Come Help Change the World!

I think I’ve always wanted to change the world for the better. Initially I had limits on how that might look. When I was a kid I swore I would never be a teacher. Teachers have to deal with unruly kids and long hours for relatively little pay. I saw what I put my teachers through and decided there was no way I wanted to take that from other people’s kids!

When I became a follower of Jesus, I said I would never be a missionary in Africa. I was a sorority girl from a good family. And though I was a Tomboy, enjoying sports and camping….I was convinced that being a missionary in Africa was NOT God’s will for my life. I was convinced I would have more impact by making a stand in my own area of influence and culture….

37 years ago the tag line for Campus Crusade for Christ [now CRU] was “Come Help Change the World!” What 22-year-old just out of university does not want to make a difference in the world? We all hunger and thirst for significance. We all want to feel like we have contributed to making life better for us and for others.

I signed up!

Me, circa 1982

Even before I signed up with CRU I knew I was going to Africa. God met me at the CRU Christmas conference in Chicago the December of 1979. I literally heard bells ringing, that no one else heard, when an announcement was made for a recruiting meeting. I attended the meeting and God deeply impressed on my spirit that I was to apply to go to Africa. This was really odd because I was taught that emotions and experiences were the caboose on the train of faith. They were not essential. I have since learned that the caboose is, however, a part of the train=}

Within months I was in cross cultural training to go teach school in Nigeria, West Africa. Next I moved to Côte d’Ivoire, putting all my years of classroom French to practical use, or at least beginning to. Then I spent years in Senegal and Mali with a month in the Philippines in 1991. It was there in the Philippines I began to connect deeply with my passion for prayer.

My life has moved a long way from there. There have been twists and turns I did not anticipate. God has remained the same and He is making me into His image, sometimes in spite of myself.

I still find ways to “Come help Change the World!” I mostly work from my base in Massachusetts at this phase of life. But that’s the awesome thing about prayer. We can literally affect lives and events anywhere through prayer.

Technology also allows us to have an impact beyond our four walls. I receive prayer requests from all over the world. I use Skype and Face time to have audio and even face to face conversations and prayer with people in Europe, East Asia, Africa.

And of course there are our neighbors, co-workers and shop keepers and others we see regularly. Do my interactions go beyond paying for my purchases and trivial greetings?

Last weekend at Restore & Revive I was delighted to listen to every plenary speaker and several workshops emphasize the need for the power of the Holy Spirit for Evangelism. The event did take place at D.L. Moody’s home town and campus. He is one who clearly depended on the love and power of the Holy Spirit to win people to Jesus.

In a week or so the different sessions will be linked to the Restore & Revive site. Also will also be showing at least some of it in the near future. I hope you are able to watch and listen, and I pray you are restored and revived to come help change the world!

Andrea Van Boven (Madden): I like to think I am a radical lover of Jesus, but I live in a house and pay bills and look like I fit in with respectable society, like most people. What goes on in my head and heart are hopefully the things that betray the look of "normal" that comes at first glance. I hope those things inside of me seep out to actions as well as words of hope and encouragement. I pray that these in turn will lead others to know the loving creator who knows us so intimately that he has a number for every hair on every head.

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