Thursday, September 16, 2010

"God willing...I shall return."

Today is my last full day in Dunedin, New Zealand. I feel like there’s a Hobbit stepping on my sternum. Like, I feel a tiny weight in and on my chest right now. It’s pretty weird and all I can do is chalk it up to the love and burden I have for this place and these people. It’s been pretty life changing being here for 11 weeks.

As a ministry team, we’ve said it before and I’ll say it again: we’re all completely at the mercy of God for everything. We are totally dependent on Him to move in men to meet with us. We’re totally dependent on Him to grow the seed that we’ve planted and watered. We’re totally dependent on God to save. We can’t “lead people in prayers.” We can’t convince them to “get saved.” We can’t articulate the Gospel so well that their eyes get opened. And on and on I could go.

All we can do is faithfully live out and share the gospel, and pray that God does something supernatural. All we can do is live faithfully and hope God does something incredible, because even if we live faithfully according to His word, He can still tarry and withhold His loving hand from those with whom we labor—He owes men nothing (Romans 9 and 11). But praise God that He takes great pleasure in the salvation of men. For His Glory, he calls men and women out of spiritual death and into life with Him.

I don’t know much, but if He chooses to save the guys I’ve labored with, I’m going to go be an absolute, over-joyed mess. I will probably cry in a way I’ve never cried before. I’ll dance in a way I’ve never danced before. I’ll laugh in a way I’ve never laughed before. My hope is in Christ alone, but a deep-heart felt prayer is for the salvation of these dudes here at this university.

I told Megan the other day that this place has cut me deep. I feel the weight of this country’s desperate need for Christ and this place has helped me sense my own continual need for Jesus as well. A question that haunts me (in a good way) is: “Why me? Why did He save me?” I mean, he could have left me alone in my sin and allowed it to destroy me. But, he didn’t. He saved me. I see this country’s apathy—most of them just don’t care about Christ at all. But, I care and I want them to know Jesus. God willing, I’m coming back here. I’m coming back to this place if He’ll let me.

Tomorrow, I am leaving New Zealand. Tomorrow, I will rejoice in who Christ is and what He is doing in New Zealand. Tomorrow, I will have clear eyes. Tomorrow, I will have a full heart. Tomorrow, I will say, “God willing, I shall return.”

-Nate Xanders


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