We go to a very young church. Young families, young singles, and a ton of college aged kids both at UT Tyler and until recently, from a thing called Teen Mania. Those Teen Mania kids (as if they aren’t close to my same age) know the Bible. I’ve had the opportunity to talk briefly with some of them or hear them preach and you leave encouraged to know the Scriptures. You leave wanting to spend all your time studying the Bible because you realize you don’t really know it.
There’s this one, Michael, who got to preach back in March. He was 16 when he moved to Tyler from Canada to be a part of Center for Creative Media with Teen Mania. He was 21 when he spoke at our church. And he said for a long time he felt led to move to Israel and be a missionary. Not just for a couple of years, but for his whole life. And so he was waiting on the Lord for the past few years to tell him when, how, and prepare him for that stage of his life. He moved in May. God blessed him with a small stipend in a volunteer position over there and has really opened doors to let him know the time is now.
When he spoke in April, I’d literally never heard a better sermon, both in his way of speaking and in his content. Have you ever wondered what, as Christians, our relationship with the Jews is? Have you wondered about that “grafted in” business? You can listen to it here and you won’t be sorry. His passion and heart for both the Lord and for the Jewish people is amazing.
At 21 how many of us are willing to trust the Lord enough to say, “Alright, I’m moving across the world”. Even if you know that’s your calling, I do think most of us would be more along the lines of, “Let me get married first. Let me finish college. Let me set up a really good support system here. I know God’s calling me to do [whatever] but that’s when I’m, like, old.” I’m pretty sure that’d be me. But he’s 21 and has trusted in the Lord’s provision. He’s trusted in the calling that he feels God has given him.
He came back for a couple of weeks for some of his best friends’ weddings. He got to speak again at church, and you can listen to that one here. I promise, you won’t be sorry you listened to this one either.
Weston and I had the opportunity to take him to lunch and talk to him more. You know what? Nothing I thought of him changed. He does love the Lord. He does love studying the Scriptures. And he does love the people in Israel deeply. We went hoping to learn a little more, and encourage him and let him know he’s prayed for here. But we left far more encouraged than I think we could have ever done to him.
If you’re interested in what he’s up to you can follow his blog . If you feel led to support him financially (which he still needs), you can also do that from his website. But as a believer, at least please pray for him and the work he’s doing.