Servant Life Blog

South Africa Testimony

First, I want to say Servant Life did a great job with my trip. Getting to South Africa was much easier than I expected.  I’m so glad I went because when I look back, I see how much I grew in terms of my trust in the Lord.

Also, teaching, playing with, and seeing the light in the children’s eyes will be something I will never forget and always cherish.  I would highly recommend a mission trip through Servant Life; but, I am not God and cannot put that on someone’s heart.  However, to whomever chooses to go, I would tell them to do these things: See Romans 10:14-15 and be convicted to tell the Good News. Then, fully immerse yourself in your mission and step out of the boat because that is where Jesus is.

 

-Lee White, Florence, SC

 

A Note From Our Team

First of all, thank you for taking a moment to hear more about the happenings at Servant Life!  We so appreciate your connection to our ministry. Our 2013-2014 year is off to a great start!  We are currently set to be sending more students than ever into the mission field.  My excitement stems not only from these students answering the call to go, but also from my confidence that these students will proclaim the Gospel of Jesus Christ boldly as they go.

Our highest goal is not students going, but lost people knowing Christ as their Savior.

I’m reminded of Romans 10:13-15, For everyone who calls on the name of the Lord will be saved. How then will they call on him in whom they have not believed? And how are they to believe in him of whom they have never heard? And how are they to hear without someone preaching? And how are they to preach unless they are sent? As it is written, “How beautiful are the feet of those who preach the good news!

In a recent meeting, our team united around the truth that we don’t exist to do missions, but to do missions in the power of the Holy Spirit.  This is a humbling and comforting truth for the believer.  We are incapable in our own strength to change the heart of man, but God is in the business of making things new!  Therefore, we pray to the God who saves and we praise Him for allowing us to be an instrument in His work.  We pray that He will fulfill our hearts desire to see the nations worship Him.  Will you pray with us?

In Christ,

Ryan Childress, Servant Life Director

 

Partner Spotlight: Houston

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 When you hear the words “international missions,” your mind most likely does not think about Houston, Texas. Maybe that will change when you hear that there are 350 identified people groups living in the city of Houston. Houston has quickly become the most ethnically diverse cities in the United States.  You have the opportunity to partner with one of Servant Life’s missionary partners, Global Frontier Missions, while engaging in international missions without even leaving the country.

Global Frontier Missions (GFM) had it’s humble beginnings in Virginia in 2000. Today, this statement guides GFM’s mission: “Global Frontier Missions (GFM) is a movement of Christ-centered communities dedicated to mobilizing, training, and multiplying disciples and churches to reach the physical and spiritual needs of the unreached people groups of the earth.”  Global Frontier Missions is committed to leading short-term mission trips in Houston to work among the refugees.  Servant Life is dedicated to partnering with GFM in that commitment. Short-term mission teams will receive training in cultural sensitivity, missions strategy, building relationships with people from other countries, as well as the biblical basis of missions. The outreach portion of the trip may include backyard Bible clubs, block parties, teaching ESL, community service projects, and/or relationship evangelism.  You can be a part of taking the gospel to other nations, including your own! Will you join Global Frontier Missions and Servant Life this summer? The world is waiting.

*You can learn more about the ministry of  GFM by visiting www.globalfrontiermissions.org

Mission Trip Testimony – Mexico

In 2008, I loaded onto a bus in Houston, Texas with about twenty other college students to begin our long trek to Chihuahua, Mexico. I was embarking on my very first mission trip and had absolutely no idea what to expect. Maybe having no expectations was ideal considering sometimes when expectations aren’t met frustration often occurs. Nonetheless, I was excited for the experience that lied ahead.

The mission trip consisted of vacation bible school activities at a local church in Chihuahua, some minor construction projects, and the opportunity to establish relationships with local teenagers.  Even though there was a language barrier, my favorite aspect of the trip was time spent with the children. The little Spanish I knew from high school did not prove to be very helpful in conversations, but the Lord definitely was working despite my inability to communicate.

Looking back at pictures from my time there, I am reminded of how much the Lord taught me and how He used the people of Chihuahua, Mexico, to begin stirring a desire in my heart to go to the nations. I was exposed to something bigger than myself. I was exposed to the world beyond my college town.I was exposed to another people group made in the image of God.

For the first time, I could put a face to the needs around the world. The statistics became names of people instead of just numbers on a computer screen or those heard in a sermon. This was a life-altering realization for me as a young nineteen year old.

Since that first trip to Mexico, I have had the opportunity to serve in Italy, New York, and Kenya. The Lord continues to stir my affections for the nations as I prayerfully and by the Lord’s grace strive to walk in obedience to His call on my life. Whether it’s going, giving or praying, I now know I can always play an active role in making His name known to the world.

-Danielle Lee, Servant Life Coordinator

Core Value: One-on-One Relationships

Through the years, The Lord has led Servant Life to four Core Values that shape all the work we do.  They are: Gospel-centered ministry, long-term strategies, one-on-one relationships, and a focus on youth and children.  Every missionary in our global network is prayerfully and specifically selected by the type of ministry they are doing.  We are highlighting each of these Core Values in a four part series.  Let’s talk about “One-On-One Relationships.”

Ministry is 100% about relationships. Whether that relationship is with a missionary in Ecuador, the person sitting next to us on a plane, or a child in a remote village in East Asia – all of these relationships are conduits through which ministry occurs.

Jesus told his disciples to “go and make disciples of all nations” in Matthew 28:18 and we view this act of “making disciples” as sharing life in Christ with the world.  The primary method that The Lord has chosen to spread His Gospel to the ends of the earth is the voice of His people (Romans 10).  We are his ambassadors (2 Corinthians 5:20).  Therefore, our trips are structured in such a way to leverage the time we have towards developing relationships with lost souls that can open the door to Gospel conversations.  Though this is a simple command, it can be an uncomfortable one to obey.  Sharing life often pulls us out of our comfort zone; but, within these one-on-one relationships, people hear and experience the Gospel.

Our goal is to provide mission experiences that allow students to have extensive, saturated time to build relationships with those they are serving.  Whether it is serving as support staff at a camp, ministering to orphans, or teaching English to a refugee from an unreached country, we want trip participants to form meaningful relationships as a platform to share the life-giving Good News of Jesus Christ.  Sure, it would be easier to go overseas, build a house, and come back home.  You would probably even feel good about yourself, but people are not saved by seeing acts of kindness.  Sinners are saved by repenting and believing that Christ’s finished work on the cross is their only hope from righteous condemnation.  Will you tell them the Good News that they may believe?

Romans 10:13-15

For “everyone who calls on the name of the Lord will be saved.” How then will they call on him in whom they have not believed? And how are they to believe in him of whom they have never heard? And how are they to hear without someone preaching? And how are they to preach unless they are sent? As it is written, “How beautiful are the feet of those who preach the good news!”

– Ryan Childress, Servant Life Director

2014’s Global Impact

Our team at Servant Life could not be more excited about what is on the horizon for 2014. This year looks to be one of our largest years of mobilizing students to go make disciples as we send workers to partner with our global network in 13 locations.  In addition to the traditional summer months, we have groups going to serve in the spring and fall and have expanded to include more college students.  While it is fun to talk about going, we are ready to get into the season of having more actually on the field.

A few weeks ago, after returning from a visit to Nicaragua I heard the song, “Jesus Loves the Little Children.”  I am sure it is a tune you are familiar with, at least the famous chorus: Jesus loves the little children,
All the children of the world.
Red and yellow, black and white,
All are precious in His sight,
Jesus loves the little children of the world. No doubt that is rich; but, there is so much more to the song that often is left unsung.  Here is the rest of this classic:

Jesus calls the children dear, “Come to me and never fear,
For I love the little children of the world;
I will take you by the hand,
Lead you to the better land,
For I love the little children of the world.”

Jesus died for all the children,
All the children of the world.
Red and yellow, black and white,
All are precious in His sight,
Jesus died for all the children of the world.

Jesus is the Shepherd true,
And He’ll always stand by you,
For He loves the little children of the world;
He’s a Savior great and strong,
And He’ll shield you from the wrong,
For He loves the little children of the world.

I am coming, Lord, to Thee,
And Your soldier I will be,
For You love the little children of the world;
And Your cross I’ll always bear,
And for You I’ll do and dare,
For You love the little children of the world.

As I have spent time with our partners, I have witnessed firsthand and also heard stories of many children and teenagers around the world that no doubt have been done wrong by the context in which they find themselves.  Even so, in those situations we see the hope that is found in and through Christ.

So as we launch into a new year with new opportunities, we celebrate so many that have stepped up and are willing to do and dare in 2014! At Servant Life we are thrilled to play a small role in accomplishing the Great Commission.  We encourage you to join in the action and be a part of what God is doing around the globe!

 

– J. Roger Davis, Servant Life Executive Director 

Core Value – Long Term Strategies

Through the years, The Lord has led Servant Life to four Core Values that shape all the work we do.  They are: Gospel-centered ministry, long-term strategies, one-on-one relationships, and a focus on youth and children.  Every missionary in our global network is prayerfully and specifically selected by their devotion to these principles.  We are highlighting each of these Core Values in a four part series.  The next value is “Long-Term Strategies.”

While our team was visiting one of the missionaries in our network, the missionary told us a story about a church from The States that came to “work with them”.   When they arrived the American church insisted on building a community center for the ministry to work out of.  The missionary tried to explain to the Americans that this was not a need for the ministry, but they were determined.  When the Americans left after that week they had only halfway finished the building.  The lonely, half-finished building outside a remote village in Central America was left until the next short-term team came to serve.  Since the missionary had no need for the building, or funds to complete it, construction ended and that next short-term team began to deconstruct the building.

Short-term mission trips must happen within a long-term ministry strategy. 

Servant Life partners with missionaries and national ministries that maintain a consistent presence and work towards long-term, Gospel-centered, goals.  We are called by Christ to “Go and make disciples of all nations.”  In order to see true discipleship, relationships that are formed during trips must continue past the 7-10 days that participants are on the ground.  Therefore, Servant Life sends students to serve our network of global disciple-makers in whatever way best fits their needs.  We exist to support the work in which they have invested their lives in, the same way the Philippians supported Paul in Philippians 1:3-7.  Will you help us support the missionaries in our global network?

– Ryan Childress, Servant Life Director

 

12 Songs Of Christmas

You’ve heard of the 12 Days of Christmas, but what about 12 of the most popular international Christmas songs? In keeping with the Christmas spirit, we’ve compiled a list of Christmas themed songs from around the globe (including an excerpt of the lyrics!). You may recognize more than you realize. Enjoy!

 

1. Feliz Navidad – Spanish

Chances are you’re very familiar with this one. This classic Spanish song even helps you out with an English translation.

“Feliz Navidad
Feliz Navidad
Feliz Navidad
próspero año y felicidad. // Feliz Navidad
Feliz Navidad
Feliz Navidad
próspero año y felicidad. // I wanna wish you a Merry Christmas.
I wanna wish you a Merry Christmas.
I wanna wish you a Merry Christmas
From the bottom of my heart.”

2. Adeste Fideles – Latin

Maybe Latin isn’t your strong subject. No worries, there’s also an English version to Adeste Fideles that you probably know: O Come, All Ye Faithful.

“Adeste, fideles, laeti, triumphantes,
Venite, venite in Bethlehem:
Natum videte Regem Angelorum: // Venite adoremus, venite adoremus
Venite adoremus Dominum.”

3. Twelve Days of Christmas – English 

No “12 International Christmas songs” list would be complete without the 12 Days of Christmas! (Hope you don’t get too upset if you don’t receive a partridge in a pear tree this year.) 

“On the twelfth day of Christmas, my true love gave to me 
Twelve drummers drumming, 
eleven pipers piping, ten lords a-leaping, 
nine ladies dancing, eight maids a-milking, 
seven swans a-swimming, six geese a-laying, 
Five golden rings. 
Four calling birds, three French hens, two turtle doves 
And a partridge in a pear tree.”

4. Le Divin Enfant – French

This French Christmas carol recounts the birth of Jesus Christ. The last line reads “O Jesus, O all powerful king, rule completely over us.”

“Il est né, le divin Enfant,
Jouez, hautbois, résonnez, musettes;
Il est né, le divin Enfant;
Chantons tous son avènement! // Ô Jésus! Ô Roi tout-puissant!
Tout petit enfant que vous êtes,
Ô Jésus! Ô Roi tout puissant!
Régnez sur nous entièrement!”

5. Stille Nacht – German

Brush up on your German and sing along with this version of “Silent Night.”

“Stille Nacht! Heilige Nacht!
Alles Schläft, einsam wacht
nur das traute, hochheilige Paar.
Holder Knabe im lockigen Haar,
schlaf in himmlischer Ruh’! (2x)”

6. Astro del Ciel – Italian 

This popular Italian Christmas carol praises the birth of our Savior, Jesus Christ and asks Him to “instill peace into our hearts.”

Astro del ciel, Pargol divin, mite Agnello Redentor! 
Tu che i Vati da lungi sognar, tu che angeliche voci nunziar, 
luce dona alle genti, pace infondi nei cuor! 
luce dona alle genti, pace infondi nei cuor!

7. Jingle Bells – in Ukrainian 

Need some help translating this one? It’s the ever so popular song, Jingle Bells! Feel free to belt out this Ukrainian version as you’re dashing through the snow in your one horse open sleigh!

Дзвонять дзвони, дзвонять дзвони,

Дзвонять увесь шлях!

Як весело нам їхати

В однокінних санях

Дзвонять дзвони, дзвонять дзвони,

Дзвонять увесь шлях!

Як весело нам їхати

В однокінних санях 

8. Rodolfo el reno – Spanish

Rudolph, the red-nose reindeer, you’ll go down in history!

“Era Rodolfo un reno
que tenía la nariz
roja como la grana
con un brillo singular. // Todos sus compañeros
se reían sin parar,
y nuestro buen amigo
triste y solo se quedó. // Pero Navidad llegó
Santa Clos bajó
y a Rodolfo lo eligió
por su singular nariz. // Tirando del trineo
fue Rodolfo sensación,
y desde ese momento
toda burla terminó.”

9. Noel Blanc – French

Maybe you’ve never seen a White Christmas. Well, you can dream along as you listen to this French version of one of the most popular Christmas songs.

“Oh, quand j’entends chanter Noël
J’aime revoir mes joies d’enfant
Le sapin scintillant, la neige d’argent
Noël, mon beau rêve blanc. // Oh, quand j’entends sonner au ciel
L’heure ou le bon vieillard descend
Je revois tes yeux clairs, Maman
Et je songe d’autres Noëls blancs.”

10. O Tannenbaum – German

It’s likely that you’ve been singing the words “O Christmas Tree, O Christmas Tree” for as long as you can remember. Did you know that song originated in Germany?

“O Tannenbaum, o Tannenbaum, wie treu sind deine Blätter!
Du grünst nicht nur zur Sommerzeit, nein, auch im Winter, wenn es schneit.
O Tannenbaum, o Tannenbaum, wie treu sind deine Blätter!”

11. El Tamborilero – Spanish

Be prepared to have the “pa rum pum pum pum” beat stuck in your head with this Spanish version of “Little Drummer Boy.”

“El camino que lleva a Belén
baja hasta el valle que la nieve cubrió.
Los pastorcillos quieren ver a su Rey,
le traen regalos en su humilde zurrón
al Redentor, al Redentor.

12. Joy to the World – English

We come to the end of this list with a classic favorite, “Joy to the World.” Our prayer for you is that you prepare room for Christ in your heart not only during Christmas, but always.

“Joy to the world! The Lord is come.
Let earth receive her King.
Let ev’ry heart prepare Him room,
And heaven and nature sing,
And heaven and nature sing,
And heaven and heaven and nature sing.”

 

Merry Christmas!

Christmas Break & Missions Conversations

Christmas for you is likely full of many memories, traditions and time with family.  For those that are Christ-followers it is truly a wonderful time of the year as we celebrate and give thanks for the promised Messiah taking on a robe of flesh and being born in the most unlikely of places.  This moment leads to a restored relationship with God for those people that place their faith in Him.

During this time of year, you often get time to spend with family that unfortunately the busyness of our lives and schedules does not always supply in abundance.  These next few weeks are a great time to talk with parents and family about spending some time next spring or summer advancing the Gospel through a short-term mission experience.  The thought of serving will bring obvious questions such as:

  • Where?
  • With whom?
  • How will it be funded? etc.

Often having good face time with the parents allows for you to talk through the thoughts and plans that are on your heart.  Take advantage of these days.

If serving either domestically or internationally is currently not on your mind, I would encourage you to prayerfully consider how the Lord desires to use you as a part of making disciples of all nations.  There is no doubt that the commission is clear.   As we celebrate the greatest story every told during this Christmas season, we need to remember that it is not a love story that was only for us.  There is a whole world out there that needs to hear.

J. Roger Davis
Servant Life

Servant Life in Nicaragua

The following is a recent post from Beth Lang. Beth and her husband Jason are Servant Life’s ministry partners in Nicaragua. You can read the whole post and more here

 

“A few weeks ago, we also hosted Roger Davis (Student Life President) and Ryan Childress (Servant Life Director) for what I would probably call a micro-trip! These guys have been doing a lot of traveling this year to partner ministries around the globe and they wanted to fit us in before the holidays. Their visit, though just for a weekend, represents somewhat of a dream come true for Jason. After taking several youth groups to Student Life camps over the years in the states Jason thought it would be really awesome to have Servant Life come do camps in Nicaragua one day. After 3+ years in the making we will be partnering with Servant Life in June 2014 to offer two weeks of camp at Centro ABEM for children and youth. We are very excited about this partnership and look forward with anticipation to what God is going to do!”

 

You can serve at Centro ABEM in 2014! Click here to learn more about Centro ABEM, the Langs, and how you can partner with Servant Life in Nicaragua next summer!