My Story: Will I Bend or Break Overseas?

flexibility bend break

During the month of August, Go. Serve. Love is stoked to share stories from All Nations, a global training and sending agency.

All Nation’s vision is to see Jesus worshiped by all the peoples of the earth.  Their mission? To make disciples and train leaders to ignite church planting movements among the neglected peoples of the earth.

All Nations International serves 4 training and sending hubs:  Kansas City, Missouri; CapeTown, South Africa; Kampala, Uganda, and Hamburg, Germany.

They would love to see people of every ethnicity trained and mobilized from their region of the world to be goers and senders of the Gospel.

Read more here about All Nations in our Meet an Agency series. Today, we’re sharing Callie’s story. 

Callie’s Story

Earlier this spring, I had a mountaintop experience–at least as much as one can have on the rolling plains of Oklahoma.

I perched on a zipline platform. Terrified, I waited to jump and experience the thrill of falling, sliding down the line.

I had donned a ridiculous-looking harness and scaled a 50-foot pole, sweaty-palmed and shaking. I had hauled myself over the platform unaided, only to cling like a barnacle for dear life to that pole while it swayed wildly in the Midwest “breeze”.

flexibility tree bend break

The more we move

Needless to say, I was not expecting to sense God teaching me in that moment.

I peered respectfully at the tree-studded horizon while the instructor pointed out various landmarks in the skyline.

He noticed I wasn’t saying much. “You know, the more this pole and platform move, the better off we are.”

I looked at him like he had lost his mind. “Why?”

“Look out at the trees,” he said. “See how they’re absorbing the force of the wind and bending? The more flexible they are, the less damage they sustain. The wind blows through them, but they don’t break. If they didn’t bend, they’d snap in half.”

bend break tree flexibilityBend or Break?

This guy might as well have been speaking straight to my soul.

With everything that has happened in the last two months in preparing our family to move overseas, we’ve been learning to master the fine art of flexibility, and with that, sustainability. I’ve learned we can’t be too rigid in our thinking, actions, and plans.

Because when a strong wind comes, we either bend or break.

Isaiah 61:3 speaks of God’s people as “oaks of righteousness”. From what I now know about trees, I understand great strength is dependent on superb flexibility. (Don’t miss Go. Serve. Love’s post, Just Different? Right, Wrong, and Flexibility in Crossing Cultures.)

And at the top of that platform, I knew I wanted to more readily bend to God’s “wind”–His will and direction for my family, and the breath of His Spirit.

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