Before Cafe 1040, I knew God had called me to do full-time overseas work, but I was scared. Was I really cutout for the job? Now being in North Africa, I am becoming more and more confident in the gifts God has given me and the ways He is going to use these gifts for His name’s sake. Life in North Africa has been sweet and living life constantly out of my comfort zone has allowed me to experience the faithfulness of our Father and the grace He delights to show us. I can now say without a shadow of a doubt that I am called to the 1040 Window.
Wow, I don’t know where I can even begin. I have story upon story upon story about how the Lord used my time with Cafe 1040 to begin and continue many significant things. From solidifying really basic desires of my heart of seeing the nations reached through being face to face with people who have never heard of Jesus, to drawing me closer to His heart personally, to teaching me things about who He has created me to be, God used Cafe 1040 to teach me how I can be a part of His amazing, awe inspiring plan to reach the ends of the earth. I can confidently say that my willingness to go to the nations was solidified during my time with Cafe 1040 through my wisdom received and the love of God that I experienced.
It’s hard to summarize all the things I learned at Cafe1040. Rather than becoming immobilized by culture stress, unfamiliar customs, or adventure, I’ve felt freed to share Jesus in all sorts of contexts. Cafe1040 taught me what living on a team means. I’ve avoided unhealthy teams and managed conflict in healthy ways on the teams I’ve joined. I would encourage all young adults thinking about missions to consider Cafe1040. The experience-rich training set me on a journey to the field with a strong sense of calling, courage, and vision.
Long story short, it changed my life.
I moved to the field pretty quick after Cafe, but right now I live away from my target people group in order to learn language.The other day I connected with a local woman I knew nothing about in hopes of creating a language-sharing relationship. During our first meeting I discovered her father is from the exact people group I am destined for! She continued to tell me the incredible story of his conversion to the Family when he was a young adult because of a worker, a gifted Book, and an unbelievable miracle.
God planted a seed in my heart for my dream of living among unreached people.
The program was just great overall for me. There are so many things that had an impact on my passion to serve unreached people groups. Also, I learned more practical things in this program than my friends who have served other places. I learned about travel, security, and how to preach the gospel to the unreached.
I have nothing but good things to say about my time serving with Cafe 1040. Our leaders were amazing and I am still in touch with several of my teammates (one of which I support as he serves overseas). The opportunity I had with Cafe 1040 was eye-opening, exciting, hard, full of adventure, and helped shape my character for life and ministry down the road. I would do it again a thousand times over.
A large portion of the program is acquiring skills that will be useful for long-term work in the future. This includes classes on unreached people groups, church planting movements, spiritual warfare, operational security, using safe language, and learning how to share the gospel in cultures where shame and honor are very much a part of daily life. We also had the opportunity to acquire skills for simple things that are also needed, like using public transportation, buying food in the market, bargaining, and budgeting.
I will always carry these memories and experiences around in my heart. God has done heart surgery on me. He has changed the way it beats and cleared my vision for the nations. This trip has been one of joy, hardship, learning to trust God, and learning to pray like I know he hears me. These three months weren’t easy, but nothing that is worth doing ever is. And this was so worthwhile.
There in the middle of the desert, I listened to His silent voice. He assured my heart that He’s heard my pleas. He brought to mind all the faces & names that I’ve met here that used to only be statistics to me. He reminded me where my heart was prior to my arrival here & where it rests now. He confirmed that I cannot claim ignorance to the vast need in order for His Name to be spread across the globe & that I have a part to play in that. He showed me how big He was in that wide-open sky. He wowed me with His humbling ability to hold all things together.
I have confidence that I can do this work in any place in the world. I also have confidence that I don’t need to know every next step for the future, but that I need to follow God and live out His purpose everyday. I have seen the realities of what working in a closed country looks like and I am equipped to do it.