This year during our week of outreaches in Cesky Tesin, I was struck by the number of kids from the community who knew my name.
We would walk into an event, and all I would hear was a resounding Jason from the younger kids.
I didn’t know many of them – probably only talked to them a few times, led an event they participated in, or gave them a hi-five sometime during a past trip – but they knew me, and made sure to say Hello, Jason every time they saw me.
It was a weird feeling.
At the end of our Encounter Retreat, it all became clear. After our last session, the Czech youth we work with gathered around our team to pray for us.
As one of the Ignite Czech leaders was praying for me, he said something that made the whole experience real:
The youth of this nation will know you by name.
I started to cry.
I don’t always understand why God would call me to impact the lives of young people in another country. I don’t always think I’m the best choice for the job.
I have doubts. Fears.
I get awkward and cranky at times.
I don’t always pour as much into people as I should.
I can’t speak the language (yet).
Not to mention, I’m only in Czech 2 weeks a year, if that.
Yet, God continues to break my heart for the youth of that country.
Maybe that’s what it’s all about. Not my qualifications, expertise, or know-how. Not my giftedness at training up other leaders. Not my ability to see potential and call it out of people.
Maybe, just maybe, it’s because I’m willing – no matter the cost.
That is, after all, what really impacts lives. Not our knowledge, but our love – and willingness to share it with others.
Someday, the youth of the nation will know me by name – not because I’m special, but because I care enough to keep coming back.
What a humbling thought.