My Experience with Missions
I’m blessed that I continue to be involved with Concordia’s heart for the world for the next year while serving as a Graduate Assistant for the Around-the-World Semester in the Fall semester of 2012.
God has given me a heart for His Mission across the world. I wasn’t born that way; it didn’t happen because of one amazing mission trip, it has been shown to me over time. My passion for God’s Mission in His world comes from my Family. From God our Father, my biological family, my Church family, and my Concordia family.
I remember vividly, praying with my mom at the age of 11, right after 9/11 occurred. We prayed for those in the Twin Towers, for families, for those traveling, for the protection of all Americans, and then I prayed for the terrorists, for their families, for innocent people in their country. Driving home after school that day with my mom, I turned to her and said “Mom, I want to go. I want to share Jesus”. My awareness of peoples’ needs all over the world were heightened, I wanted to go.
Dana Burkey '11
Major: Christian Education Leadership
My four years at Concordia refined my heart. A heart for people. A heart for helping. A heart for the world. A heart for Christ.
I wanted to share and serve, with anyone in need. Mexico is only a 20-minute drive from my hometown in San Diego, my youth group and I went several times a year. Crossing the border to Tecate was like driving to a neighboring city. Kids eagerly anticipated for the piñata to burst from the beats of the bat. After the chaos of scavenging for candy they calmed down. We stumbled through our Spanish, “Como te llamas?” The kids lit up sharing their names, age, and everything else. I began to realize that people are people; we are not so different and want to be known.
The past two summers I traveled to India and China with teams from Concordia. In India’s heat of summer, a drip rolled down my nose onto the hard concrete while I squeezed out the water from the once soiled sheets at Prem Dan, a Home of Mother Teresa’s. I wondered to myself, “Is this sweat or water?” Wringing out mountains of laundry, feeding those who cannot feed themselves, massaging immovable limbs, sitting with the neglected—our hearts ached with compassion. Christ in our lives flowed out of us in joyful service.
“The joy of the Lord is our strength”—eleven voices united in China to declare His greatness. The roar of worship slowly drew in passerby visitors, but we could not quiet our voices. Expressing Christ’s love in community together gave encouragement for each other. Through prayer, worship, and Bible studies we were strengthened to share God’s joy.
God works through our sweaty service. God works through His Word. God works in all situations, big and small. He calls us to follow Him. To love Him with all we are. To share that love with everyone. Everywhere.
My four years at Concordia refined my heart. A heart for people. A heart for helping. A heart for the world. A heart for Christ. God will continue to refine my heart for His Mission as I travel around the world. God will continue to work through the faculty, staff, and students of Concordia to refine hearts for His Mission.
This is also where I come in. My name is Jonathan Ruehs, and I am the Residential Coordinator of Spiritual Life in abbey west, which is the campus ministry arm of CUI. Part of my role in abbey west is to provide a missional presence within the residential halls, which is why my family and I have the joy and privilege of living amongst students on campus. Being missional means being relational, because it is in the context of the relationship in which trust is built and Jesus is shared. It is also my hope that in being a role model in this context that I am able to guide and equip Christian students to do the same in their own context within the residence halls. In this way I am helping students fulfill their calling to make disciples in the here and now as well as provide a training ground for them to learn missional skills for the future.
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