Deny Yourself: My Story of Self-Denial & Abundant Life
“Whoever wants to be my disciple must deny themselves and take up their cross and follow me.” -Mark 8:34
I still remember the moment I heard the words of Mark 8, grasping their significance for the first time. Sitting amongst peers while at university – I was largely preoccupied by ambition and my pursuit of excellence.
I didn’t know a lot back then about what it means to follow Jesus, but I did know Jesus as the Saviour who pulls little children closer, drowning out harshness with His greatness. His hands had sheltered my heart throughout my youth and brought along gifts of companionship, discipleship, and understanding. I felt cherished by Jesus and it was his inordinate compassion towards me that kept me tethered to Him.
Deny - the word sprang out at me, convicting and exposing me.
What did that mean?
I was well positioned to pursue the American Dream and succeed at it, and denying myself in any way was not really part of the plan. So tangibly struck, I fumbled to respond to those words within our group, finally landing on, “I don’t think I’m doing that”.
“For whoever wants to save their life will lose it, but whoever loses their life for me and for the gospel will save it.” -Mark 8:35
Oh boy, somehow denying myself was connected to losing my life and that was not anywhere on my to-do list. I was on track for a comfortable life, full of all the perks of a first-world society, with no regard for the reality that no one avoids suffering anyway...
Ministry at the Speed of Relationships
Building relationships is the first and foremost thing we should be about - everything else comes out of relationships. Building relationships with people from other cultures is so important, as humor; lifestyle; values; and beliefs are so different to ours, and don’t translate well. Living next to, and working with other nationalities, requires relationship.
Jesus taught us that building relationships is the greatest and most important thing we do - no strings attached.
So, how do we build Christ-honoring relationships in our life & ministry? In this article, Paul draws on wisdom from the Bible, underscoring the importance of humility, forgiveness, trust, and genuine care in developing deep and meaningful relationships. And he challenges us, first and foremost, to approach ministry (and life) at the "speed of relationships!"
RE-VIEW is a retreat that provides a period of reflection for cross-cultural workers (individuals, couples and families) in transition.
The Bittersweet of Travelling as an Adult TCK
Over the last year, I took more flights than I ever have within a single year. I’ve had more time to be in these liminal spaces than ever before. As an adult TCK (Third Culture Kid), this has invited me to reflect more deeply on why I am where I am in the world, and how that continues to shape my identity. In these spaces I momentarily re-enter into the journey of transition and grief.
In this article, Malik shares about his recent travels, and offers advice on how to process complex feelings while traveling and staying connected to multiple cultures.
Wilderness ReBoot 2023
Wilderness ReBoot is an annual Canadian Retreat for adult MKs (Missionary Kids) in the Canadian back country wilderness.
Classic ReBoot 2023
Classic ReBoot is an annual Canadian Retreat for MKs (Missionary Kids) and TCKs (Third Culture Kids).
Risk-taking in the Canadian Wilderness
What first came to mind when I was invited to the “Canadian wilderness” to help lead a Wilderness Camp for adult third culture kids (ATCKs) this past July was the book Hatchet by Gary Paulsen.
All spring I relished these thoughts: an adventure of “humans against the elements” with a group of young adult TCKs and ATCK co-leaders who “got it.” Overcoming challenges together is a great way to bond quickly, and with other ATCKs, I knew those bonds could form quickly in the right setting. Having grown up in the mountains of Vermont and in the highlands of Kenya, hiking, camping, paddling, and climbing in wild places is revitalizing to me.
We were headed into all the key elements of adventure: horseback riding, rock climbing, kayaking, and hiking in the mountains where elk, moose, and grizzly bears roamed, living in tents that had just been resurrected after a literal crushing storm. In between, we would split wood and help with cooking, and immerse ourselves in outdoor life—axe throwing and bonfires, outhouses (let’s be real) and camp cooking, fast changing weather, and the sweetest air you could imagine. For me, that kind of life isn’t about a contest so much as it is about finding harmony with elements that can give wonderful gifts and can also kill you. Risk in its essence...
Inviting MKs and TCKs to Stillwood: An Interview with Mallory
Listen in to this interview with Mallory Luesink, Program Director at Stillwood Camp and Conference Centre, about her experience as an MK (Missionary Kid) and about opportunities for TCKs (Third Culture Kids) and MKs and Stillwood Camp!
"Stillwood provided the space as a young MK for me to gain community, and to experience growth spiritually and in leadership." - Mallory Luesink
Wilderness ReBoot: What to Expect
Designed for adult MKs (Missionary Kids) seeking a deep encounter with God amidst the beauty of the Canadian back country wilderness, Wilderness ReBoot is a co-ed retreat for MKs (Missionary Kids) ages 21-35 willing to be challenged physically and spiritually, while deepening their relationship with God by seeking His direction in their lives.
Benjamin Reed, the Program Director for Wilderness ReBoot shares the purpose behind the retreat and a behind-the-scenes look at what you can expect.
Updates & Reflections from My Trip to India
Paul shares stories, updates and reflections from his recent trip to India. God is at work!