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Prepared us to Serve

By Ron Team Leader to Albania
It's a challenge to be a short term mission trip Team Leader for the first time! Having and really using the LLI's Team Building Training was just the help I needed. 
I'm amazed how quickly the sessions enabled our team to bond, and each segment walked us through all the things to consider, learn and pray about. I was impressed with the good-fitted blend of scripture truth with conversation and activity prompters. 
A bonus was the appealing visuals on screen that accompanied every step. The training course was actually a relief and enabled me to engage and serve with my team without feeling burdened by wondering if I've done enough to prepare them. A 2nd bonus was the great tools and questions provided for debriefing after the mission. Kudos to LLI's great resource for short term teams!


Transform Servant Leadership


As part of his TRANSFORM training, Noah served as camp director during two Missionary Kids (MKs) camps. Here is what he discovered in the process:

Coming into camp, I did not know how to lead my team as camp director.The day before the campers arrived for the first camp, I was overwhelmed by all the preparation work we had to do. My co-director and I did not have a plan for the camp to give the team. As I was about to try to plan out the camp’s weekly schedule, God graciously put it on my heart to read the Sermon on the Mount, which we would be focusing on throughout the camp.While reading this part of Scripture, God drew my attention to Matthew 6:33 which says:

“But seek first his kingdom and his righteousness, and all these things will be given to you as well.”

The moment I read this verse, I realized I had the wrong mindset toward directing camp. I had been so focused on the task of directing that I had forgotten to ask God what His will was for the camp.

This is when God led me to introduce to MK Camp a material centered around the campers meeting with God through His creation.

On what I thought was going to be the third full day of camp, the campers would have an hour or more on their own to go through a material called Solitude that tries to help people slow down and take the time to listen to and see God through the amazing Creation He has made.Through sending rain on the morning of the first full day of camp, God showed me that He wanted the campers to start their time by going through this material so that they would also have the chance to seek first His Kingdom. 

I had always viewed rain as an obstacle to camp as it usually messed with the sports days, but God was teaching me that He was in control of the weather, and He could use rain to reveal His will for the day. As Psalm 19:1-2 says, “The heavens declare the glory of God; the skies proclaim the work of his hands. Day after day they pour forth speech; high after night they reveal knowledge.”

God showed His will through the rain to our camp team and helped us and the campers seek Him first. After seeing God work in the two MK Camps, I can confidently say that after our team sought God’s Kingdom first, all the rest was given to us. This is something I am taking into my daily devotion times as God has helped me see that before I do anything in the day even on my phone, I should spend time in His Word because of the blessings that come from seeking Him first every day. 

Growing to Serve

I have three great passions in my life – nature, children and being a Christ Follower.

I have always loved being in nature and exploring God’s amazing Creation. I love walking in woods and traveling, especially on mountains where I can feel God’s presence the most. I’ve always loved working with kids and helping them to discover the world around them.

Since I was 16 I have been a volunteer in Sunday school, orphanage, different camps and hiking trips where kids and youth are involved. I majored in pedagogy and worked in kindergartens and schools almost for 5 years. 

But all these years I had a feeling that this is not enough. God is calling me somewhere else where I can use my potential more.

In the meantime, I worked as a volunteer in an international Christian organization "Scripture Union" in Latvia, in the program called Godly Play for children. I went to Estonia with a Scripture Union team from Latvia and took part in LLI's Discover Training. I met the trainers and some students from my future LLI team there which helped me later to make a final decision to participate in the Transform training.

I started to see how I can combine my three biggest passions and follow God’s will. Those were very special and important 5 days. 

After Estonia, I felt that this is the right time to make some changes in my life and go full time in Ministry work. So I decided to leave my job in school and join SC Latvia team. But I knew that I will need some good training that could help me to grow as a leader and to discover my strengths and weakness. I knew that I need more knowledge and practice in Camp Ministry. 
So the summer Transform Training was the perfect option for me. I went there without knowing how important this summer will be for me and how much it will help me to grow and make changes in life.

That summer I discovered new things about God and myself every day, But most importantly I made lifelong friendships with people from all over the world. I met so many amazing kids in camps and in crew team this year that helped me to clearly see God’s love and care for His people.

My LLI team and staff became my family this summer. We built a team and learned together, we prayed and worshiped our Heavenly Father together. We were cooking and traveling. We spent so many hours laughing about ourselves and life till it was time to go to sleep. We helped each other to grow and become a true God’s disciple. We served together spiritually - working in different Ministries, and practically - cleaning the camp place and doing yard work. And over all I had amazing support team who took care of me. I had coffee talks and special debrief times with our trainers and mentors, and I had a prayer group at home who were also was thinking about me.

When I came to the training site in Croatia at the beginning of the summer, I had lost my joy in life and I had many insecurities. Before I came, I was so certain that it was God's plan that I have to be here but suddenly I couldn't find my place in a team.  I started to see things in me which I didn't like. But God already was started His work in me.

One of my prayers in this summer was that God would use me as a useful tool in His hands. There were some special moments in camps when just a simple talk or action from me inspired some kids to make changes in their life’s. I had that amazing opportunity to be their counselor during camp. These moments were my answered prayers. I had to be there this summer because God used me in His work. And that is so amazing! 

I grew week by week, I became more confident about myself, I discovered different leadership skills in me, I learned that I am a peacemaker, encourager and team player, and, most importantly, I renewed my relationship with God and regained the joy of my life.

Transform Training will always have a special place in my heart because of the people and relationships which I built there. And I continue to communicate with my friends and leaders through whatsapp and social media. We continue to pray together and for each other. And I can surely say that I came home much more equipped and prepared for my new role in Sripture Union Latvia. And also in this new journey when I’m home, I can get mentorship from the team about successes and happy moments and also about struggles in life and Ministry work.

Zane has continued to take part in LLI's trainings and has put her training to practice back home in Latvia, where she is now the Project Manager at Sava Daba, an outdoors adventure ministry of Scripture Union.

Online Webinars & Courses

Does Prayer Make a Difference?

by Brian stout

It was February 14, 2020, and I was by the Aegean Sea in Thessaloniki, Greece, crying out to God in prayer. I was asking God for help and direction. As I was praying, I sensed the Lord asking me, "Do you trust me?"

My response was, "Yes, of course I trust you. I gave my life to follow you in missions to Macedonia". 
It was then that I felt that God was asking me to really TRUST Him, and to surrender everything to Jesus, even the dream of missions in Macedonia of 14 years. With tears in my eyes, I surrendered to Jesus the dream of missions in Macedonia, the work God had called us to do over 14 years ago. It was then that I sensed such peace from God, as I was willing to hear His voice and obey.

Do you trust God today? Are you praying about something and you are not receiving an answer, at least not what you want? Are you disappointed or mad at God? Does prayer really make a difference?
In my journey of life in Europe, working as a missionary with my family, I have wrestled with all these questions. I do not always understand God's ways, but I do know that His ways are higher than my ways and He truly does know best, and wants what is best for you, even if it includes suffering in the journey.  God also wants to communicate with you through prayer.

Over my years in Macedonia, Europe, I have really enjoyed prayer walks. You get great exercise, being outdoors, and you can talk and listen to God at the same time. I have also enjoyed prayer runs, where I used to run along the river in Skopje with good friends while we prayed, even up to half a marathon or more. You get great exercise, time with friends, and communion with God Almighty. Love it!

I have also enjoyed journaling my prayers and then coming back months later to see how God had answered so many prayers in my life. I would challenge you to write your prayers down in a journal or even on a prayer wall. My wife and I have put up poster board paper on the wall and have written our prayer requests on it and then circled them. It is amazing to watch God answer those prayers!  It is fun too, as you can see those prayer requests every day as they are on the wall right in front of you.

One of our prayer requests was for God's clear guidance in our lives. I prayed a lot!  I got discouraged a lot. I did prayer walks. I prayed with others, my wife and kids. Yet, waiting on God is hard.  It was about 6 months after I had been along the Aegean Sea in Greece, that my wife and I scoped out a new part of the world - Zadar, Croatia. After much prayer, God made it very clear that Zadar was the place for us, as one pastor said, "Zadar means it's a gift and it is a gift for you". WOW! God had prepared a place for us. However, we had to be willing to surrender one dream for another dream.

God does answer prayer! Prayer does make a difference. God hears you! God sees you. God loves you. He wants to hear from you today!  "Ask and it will be given to you; seek and you will find; knock and the door will be opened to you.  For everyone who asks receives; the one who seeks finds; and to the one who knocks, the door will be opened" (Matthew 7:7-8).




What is TRANSFORM Training?