My name is Andrew. I currently serve as the Mid-Term Director here at Brook Hills and have been doing that for about a year and a half now.
There are several aspects of my job that I’d like to see achieved. One, the glory of God and the gospel being advanced to all nations. And, two, allowing our members an opportunity to go overseas Mid-Term, which is usually two months to two years.
A two month to two year period overseas really allows the Spirit to work in ways that it may not be able to work here in our culture. The comforts, the desires, and things of our culture here in America make it hard for somebody to want to take risks for the gospel. Going Mid-Term allows God to really work in people to show them the need, the lost, and their own gifting. It’s an experience that I’d really like to see all individuals... singles, college students, friends and families do. I know not everybody is called to a Mid-Term assignment, but those that may be sensing a calling will determine it’s a good step.
Going Mid-Term also really helps affirm a calling in someone’s life whether or not Long-Term missions is what they’re supposed to do. Rather than just going on a Short-Term trip and then going overseas forever, going Mid-Term helps the Lord work in that person individually and also helps the church affirm that calling in somebody’s life.
Growing up, missions was not on my radar. It wasn’t taught to me so I didn’t have much experience with it until I learned of our former pastor, David Platt. I began listening to him which lead me to serve here at Brook Hills. One of my very first mission trips outside of the U.S. was in 2008. I went to serve in south Sudan. There, my eyes were opened to spiritual poverty and spiritual lostness. They both intersected in this country where they’re both very poor and very lost. That’s when I felt my life kind of take a change, so to speak, of what missions is, where the need is, and what it’s all about. That’s where the Lord started showing me giftings in my life, showing me passions in my life that He’s equipped me for. And that trip started a series of events in my life that led me to go overseas Mid-Term to Southeast Asia.
I think the greatest impact on me from a mission standpoint was the person I served under when I was overseas in Southeast Asia. He taught me how to share with the lost, with Muslims specifically, and what it really means to live a life on mission day-to-day rather than it just be a category of your life. Waking up each day and really looking for opportunities to share the gospel. And watching his life and how he prayed for the poor and the lost, I saw what it really meant to be a man of prayer.
Going overseas Mid-Term really showed me how the Lord works through Long-Termers but also shaped some of the giftings and passions that I have now to help the Church go.
One of my favorite aspects of my job is when we bring back Mid-Termers after they’ve completed their assignment and debrief. I get to hear how the Lord used them and how the Lord worked in them. It’s just incredible hearing how the Lord used them to bring people to Himself and how people in an unreached people group are being saved.
This past summer we sent eight college students to Kuala Lumpur, part of our Global Cities Initiative, and as they were each debriefing, this story kept coming up of how they were able to reach out to, I think, 32 different nationalities. At the very end of their time together, they had a big party and invited everybody they had been able to share the gospel with. They probably had over a 100 different people in their apartment. This just showed me how the Lord used this team to bring the nations together and gave a picture of what Heaven is going to be like. Just hearing them talk about that was… I don’t know how to describe it… just filled me with joy, how the Lord used them in KL this past summer.
I think we have many people that are questioning whether or not they should go Mid-Term. Like, how do I know if I should go? In these times, lots of fear and anxiety often come out. So the main thing that I try to help people do is focus on what their motivation is. Why do they want to go? What is the reason they’re even asking the question of should I go to ‘blank’ or to this place or that place? I try to help them see that the motivation can only be that they want to see the glory of God increased because that’s the only thing that’s going to sustain them overseas. Not the people that they’re going to, not the place they’re going to—those things will fail them. But if their motivation is the glory of God being extended to people of all nations, that’s the only thing that will sustain them. Also, I want them to be encouraged... So I remind them that although fear may never go away and anxiety may never go away, they serve a sovereign Lord who will take care of them while they’re there.
These next two weeks, we’re asking and pushing this theme of Every Member on Mission. It’s not necessarily meaning that every single member needs to be on mission overseas. But our Global team wants to encourage you to evaluate your life and ask yourself... What does living on mission look like right now in your life? Where is the Lord calling you to invest? Is it serving the church here? Serving locally in Birmingham? Or maybe it is going overseas Short-Term, Mid-Term, Long-Term. Ask yourself, where has God gifted you serve? Because every member has a role to play here at Brook Hills whether it’s here or overseas.
And I would encourage whoever’s reading this to pray through whether or not the Lord may be calling you to go overseas Mid-Term, to ask those hard questions, and to take risks for the gospel because it’s worth it and Jesus is worth taking a risk and allowing Him to work in and through you.
Andrew is the Director of Mid-Term Missions at Brook Hills where his role is to train and send individuals, families, and teams to serve for periods of two months to two years around the world. He and his wife, Sarah, have been married since December 2012. They have a seven-month-old son named Josiah, after one of Andrew’s favorite people in the Bible.