For Amanda Kemp, saying yes meant giving her testimony at a church service in a small Mexican village. For Michael Bessinger, saying yes meant preaching in a church service after travelling in a bus for eight hours and sleeping for only four hours. For Niel and Stacy Diener, saying yes meant leading the Dayspring Mexico team with courage and modeling total obedience.
As the team prepared for this trip, Niel and Stacy repeated their challenge to their teammates: be people who say yes no matter what. Their trip came with obstacles and anxiety and unknowns, but freedom resulted from choosing to be completely obedient. Even when the team missed their connection flight, lost pieces of luggage and drove eight hours in a crowded van, they saw the Lord work through their weaknesses in incredible ways, bringing unity and joy in the midst of obstacles.
In addition to the trip challenges, the team experienced humbling ministry opportunities when they arrived in El Higo. They had the unique opportunity to interact with the orphans who live at Casa, an orphanage run by a missionary couple. Of the nine kids who live there, only one has lost his parents. The rest have parents who are still living. One boy ran away from home to escape an abusive situation. A pair of brothers came because their sick mother couldn’t take care of them. Others were taken from their homes because of the living conditions. At Casa they find love, acceptance, an education, food to eat, a bed to sleep in and people who will fight for them.
The team developed a strong connection with the kids as they travelled together to six villages and participated in 11 church services for adults and kids. Theyperformed powerful dramas that communicated the gospel through words and acting. They did crafts with the kids as they taught them the Christmas story. They shared their testimonies and presented the gospel. They said yes to God whenever He asked them to step out in faith, and in the unexpected things that arose, they saw God work in incredible ways.
They didn’t expect to run into travel problems and lose pieces of luggage, but through this, God taught them how to be flexible and joyful. They didn’t expect to love the kids at Casa so deeply, but through this attachment, God broke their hearts for orphans all over the world and moved multiple couples to start the adoption process once they returned home. They didn’t expect to be loved so lavishly by each village they visited, but through that, God humbled them. The beauty lay in the unexpected things that came up.
For Jason Kemp, a key moment came when he truly learned the freedom in saying “yes” to God.
“Even though things don’t go smoothly every time we obey God, He is still there to hold us, strengthen us and lead us throughout the entire journey. Even when we don’t think we’re strong enough, or when I doubt myself or I doubt how effective I will be for His Kingdom, God is still there,” Jason said.
For Jason’s wife, Amanda, an unexpected moment came when an elderly woman and teenager approached her, kissing her cheek and speaking to her in Spanish. Although Amanda didn’t understand their words, their actions communicated love and acceptance that broke down barriers in Amanda’s heart. Through their actions she saw glimpses of the image of God in each person with whom she interacted.
As the team packed up to leave after a few short days, many of them left pieces of their hearts and lives on the roads, in the churches and with the people they met in Mexico. Their goodbyes, especially with the kids of Casa, were painful, but it was in those moments of pain that they realized the importance of continually saying yes to God. It was in that obedience that real ministry came about.
How can you be praying for our partners?
The ministry of the missionary couples can be lonely at times since they work in very dark places, and often, they work without a team. Pray for people to come alongside them in their work. Pray for resources and for wisdom in making decisions for the future. Pray for the kids at Casa who are without a family.