July was an exciting month for the Global Outreach Office as we sent our first CURE U Team to Zambia! This trip was unique in that all of the team members are leaders of our CURE U chapters across the nation. For those who are unfamiliar with the program, CURE U is a nation-wide network of university students who raise funds, awareness, and serve as prayer warriors for our CUREkids. The passion of these students blesses CURE and their campuses year-round. We are so excited that the next generation of CURE leaders experienced the healing hand of the Lord first-hand. The CURE U Team served the hospital, participated in rural outreach, and had a day of recreation at Victoria Falls.
I asked the students to share both their expectations and experiences from the trip, and one interview stuck out. Ryan Slauer attends the University of Georgia and will graduate in 2014. This trip to Zambia was Ryan’s first international mission trip, and he was jazzed! His thoughts both before and after the trip demonstrate a heart activated for service and love from the Lord.
I was blown away by Ryan’s expectations for the trip. He expressed his desire to “be as selfless as possible” and open to whatever Jesus could do through him — not the experiences he could have or boosting his resume, but simply serving. After hearing some of his reflections, it sounds like that is exactly what happened. Ryan made less of himself so the Lord would be magnified and made great!
Ryan shared some of what God taught him through the trip:
“Despite who I am and what I do, God is faithful.
Psalm 73: 21-26 ‘When my soul was embittered, when I was pricked in heart, I was brutish and ignorant; I was like a beast toward you. Nevertheless, I am continually with you; you hold my right hand. You guide me with your counsel, and afterward you will receive me to glory. Whom have I in heaven but you? And there is nothing on earth that I desire besides you. My flesh and my heart may fail, but God is the strength of my heart and my portion forever.’
I have a works-oriented, perfectionist personality, and this bleeds into my faith. Verses like these remind me that when I fail, God is still with me. It reminds me that I will never make myself ‘right with God’.”
Did you catch that? “Despite who I am and what I do, God is faithful.”
How much more would we act out of a place of heavenly power if our first acknowledgement was God’s faithfulness? The Lord has established His plan. It will come to fruition whether we partner with Him or not. We rejoice because He does not need our help. We rejoice because we have an opportunity to work alongside a King!
Even though He does not need our help, He desires it. Ryan was spot-on when he shared another concept God reinforced through this experience:
“I am at the center of His will.
‘The steps of a man are established by the Lord, when he delights in his way; though he fall, he shall not be cast headlong, for the Lord upholds his hand.’ Psalm 37: 23-24″
The Lord has written a story that invites us all to be more than bystanders! We are main characters.
Please pray that the Lord would establish the steps of these upcoming leaders on college campuses all over the nation. The passion of these CURE U students fuels our desire to heal the sick and proclaim the Kingdom of God.
Remember first that the Lord is faithful and second that each of these students, and YOU, are a part of His will. Find a way to jump into His story. That service may be through CURE or through your local church, but putting your toes in the water is the first step.