"I came that they might have life, and have it abundantly." John 10:10
Students have arrived in Bangor, and the town has new life. A university town with no university students is a quiet town. Before, the town would become eerily quiet at around six when all the cafes and shops started to close. There was no night-life, and not much to do in the day either. But then students got here and now the town is abuzz at all hours of the night, which I quite enjoy.
Now that there are students in town, there are friends to be made. Last night, I was riding in a car with Ryan and a few new friends. One is from Scotland, one is from the Manchester area and one is from Northern Ireland. I love accents, I think they're incredibly intriguing and interesting. It dawned on me as we were all riding together that I was enjoying the company of three different friends, all with different accents. To me, that's just the coolest thing. I have come that you might have life, and have it abundantly. What kind of God do I serve, that I am where I am, serving the people I'm serving, and meeting the people I'm meeting? Surely it's the kind that knows what I love, and not only knows what I love, but loves that I love what I love. I have to ask myself, does the world think of God in this way? God has certainly not called his children to live boring lives.
From the day I found out about this trip to now, the details have been completely outside of my control. That's just been the nature of the trip so far, and we've resigned ourselves to the fact it will continue to be that way. This is God's trip, not mine, and He will use it for His glory. Combine that with John 10:10, and all of a sudden I have a reason to be pumped. The details of this trip may be so far outside of my control, but if I serve a God who calls His children off the sidelines and into the abundance of life, then I can expect the year to take me so much deeper into the adventure that is following Christ. I don't know exactly what that looks like, but Ryan and I are expecting God to do so much more than we could ever begin to imagine. Ephesians 3:20 says, "Now to him who is able to do far more abundantly than all that we ask or think, according to the power at work within us, to him be the glory in the church and in Christ Jesus throughout all generations, forever and ever. Amen."
God has called me into a life full of life, and if He is able to do immeasurably more than I could ever ask, all for His glory, then why would I not take risks? Why would I want to stand on the sidelines? I should jump off that bench and yank up my cross because the Lord has said He is capable of doing more than I could ever dream of. Ryan and I want to see churches formed organically in pubs, and in cafes, and in homes, and in gyms. And not necessarily the type of church we think of in the States, with a set service structure and routine. That type of church method doesn't go very far with the unchurched here, which is all but about 1% of the people. Rather, we want to see a collection of people who simply gather around the Word of God and enjoy life together where they live life. That's a crazy intimidating goal because it requires us to leave our comfort zones, and gather where the unchurched gather. But God said He can do more than I could think to ask, so why not dream big?
Jacob Allen is serving as a Go Now missionary in Wales. To read more, and see some awesome photos, from Allen, visit his blog.