GO12: The Most Important

In this final trailer for the GO12: Santo Domingo documentary, Daniel Andrews captures an entire week of outreach in just under five minutes–helping us all to realize how the most important thing really is giving your time, energy, and heart to helping others realize the beautiful love of Christ.

 

GO12: Trailer – Leaving

Daniel and I have been working on a short film documenting our recent trip to Santo Domingo, Dominican Republic for over a month, and it is almost finished.  We recently screened the nearly completed version with a few people who went on the trip and it was met with a warm reception.  We are excited about getting it out there for more people to see.

Written by Grant Jones one late night in Santo Domingo, this trailer captures the heart of what the film is about, leaving.  I hope you enjoy the trailer.

GO12: Waterfight

Since returning home nearly a month ago Daniel and I have been hard at work editing the footage we filmed from the trip.  We’re hoping to roll out a fully produced documentary within the next couple of months, but in the meantime, here is a small teaser.

To read more about GO12 see one of these stories.
Challenges
Going
Learning
Jordan
Hearing
Doing
Grant
Dakota
Home

GO12: What’s next?

Taking part in missions work is an extremely rewarding experience, but upon your return home it can also be incredibly difficult. The following is a little something I shared with our team this week. I hope it can encourage you, even as it encouraged us.

“So, what’s next?”

I remember asking myself that exact same question last year after returning home from Ecuador. How are you supposed to be equipped to handle every day life in the States after seeing and experiencing so much? How are you supposed to get back to business as usual? The answer is both easy, and terribly intimidating at the same time. You can’t go back to how it was before, or at least you shouldn’t.

By sacrificing time, money, sweat, tears, love, and comfort you allowed God to literally move you, geographically and spiritually, beyond the spoiled apathy and monotony of the American Church. Your obedience in going brought about transformational leaving. You see, God had to remove you from comfort, entertainment, and even loved ones, to push you to the point where He could open your spiritual eyes so that you could see the world and the Church as He sees it. Just as you left behind so much in going, now you must ask Him to help you leave so much behind in returning.

Instead of filling our days with scheduled business and mindless distractions, we each must realize that by answering that first question, what’s next?, we will be answering a more important question…. What is God’s will for me? In this respect I feel that I can offer you some helpful advice, and a sense of encouraging direction that will ease the transition back into life at home without forcing you to abandon the revelatory fervor God has birthed within each of you over the last eight days.

You found incredible joy and purpose in the Dominican Republic by giving constantly of yourself, some of you to the points of near exhaustion and sickness. You gave because you believed in the purpose which you felt that God had directed you to. Let me assure you, each of you have as clear and constant a God-given purpose on American soil as you did in the Dominican. Guard your hearts against the idle business of purposeless endeavor we often pursue. Set yourself toward some sacrificial end, and until a time which God directs you to it; pray and ask that He would lead you, not only to that end, but would also deliver unto you the means to see it through.

Let us continue to humble ourselves and take up the thankless tasks. There we were often met with fanfare and celebration, here that same heart may be met with indifference or disdain. Let us continue to love unconditionally. There love was almost always reciprocated, here it may be confused, misinterpreted, or ignored. In short, let us continue to love because Christ first loved us. Let us continue to shine, because we have come to know and love the Light, and our world is steeped in darkness.

To read more about GO12 see one of these stories.
Challenges
Going
Learning
Jordan
Hearing
Doing
Grant
Dakota
Home

GO12 Videos
Waterfight

GO12: Home

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John the Revelator often wrote of Christ as the Light. For him the topic was one that carried with it deep personal meaning. So when Jesus, during His many public teachings, frequently referred to His followers as being beacons of light (a city on a hill, a light that cannot be hidden, or a virgin with a lamp) it spoke volumes to the young apostle.

This week we travelled 1,833 miles to share that light. We went to share it with people who are not in relationship with Jesus. We also went to share in a combined experience in the Light of Christ with brothers and sisters in the family of God from another land. Late last night we made our bittersweet goodbyes with many tears, and much encouragement. On the ride back to our hotel I asked our team what part of their experience in Santo Domingo they felt shined the brightest. The following is a summary of their responses.

Humility, we travelled to a humble place, and there I saw our young people set aside the ugly pride that so often cripples our ability to love others fully. They washed feet, cleaned up filth, picked up trash, and set aside the need to feel cool or be impressive.

Sacrifice, often the measure of how deeply you believe something is weighed by the personal sacrifices you are willing to make to further that belief. Faith, and belief, is most purely displayed during acts of ultimate sacrifice. For many on our team this week was an incredible sacrifice. They gave up vacation time, work time, and family time. Some missed a week of summer school, placing themselves far behind in their course work. They sacrificed hygiene and comfort, convenience and frivolity, for; an exhausting schedule, weighty humidity, and a soulful vulnerability that many will continue to carry for weeks to come. And everyone gave up time with those they love the most to go and serve He who loved them most.

Hope, seems like a cliche to us a lot of the time, but only because we have become so disillusioned to the plight of hopelessness that plagues our world while we bathe in the gluttonous excess that most people in our nation enjoy even in these somber economic times. For those with less distractions in their lives hope often lies just one basic need away. Sometimes that need is a tangible resource that will quite literally change their life. Sometime that hope comes in the form of deep encouragement that can only be understood within the soul. It was one of my life’s greatest blessings to see young Arkansas college students impart both to perfect strangers over the last eight days.

Love, like hope is a word used flippantly. We don’t really love cheeseburgers or American Idol, but we often say we do. Real love shine bright and far. Its bigger and better than anything else we can understand.

We spent the last semester discussing the idea of HOME as a ministry. I think everyone on our team now has a larger understanding for that idea, even as they come to understand the nature of the global Church. The great Canadian missionary, evangelist, author, and pastor J. Oswald Smith once said, “the light that shines the farthest, shines the brightest at home.”. I know seventeen college students and three campus missionaries that are sad to leave the Dominican Republic, but are excited to get home and shine.

To read more about GO12 see one of these stories.
Challenges
Going
Learning
Jordan
Hearing
Doing
Grant
Dakota
Home
What’s next?

GO12 Videos
Waterfight



GO12: Grant

Grant Jones has become very special to me in the last three years. I have watched him continuously approach the tough questions that come along in life with a quiet faith that is neither forced, nor flimsy. He measures his words, means his actions, and approaches life with an intentionality not often demonstrated by someone of his years. In short, I have spent the last three years watching him steadily mature in his faith into the incredibly self-aware man he is today. He shared the following with me last night after an afternoon and evening spent playing basketball and sharing the Gospel with inner city kids in Tropical del Este in Santo Domingo.

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On the bus ride back to the hotel:

For the past few months I’ve been wondering where to Go. What places to go to, what people To go to, and what things to go to. For the past few months I’ve been going through what seems like a spiritual mid life crisis–burdened down by questions of significance and lengthy episodes of apathy. I still embodied the zeal for God I’ve always guarded close, but I began to examine it objectively and question what it’s use and purpose was. What it could do for this realistic experience I called “Now”.

I asked God, with seemingly no response, where I was to Go. The seeming absence of his guidance only acted as fuel to the flame for the apathy and objectivity that had recently plagued my thoughts. However, tonight in a moment, reminiscing on the people I have met, the things I have done, and this country with its people we’ll leave behind, in a moment of clarity I heard God say, “it’s not about ‘Going’, it’s about ‘leaving’.”.

These words seemed to be the key to unlock my mind and thoughts from the apathy and disinterest which had entered in. I began to think on this statement and believe God has guided me to this conclusion. This life has never been about going, but about leaving. A constant walking away from yourself, from this world, and the bible even says at times your family. A perpetual falling from the familiar to eternally embrace the unknown. A leaving of yourself and your heart in the things, places, people you are with ‘Now’, not the people you will go to. For now is all we have. And now all we can do is leave. If God permits another day to come I will Go. But for now my concern will be with only that which is assured, and that is what I have left.

To read more about GO12 see one of these stories.
Challenges
Going
Learning
Jordan
Hearing
Doing
Grant
Dakota
Home
What’s next?

GO12 Videos
Waterfight


GO12: Doing

James the brother of Jesus and pastor of the Jerusalem Church wrote in his epistle about the importance of partnering faith with action. He wrote that you cannot actually demonstrate perfect faith without corresponding action. Monday was a great day to see this at work.

We started the day by opening a small dental clinic. A local dentist and her assistant were brought in to give fluoride treatments, search for cavities, and provide basic aid to people that could never afford that kind of healthcare on their own. Dakota, Ashlee, and Jordan P. assisted the dentist with the more technical aspects of treating patients, during which the remainder of the team worked on repairing, painting, and decorating parts of the church where the outreach was hosted. Four hours later more than one hundred and thirty seven children, plus numerous adults, had been treated.

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That afternoon we moved outside the church to pick up trash. People here do not throw away trash. They generally just throw it down wherever they happen to be. Trash is everywhere. Lots of it. By picking up their garbage we are demonstrating an act of sacrificial love in a way that is difficult for some of them to comprehend, but not all.

We split into three teams made up of American and Dominican workers and went down three different streets collecting, cleaning, and greeting. I split my time between the teams taking pictures and recording video, greeting the nationals, and helping where I could. While walking with a team down a pretty nasty street I spotted a little dog on the porch of a dilapidated home.

Behind a large metal gate/door set an elderly lady. She looked at our group with a curious apprehension which spoke volumes. She thought we might be doing something good, but she wasn’t sure. Like, maybe we were trying to trick her or maybe something else was afoot.

To assuage her apparent concerns I began to play with a small chihuahua, that had to have belonged to her. I am not typically fond of chihuahuas, in fact usually I find them to be rather annoying, but I spoke kindly to the dog and snapped some pictures on my iPad as the lady looked on with what was quickly becoming mild interest. Cheerfully I climbed her steps and greeted her as she sat behind her iron wrought door. I began to show her the pics of the dog as she ooh’d and awe’d over the vibrant colors. When I showed her a short video clip she laughed heartily and full. Before long I had an interpreter there to help me communicate with this dear lady beyond my meager grasp of the Spanish language. She came out from behind her door, hugged me, and took a picture. We spoke for a few more minutes, I invited her to the outreach service we were holding near her home that night and she smiled a pure and genuine smile, devoid of the all previous apprehension.

This is only one small personal example of how doing something, in addition to just believing in something, can have an impact on those we reach out and minister to here. With four days of ministry behind us there are now dozens of these same kinds of stories that could be told. Our team is continuing to perfect a faith that says we believe God loves these people and wants to show them, by partnering with demonstrative actions that speak louder than words. With two days left of ministry activity, I’m sure there will be many more opportunities to continue to do the same.

To read more about GO12 see one of these stories.
Challenges
Going
Learning
Jordan
Hearing
Doing
Grant
Dakota
Home
What’s next?

GO12 Videos
Waterfight