A New Voyage

By Dennis Farris, CBM National Intern –

The ropes are released and you can hear the soft whir as the engine starts. The boat slowly begins moving forward across the water. The captain begins to steer, to ensure a safe departure, and consults his maps and instruments to ensure a safe voyage. At this point, one must put his faith in the boat, that it won’t sink or fall apart, and in the captain, that he may get you safely across the seas. When we are called of God, our journey into a life with Him can be seen as something similar. We throw off the ropes, the things that tie us down and hold us back, (for me, this would be things such as anxiety and worry, finances, etc.) and put our faith in God, our Captain, to get us to His destination. Unlike a normal voyage, however, we don’t always know the destination. We don’t know where God will take us and it won’t always be the smoothest ride. We can expect storms, troubles, and pains. However, we can expect God to get us through and, ultimately, we know that His destination for us is far greater than anything we could ever imagine.

I believe that our calls into different ministries can be seen as voyages as well. In my case, God has currently called me into an internship with Children’s Bible Ministries (CBM), a new voyage, a new set of storms and, ultimately, new chances to glorify God, serve others, and grow closer to Him. Before we can begin our journey, however, we must be prepared for the journey. God uses the different voyages that we’ve been on previously to prepare us for the future journey. Small things, big things, the people we’ve met–God can use all of this to grow us and shape us for His calling. Even before we knew His calling for us, God could easily have been preparing and shaping us for His destination, for His journey for us.

I first started to realize my calling into ministry in 2010, when I went to Mexico on a mission trip. At the time, I wasn’t as serious about my faith as I should have been and I was looking for purpose, for a destination in my life. A man by the name of Stephen informed me of a place, Word of Life Bible institute, that could help me find purpose. When I got back to the United States, I looked into it and was interested. On September 1st, I finished my application and was accepted. September 7th I arrived on campus to begin an intense two-year journey into the Word of God and a taste of ministry.

Unbeknownst to me, students were required to do camp ministry during the summer. I decided I would go to The Island, where the teens are, and do camp ministry there. God, however, had different plans and I was put into the children’s camping ministry, known as The Ranch. That first summer was the best summer I’d ever had, and I realized then that I enjoyed being in ministry and that I enjoyed working with kids. I counseled three more summers and then did what was called unit leading for two more summers, where I would be in charge of a group of counselors, their discipleship, and where they would be each week.

In 2017, the doors on Word of Life were closed, as I had no transportation to work at camp there. I decided I would take a break from camp ministry for that summer and just find a job, but God had other plans. Gina Hardin invited me to work at Camp Ozone, but I was reluctant and didn’t want to step back from being a unit leader to counseling children again. God worked and pulled at my heart for a few days and, shortly before camp began, I contacted Gina and told her I would be there for camp. It was while I was there that God presented a new opportunity, a new direction for me. Jacquelyn, CBM’s National Intern Coordinator, who was working at the camp for the summer, told us of the internship with Children’s Bible Ministries, to which I applied when I got home. A new problem arose, however, as I didn’t have reliable transportation for the internship, and I wasn’t able to go at that time. Fast forward to next summer, I found a job and a decent car. About two months into the job, I got a message from Lincoln telling me that they had an open spot in the internship, so I talked to my boss, who informed me he potentially had a better job with better pay in the works for me. But, after some prayer and thinking, I decided to take the internship. So here I am, launched into a new journey, into a new voyage, only following my Captain’s commands.

To be honest, I can see how God is really going to stretch me this year. There are many storms on the horizon and I can only trust the Captain to navigate them. I struggle with confidence, particularly standing in front of and speaking to people, and interacting with people I haven’t met before, and there has been mention of many such opportunities. The storms will be rough, the voyage will be trying but, ultimately, we have a Captain who we can trust to get us through these storms and to the destination. Getting through this internship will give me a taste of what full-time ministry will be like and help me determine God’s will and purpose for me–if full-time ministry is what God has for me, or if he’d like me to go in another direction.

Edited by CBM National

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