On the 23rd to the 30th September 2019, a team from The Gospel Centre went on a mission trip to the city of Medgidia, Romania to help out the organisation, Stepping Stones Mission. One of the missionaries who joined this team, Jermaine Bernard, shares his thoughts of the trip.
The Romania mission trip was the first ever Gospel Centre mission trip where it was open for anyone within the congregation to join and serve. Among this who went, we all had our personal reasons for going to Romania and The Holy Spirit spoke to each of us in different ways. Initially I had no intention of being part of the mission team when the trip was first proposed. But after a weekend away and at the very last moment, I felt God put a real burden on my heart to go and film what was to take place on this mission. This was a great opportunity for me to exercise my purpose. Something that I continue to learn more about is that God has always put it on my heart to encourage people to find their purpose or their gifting. Through capturing the heart of what was done in Romania, my hope was that it would encourage others to do mission work either abroad or here at home within their community and that it will also help people to discover their purpose, skill or gift that is buried deep within them.
Although my sole motivation in this trip was to provide a tale of what happened in the mission field, I was also there to serve the community in whatever way possible. There were many things to keep us busy. Painting, teaching the kids, mentoring the teenagers, leading worship and many other things. There were also opportunities to challenge us physically and spiritually. For those who know me well, know that I love a good snooze! So from dealing with the jet lag and being roomed with two snoring bears (who will not be named) to not having the home comforts and knowing there is work to be done, I found that this was a good challenge for me. Each morning we had to rise early to spiritually prepare the team for battle. Some of the group went out to do home visits, which involved praying for people in the local community. Whilst others stayed behind and teach the children basic numeracy and literacy skills. Spiritually we were all challenged to do something that was out of our comfort zone and fear did grip us. But when we seeked God and understood what He had put in us, we had the confidence to do what He called us to do.
For others in the group who have never lead in ministry, how do we go from the back to the front of the battlefield? As I write this post, I think about the story of David and Goliath and how David went from the back to the front. His eldest brother dismissed him when he enquired about Goliath. Saul dismissed David when he told him what he would do to Goliath and even when Saul agreed for David to go out in to battle Saul tried to impose his way of thinking on how he must combat Goliath. But David had been prepared for battle far before entering the battlefield. Unfortunately the enemy can use people within our own camp to disable others from being the leader they’re called to be. Also for people that have been in positions of leadership across the body, they can be scared of trying new methods, being stuck in tradition and routine or they may think that they’re not ready and they should go back to tend to the sheep. But from the story of David, the old method would not have worked and only God’s way would prevail. For me, I was pushed into leadership, which I would not say has been new for me but has been an area that I have not comfortably walked into with great confidence. Saying this, the team were awesome that they gave me the confidence to fulfil this role. We gave each other the confidence to do things that we were uncomfortable with.
What is big take away from this trip? First of all, the photos that you see on this post will be an eternal memory in my heart. Reviewing each picture brings memories of the laughter that I shared with the children, the running around in the field and the constant screams of joy in the corridors. For all of them, I hope that I was some inspiration to them in some way and that I left an impact of God’s Kingdom in their hearts. But what I personally took away from the trip is that, there is so much more for me to discover about myself and it is scary because I don’t know what is deep within me. But I know this has been a disabling factor in not wanting to step out in faith with doing the things that God wants me to do. The perfect life would be to never fail but then we would never step out of our comfort zone and discover our calling. So here’s to being bold, adventurous and discovering the man God has called me to be.
To close I want to say a massive thank you to the team that looked after us in Romania. They welcomed us with open arms and made us feel at home the moment we landed in Romania. I can only pray that God continues to provide them every provision that they need to help bring the Kingdom to the city of Medgidia.