I have tried to start this post an embarrassing amount of times because I can’t find an eloquent way of saying the only sentence that is coming to mind right now.
I love people.
The longer I live here, the more I realize the best way to show Jesus is through relationships. This isn’t a new truth. Jesus made this evident throughout His ministry, not to mention Paul and his relationships with various churches. But for some reason, Christians are tempted to ignore relationship-building because we want to fast-forward salvation like we do with everything else. This results in many ignorant people who think they are spending eternity in heaven because they echoed a magical prayer about a man named Jesus. We forget that, for those who did not grow up in the church and get to see Bible stories played out on felt boards, a short summary of Jesus can sound crazy.
With that said, many have come to know Jesus after one conversation, but I don’t think it’s right to expect it. Committing to be a disciple of Christ means committing to building relationships. It means commitment to hours of listening and time spent with people. It means late nights and early mornings of sincere prayer. It means having hard conversations and delving into the Word for answers. Becoming a Christian is rarely a result of a single conversation.
Something I have come to love about Aussies is, as a whole, they are a genuine people, and they have an eye for those who aren’t. This is one of the first things I was told in both of my training sessions for this trip, and I have quickly come to find how true it is. For this reason, forming relationships with people here is essential in leading them to Christ. It takes time for people to see and believe the Jesus in us is real and that we aren’t here to sell our “Jesus product” for brownie points.
Since arriving here, I have learned the importance of having good, intentional conversations and how to simply talk about Jesus–not recite an impersonal memorized script about who He is, but be able to talk about Him like I would a best friend or close family member. There’s no room for religious jargon here. Be real, be authentic, and be honest about life with Jesus and why we need Him.
Working at Cleveland Baptist these past few weeks has led me to many meaningful conversations, and I’m LOVING building relationships with the youth and young adults. These people are beautiful, and the Lord is teaching me to love better and communicate better about His Son.
As promised, here are some pictures. The first batch is from Friendship Group–a group of sweet, sweet elderly from the church who meet every Thursday to fellowship and worship together. We were so grateful they let us come join them. They have some amazing stories.
Here are photos from the zoo this weekend! My two teammates and I went with our host home sister, Mikaela, and two friends Brooke and Liv. We had a BLAST!