they have great faith (day 16)

You know how little kids jump on you without even thinking, like they know somehow that you’re going to catch them. It seems crazy to me. I know I had that child-like abandon as a kid. There’s home videos to prove it. But somewhere, at some point in time, I stopped jumping without making sure that someone or something was there to catch me.

Little kids have great faith, and yet working with them in ministry is totally different than working with any other group of people. Most kids, especially these ones here, simply need love. They need someone to play pool or ping-pong with them. They need someone to watch them flip on the trampoline. They need someone to climb on and drive them to the beach. They need someone to care enough to make them a peanut butter and jam sandwich and give them a cookie and some clean water. They need someone to encourage them to dance, to paint their toenails and remember their name. They need someone to smile at them and give them a hug and fix their cardboard shark visors when they break.

They need you to be Jesus.

I just finished reading a book by Jeff Jacobson called “So I Go Now”. In it, he talks about what modern-day Jesus would look like. He claims that Jesus would ride a Harley with no helmet, drive into the slum areas and always look like he had always known whoever he talked to. And he would have. He would look rough, but radiate love. He would be challenging and call us to get our hands dirty, but He would help us along the way.

It may sound cliché, but the most obvious example I can give you all right now is one of the people I currently have the great privilege to live and work with. Everyone on my team has been awesome, but if I had to pick one that has completely represented Christ in everything, it would be John.

He has not been at full health since we landed in New Zealand, but that hasn’t stopped him one bit. He is constantly on the move and always has a smile on his face and the strength to hold one more kid on his back. He serves without asking questions, drives all over to run errands and pick kids up, and wholeheartedly loves every kid he works with. I see Jesus so clearly in him and everything he does. It’s an awesome opportunity to be able to serve these kids alongside someone who so clearly is Jesus to them.

Sometimes children’s ministry is hard. Because when you are only here for 3 weeks, you don’t see a whole lot of immediate results. But kids remember when you hang out with them four days a week and spend the time taking them places they don’t really get to go.

So even if you only spend 15 minutes a day telling them about Jesus, it’s alright. Because for 10 days, you’ve shown them Jesus in everything you’ve done and the many ways you’ve loved them.

“Jesus said, ‘Let the little children come to me, and do not hinder them, for the kingdom of heaven belongs to such as these.’”
- Matthew 19:14


LOTR Meets the World Race

This was a video challenge we encountered at Launch Training Camp. We had to make a video and our only prompt was "the Kingdom of Heaven is like..." from Matthew 13. So here is what my creative and brilliant team came up with.

Props to Jake and Emily for so closely resembling Hobbits. Points to John for being the perfect Gandalf. Christine was the creative genius behind the Lord of the Rings idea and the wonderful cameo. And Brook did a fabulous job as our fearless leader.

Enjoy the lost story of Frodo and the Hidden Treasure...

LOTR: Tale of the Hidden Treasure from Margie Termeer on Vimeo.


a conversation on a bus (day 5)

It was like training camp all over again, in a great way. We all regrouped in Matamata, NZ at a YWAM base for 5 days before we got shipped out to our different contacts. And there will be more on that later. So Saturday our teams got on buses and traveled to separate parts of the North Island.

I talked with Robby our squad leader in the morning and he was asking me some random questions. One was, “what is your favorite color?” and I immediately responded with “green!” We were talking with several other racers about how excited we were to leave and go do ministry. We had a three hour bus ride ahead of us so we were looking forward to relaxing on that and Robby said offhandedly, “you never know what can happen on buses…”

How true Robby, how true.

We loaded on the bus yesterday around 3:45, ready for our 3-hour trip. There weren’t a whole lot of open seats, and really none close together, so I found myself sitting next to a young guy who was wearing a bright green shirt. He had a book on his lap, so I figured, we’ll say hi, he’ll read, I’ll read, this will just be an all around nice little trip.

Instead, I had a three hour conversation with a perfect stranger. And it was great. We made some small talk about where we were from (he’s a local kiwi) and what America was like. And we talked about New Zealand and United States politics and Obama and insurance and all of those crazy things. I had given him a vague description of the World Race when we first started talking without going into too much crazy detail.

And it was silent for a few minutes and then he asked a question that opened the doors. He wondered if televangelists and all the things that go along with that was really what represented the American church. So I went with it. I told him why all of us were REALLY doing the World Race and I told him about our experiences in meeting with God and what it is like to live in community and serve. It was an amazing conversation. He had grown up Catholic, but gotten frustrated with “religion.” So he claimed to have faith, but said that it was a more personal, individualistic thing. So we talked about community, about Jesus, about Loving God and Loving Others. He asked about my goals for the trip and this crazy year and I told him honestly.

I walked off the bus smiling. I feel this sense of joy when I get a glimpse of the ways that God works and the ways that he is going to use us this year. God is good, real good. You truly never know what will happen on a bus.


the shire (day 1)

I currently reside across the street from the Shire. Seriously. New Zealand is beautiful, green, has many rolling hills and the sun is shining brightly as I write this at 4:15pm on Tuesday. We are safe and sound at a YWAM base about two hours from Auckland, where we landed at 5:00 this morning. It has been a long day, but it has also been good, full of reunions with people I met and couldn’t wait to see again after saying goodbye to 10 weeks ago at Training Camp.

God is good. That theme keeps resounding in my head, as I meet and talk with people I’ve known only a few short months. He is so good. As most of you already know, I am fully funded for the race. And what is even more wonderful is that out of the 6 people on my team, 4 of us are fully funded for the race. This first week spent in New Zealand will be spent together, all 115 of us living and breathing community. Most of us are way past excited and also a little nervous and scared. There’s so many unknowns, but that’s part of the adventure. And the thing is, God knows. He knows it all, and there is an overwhelming sense of peace among all of us simply because He is in control over every single aspect of this race.

So we begin our adventure. Today is day one, technically. All glory to Him. Here we go.


world race video

Words seriously cannot express how excited I am for this trip. Especially with these people. So pumped. Enjoy the video.

World Race - January 2010 from Margie Termeer on Vimeo.


the letter e

I like the letter e. I use it a lot. Did I think it would completely change my perspective on how God works? Not. A. Chance.

Fast forward to training camp – individual lives were changed and our teams had been made. My team is awesome and soon I’ll fill you guys in on my team members. Friday rolled around and it was “Ministry Day”. This is the part where I’m thinking, “Don’t make me do this, don’t make me go talk to strangers on the street. I’m not good at this…” Every time I think this, I should just know that God is going to rock my world. Every time I feel incapable, He pulls through.

We learned that we were going to head into a part of town called Little Mexico on Friday afternoon to do ministry. What exactly were we going to do? God knew. We didn’t. So, we spent part of the morning praying as a team, asking God to show us where to go and who to talk to. Seemingly random images popped in our heads. We wrote them down. A man in a black hat. People with umbrellas walking down the street. A little girl. Flowers. A corner building by a dark alley. The letter e.

Hmmm, okay God, I don’t get it. But oh well, here we go. So we drove over to Little Mexico and started walking down the street. Almost right away, we notice a man in a black hat sitting at a taco stand.

Teammate: I want some tacos.
Other teammate: Good cover, let’s go over there.

So we walk over to the taco stand and strike up a conversation with this man. We asked which tacos were the best. We asked his name. We asked where he was from and what he was doing here. And come to find out, his mom lives here and she’s sick and he moved to take care of her. So we prayed for him and his mom and that he could soon go home.

Alright, God, that was pretty cool. I didn’t say much in the conversation; some of my teammates took the lead. But I still walked away trusting God a little more.

We kept walking. We walked past a guy who was on the phone and when we were five paces past him, we realized that his hat had the letter e on the front. So what did we do? Two of my teammates turned around and chased this guy down the street. They talked for a few minutes and asked what he was doing. Turns out, he was headed to the local tattoo parlor we had already passed. Cool, maybe we’ll stop in there later on our way back to the car. The guy seemed real nice. We walked some more, talked to a few more people, prayed together and decided to head back and stop in at the tattoo parlor.

We looked around, saw the guy from earlier and struck up a conversation with the tattoo artist sitting at the front desk. He was drawing a tattoo but continued talking to whoever walked up to the desk. I was talking to him when my teammate Christine walked up and started talking about a book she’d recently read about the connection between creativity and spirituality. And all of sudden, I could see this guy get real interested in what she was saying. So before we both knew it, this guy is telling us that he has a little faith but he’s questioning whether or not you can be sure about going to heaven. “OH MY GOODNESS!” I’m thinking. This is crazy. This is unexpected. And I have no clue how to say everything I want to say to this guy.

So God stepped in, plain and simple. He gave us the words. He led my team leader over to share the gospel story with us to this man and another teammate came over and shared some scripture with this guy. We prayed with him before we left and made sure to give him a phone number so that he could get in contact with someone who could continue to answer his questions.

I walked out of that tattoo parlor thinking in a completely different way. God can use whatever he wants to lead us to people who are searching. It can even be as simple as the letter e.

I always glanced over the letter e. I NEVER considered that it could change my perspective on how God works, much less maybe change someone’s life. But God is just that good, and just that big and just that incredible.


stained clothes

They weren’t kidding about Georgia red clay dirt. Seriously, it does stain everything you own. And when you weren’t planning on the cold days and real cold nights, you end up wearing everything warm you own, and it all gets stained.

I’m trying to decide whether or not to keep these clothes. I’m beginning to think that the stains symbolize something. Something different happened to me here this week at training camp and I’m not sure that I can adequately explain it.

God is more powerful and scary and loving and wonderful than I ever imagined. I have seen so much of God this week, and not only in my life. I walked in here on Friday night not knowing a soul. And that night I met three incredible friends, buddies, if you will that have been more than a blessing in my life over the past few days. And as we learned our final teams today, I was blessed again to be placed on a small team with one of my buddies.

God is good. I keep going back to that. And it has been amazing to see that in so many different ways, like a hike through the woods, team building activities, and some serious worship through dancing. Seriously. God is good.

It really is hard to put all in words here on a blog right now, when I’m still in the midst of all these amazing people who so clearly have God in their lives. I have been encouraged and challenged beyond belief and I LOVE it. I have come alive here and I am free.

* I would love to talk to anyone who has questions about training or about what God is doing in my life. I will be available by phone starting Sunday and home by Wednesday so feel free to call or stop by anytime. Love you all! *