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.