Europe (OM) — “Be willing to die to yourself,” says Mpumi Maweni, Operation Mobilization leader of the Transit Challenge (TC) program, “and be willing to live in a small van. Then you are ready to go.”
The eleventh Transit Team recently headed to Ireland to start a five-month journey of spreading the Gospel in Europe, a trip that includes cultural exposure, team work and adventure on the road. Their first stops are Ireland, Montenegro, and Austria.
“The cool thing is,” Mpumi explains, “you see God doing something within the teams and through the teams.” The participants grow because they have to depend on one another.
“God told me to jump off the cliff,” a girl, who had joined TC, said. “And I had to learn that He catches me.”
Jenny Wei, Addie Moore, TaeHee Son and JongKoo* recently left the OM Lifehope base in Halesowen, UK, to start their journey of embracing 1 Corinthians: Learning to suffer with one another and growing together as a family in Christ, Mpumi explains.
“I expect to be taken out of my comfort zone, but also to grow so much, seeing God burn away the ugly parts in me,” says Addie.
“I expect God to work in my relationship with Him and with my teammates,” Jenny and TaeHee add.
Sent onto the road after two weeks of training at the OM Lifehope base, the team supports other OM teams, like-minded ministries or field workers as they travel throughout Europe.
“They have to do a lot of things by faith,” Mpumi says, “but they also will get encouragement from us, and we pause them on the road for training and rest.”
Conflicts of all kinds that come up in the team will be dealt with, and as JongKoo voices, “It might also be difficult to work together as a team at times.”
Each participant has a story, and each story carries the footprint of God.
“When my grandmother died, I started to look for mission opportunities,” shares Jenny, from Taiwan. Moving forward, she ran against many closed doors. Visas for Taiwanese people turn out to be hard to get. Not giving up, she turned another direction that lead to OM.
The individual stories of the participants share a common theme: God is sovereign.
Yet in His sovereignty, He is personal, confirms TaeHee: “When I was in the US for language training, I heard that I couldn’t do the [OM short-term] program. I was severely discouraged, but the manager prayed for me this one sentence that really touched me: ‘Being a missionary is not so much about planning,’ he said, ‘but being challenged every day to live the best way possible in Christ.’”
In TC, small teams of people from different nations work together and are transformed together. Change is viewed as something good, and God doesn’t fail to teach the team members in humorous ways.
When Jenny arrived in the UK, her luggage didn’t arrive with her. She shared that that is not amusing for a 20-year-old girl, and her first reaction was tears. “But then,” she continues with excitement, “God gave me peace. He even took my homesickness away and told me to be brave.”
She smiles as she concludes the story: “My luggage was really heavy, and now I didn’t even have to carry it because eventually they delivered it to me.”
Packing their travel bags into the van the night before they leave, the team gathered together for their last meeting before venturing into the unknown. The unknown might seem scary, but really, they know it brings blessings: God can become their security. So, they head out and leave their securities behind.
Please pray for the Transit Challenge team over the next five months as they travel around Europe supporting OM ministries and bringing the Gospel to those they meet.
*Full name not included for security reasons