As the Ten2 Project 2021 has come to an end, I asked several Ten2 participants to answer two questions: What is something you want to take home with you and apply? and What is something you want to leave behind? And if they felt led, to share an impactful moment they experienced. These are their responses. I hope it encourages you, uplifts you, and shows you how the Lord has been working personally and powerfully in the lives of the Ten2 participants in Kosova.
Sarah Nixon ~
“Something I want to leave here with what the Lord has been teaching me is that it is not about what I bring, anything I have to offer, or anything I must strive for. In my last semester of school my heart broke for the sin in my life which led to a season of shame and guilt. I don’t know why that season happened, but God has set me free from a lot of it. He has taught me that in my weakness His strength is made perfect. He taught me that I am not enough without Jesus, in Jesus I am enough, and I don’t have to strive for anything but Jesus alone. I want to put my confidence in God and through Him gain confidence in who He created me to be. I don’t want to leave here with the same insecurities I came with but be secure through Christ in everything.”
Parker Overby ~
“I am learning how to be present in everyday life here and I would like to take that back home with me. I want to live life more intentionally where nonbelievers are and branch out from my inner circle of believers. I want to do more outreach and evangelism in my community.” Favorite
Kerith Siemens ~
“I love how the leaders and church members have to work together with other faith communities in Kosova. They still love Jesus and want people to know the truth about Him and that He is the only way, but they realize they must work with other faith communities and cannot force their own agenda all the time. Coworkers at kid’s clubs who are not believers get to invest in the kids as well which has been a way that God has used to soften the coworkers’ hearts.
In the US the church tries to make it clear who’s a believer and who is not. But people outside of faith already have problems with division and making sure that the distinctions are obvious and clear. In church you can only help and invest in the community if you're a believer. I want to take with me, learning how to love Jesus and learn how to partner with other people from different backgrounds and faith. I want to leave behind encouragement to the believers I met, that they are seen by God, that He fights for them, that He cares for their family, for the unsaved, and that they are not alone."
Daniel Aungst ~
“I would like to take back intentionality and curiosity. Intentionality with how people are doing and what’s going on in their lives and curiosity to spark that conversation and foster a relationship between us. That’s something I haven’t had before and something I have learned to develop here. I want to continue that when I get home. I would like to leave behind the encouragement that Jesus is already here, He has been here before we got here, and He has always been here in Kosova.”
Kat Knight ~
“This summer I learned that when a leader sees a situation that most people would see as a negative situation, they can automatically think something positive about it. During one of our ministry weeks my team and I were cleaning out a disgusting closet and organizing a cabinet of toys and books. We didn’t think we could fit all the stuff back into the closet again. But then our leader, Pajtim, came over and said we needed to fit more. People would normally see this situation and say it would not work, but I learned, from Pajtim’s outlook, that it is possible, and that the situation can work and will work. We ended up fitting all the stuff into the closet! I learned to see the situation and automatically see something positive about it.
What I have learned and want to take back home with me is having a mindset of being intentional. I go to the same coffee shop every single day and most of the time the same barista is there, but I don’t know her name. That’s a problem. This has been bothering me this whole summer. She has made my coffee every single time and I haven’t even bothered to ask her name.
I want to also leave behind pride. I came in on this trip thinking I have this. Youth ministry is what I do back home, so I have this! But no, I fell straight on my face. The youth club here isn’t like the youth club back home. I came in thinking that it would be easy, and it was not easy. It was a very humbling experience and I’m very happy about that."
Hannah Wohlman ~
“What I’m taking away from Kosova is a renewed purpose in what it means to find my purpose and desire in God and learning to give up everything that I am. My last semester of college I was thinking more about my own desires for my life and trying to push away ministry. Now that I am here, I am giving up myself and trying to live with a renewed sense of purpose for God’s will. What I want to leave here, which is the goal of Ten2, is to plant seeds after the harvest. I want to bless Pajtim and Nora with new relationships that they can grow and build. I want to leave them with more ideas with more people to pour into and to know more people of peace.”
Kavi Collins ~
“I would like to leave behind my lack of trust in the discernment I have in hearing the Lord's voice. Coming here I struggled with trusting the Lord’s voice and wondering whether it was His or mine. But while being here the Lord has clarified it to me so I can trust it and know it’s His.”
I would like to take back what I have learned from others on this trip. Which is being actively engaged with where others are at and meeting them there instead of staying where I am at. I want to be a better friend to others. I never had friends that loved me as well as people here have. I have only known these people for a short time, and they feel more like home than anywhere else. I want to take back loving people that way, more intentionally, in a way that points to Christ and continually points to Christ.”
Roma Osborne ~
“I learned the gospel doesn’t need to be hammered down people’s throats. Many times, you take your time with it. Create rhythms, then have regular people you shine a light to in those daily/weekly rhythms-store owners, baristas, waiters, etc. Pick the same Walmart aisle every time. Or a regular coffee shop. Ask what their name is to start! I don’t know why I’ve never broken it down like this before or been as intentional with it.
I want to leave behind encouragement to the local church. I hope that they were encouraged by my presence and that I was a blessing. That we were all a blessing, not a burden.
I want to see if it will work out trying to create rhythms back in DFW. It may look different, but I could try. Also, I want to keep practicing my videography! I grew in that more than I ever thought possible! It would be cool to continue to practice storytelling just with random people back home and tell their stories!”
Grace Roche ~
“I’m going to take back a love and vision for the nations. Back home, I haven’t thought much about missions or about other countries and what goes on there. I want to bring back a real passion for missions and I want to talk about them more to bring awareness.
I have been spending a lot of time with some of the coworkers and getting to know them from one of the organizations where we’ve been serving all summer. I want to leave behind a strong connection with them where if I were to come back, I’ll go back and see them and be able to talk to them and be excited to see them. That the relationships would have an impact. That I am not just an American that came for the summer but that it would stick with them, that we made a difference.”
Jeffrey Lin ~
“What I have learned that I want to take with me is finding better cycles of work and rest. This trip has taught me the importance of a sabbath. I realize back home I have a big tendency to work and not rest. Here the lifestyle has shown me the difference because I don’t have a lot of commitments but instead, I have been living day to day focused on the task in front of me. In a way it’s hard because I’m not used to it, but also freeing and a privilege because I don’t have so many responsibilities. I think when I go back it’ll be a challenge because I would have to schedule my sabbath for myself but a challenge I am willing to take on.
A big thing that I have learned these last two months is not conforming to the pattern of this world. That’s one of the reasons I’m on this trip and one of the ways I’ll resist the worldly aspects of working and no rest. I’ll do that by honoring the Lord’s day and making that commitment in giving my time, resting, and honoring God in that. I also want to remember that my works don’t give me my worth and that my priority is to find my joy in Jesus, to honor Him, and grow my relationship with Him and then everything else in my life will flow from that.”
Grayson Sain ~
“What I have learned that I want to take home is a stronger faith! I’ve seen the Lord answer prayers, keep promises, and use me in ways I never could’ve imagined. My faith has grown so much, and I’m excited to see how the Lord will use that back at home! I can no longer limit the Lord but pray bold and specific prayers and wait to see how He answers it.
I hope that I’m leaving behind encouragement for the church members here! They had to fight to know Jesus and be at church. I want to have faith like that home. I also want to leave behind false/negative identities that I’ve given myself and replace them with the identities Jesus has given me.”
Allie Johnson ~
“I’m going to take home what the Lord is teaching me which is leverage, stretch and depend. Leverage every moment I am in for the Lord and be willing to be stretched and uncomfortable in a way that forces me to be 100% dependent on Him. I want to be able to look back on this summer and say I gave 100% to Jesus and not hold anything back for myself. I don’t want it to be just a here thing but an everywhere I go thing. I want to leave people knowing Jesus better whether they know Him or not. I want them to have a better understanding of who He is because of me. Also, kindness. I want to show people the value of kindness.”
Kaylie Parker ~
“I want to take home and apply something I experienced with Allie in a 24-hour period through being convicted by God. As hers were leverage, stretch and depend. Mine are leverage, stretch, and satisfied. I want to leverage every moment for Christ and when that happens, I pray I be stretched for the sake of Christ even when it's uncomfortable. I now hunger for that discomfort for the sake of the gospel. Satisfy. I want to apply the mentality of seeking every day not to be satisfied in other people with the things I’m doing or even the good intentions behind something, but truly be satisfied in God and have everything else fall into place after that.
What I want to leave behind can seem cliché but a step further. I want to leave Christ behind and none of me. I pray that where my pride steps in I actually will be forgotten in that. I pray the church remembers the encouragement and the fact that they were loved. That the people who were seeking, the people who I had conversations with, people who I encountered from the centers and in street evangelism, that they would be sparked to know more about Christ and be connected with the church and to walk towards that closer. For complete strangers will recognize that there is something different, that there is hope, something that we have sought to share this whole summer. I pray that that is left behind.”
– Jenae Stevenson, Ten2 2021 Participant & Storyteller