Part One: Surrendering a Dream
Food is such an important part of our daily lives. And for Ten2 2020, we are learning what it means to live on mission in our ordinary, daily lives. Last summer I had the honor of serving in Spain for Ten2 2019, and one thing that I learned was how important it was to sit down and eat a meal together. Food brought people together. It was a place of rest from the work, and a place for building relationship. I remember sitting down for lunch one day for three hours! And there was another day where we stopped all our work, and sat down for a snack in the afternoon. By the time we finished, it was time to stop working for the day. I was shocked that we wouldn’t finish our tasks for the day. But one of my Spanish friends simply stated, “This is what we do, the work for the day is done.” Sitting down, talking, and resting (and some awkward smiles and nods due to a language barrier) was more important than finishing tasks for the day.
At the end of my summer in Spain, I was sitting in a session at Greater Europe Mission’s (GEM) Annual Conference in Frankfurt when the idea came to my mind of having a taco truck ministry in Europe. Most of the GEM missionaries I had talked to mentioned they really missed tacos from back in the states. This dream was so exciting. I was thinking of all the delicious food I would help make and sharing that food with others who really hungered for something more satisfying than tacos. It would be the perfect bridge-builder. My heart was to bring people together for relationship, and ultimately relationship with God! People are hungry for Jesus, but they just don’t know it! This was a vision of gathering people to rest and eat, fellowship and build friendships together. I held this dream close to my heart, not sure what the Lord had in mind, but also desiring to hold my hands open in surrender. After going back to college as a senior now, I began to plan what my life would look like after graduation. My summer in Spain with the Ten2 Project was so impactful that I wanted to go again to Europe. The Lord has given me a heart for Europe, and I am so excited for what He has in store for me!
But then I heard about a new location for Ten2 2020 in Normandy, France. Low and behold, they had a food truck ministry! I was so amazed that the Lord would put the idea of a food truck ministry on my heart, and three months later, I discovered that GEM already has a food truck ministry in Normandy! I could see the fingerprints of God all over my summer plans. I was so eager and excited to lead my team of five students who were just as excited to serve in Normandy. The food truck ministry is called SOS chai, designed with a refugee camp in mind, to build relationships with young refugee men from Northern Africa. This was one of the many different ministry opportunities we were to participate in this summer. When I heard my trip to Europe had been canceled, I was so confused, thinking that God had already orchestrated so much to lead me to France this summer. I still have no clear answer, but there is one thing I have learned along the way–God doesn’t need me. Even my best dream for what I think God has for me cannot even compare to God’s perfect plan for my life. God doesn’t need me to be in France in order for him to work and soften people’s hearts. But here’s the catch, God invites us to participate in his harvest. He so lovingly desires for us to come alongside him and participate in the work he is already doing.
As for France, I truly believe God has bigger plans for this summer than I had for myself. It has been a struggle to let go of my disappointments of not being able to go to France. But I have also learned to earnestly seek out what God might be doing here at home too. My perspective of missions and ministry has changed. To live on mission starts today; not when I arrive at specific place on the globe, or complete an internship, or graduate from college. But God’s invitation to join him in the harvest is for today! I am relearning what it is to proclaim the gospel of Jesus Christ in my daily life. France is still in my heart, but I am starting to understand that wherever my feet land today, that is exactly where God has called me to. And ultimately I need to live my life in surrender, because I know God’s plans are greater than my own!
– Clarissa Harvey, Ten2 2020 Participant & Storyteller