Mcendarfer missions 2017
God’s grace never ceases to amaze me! I wanted to provide an update by way of letter to shout from the rooftops how amazing my God is. He continues to care for me and Ethan in ways I will never be able to understand.
For many years, I have wrestled with my purpose in this earthly life. I’ve contemplated corporate versus ministry for many years. I believed the lie society tells us that being in the ministry means you have less. Less money. Less success. So I ran in the opposite direction and invested my heart and soul into the American dream. I equated my success to how much money I made, how many friends I had, my title in corporate life and so much more. I strived for the things that would win applause from my friends and family.
In November, I spent 7 days in Cluj, Romania. I had the opportunity to lead a team of 13 individuals from Awaken Church to serve alongside a Romanian YWAM team (Youth With A Mission) who are sharing the gospel in a variety of ways in Cluj. Each person on our team was able to use their talents for the glory of the God. We worked in the kindergarten, 5th -8th grade school, the Roma community (a group of outcast Romanians who live on the outskirts of the city), and in the churches with adults and youth. We shared testimonies, preached, sang, laughed, loved and cried. And oh boy did I cry!
It was a very emotional experience for me. For the past 6 months, I have felt the Lord compelling me to give up the earthly things that I hold onto so tightly. I find that I cling to many material things that don’t produce any heavenly reward. They don’t provide any fulfillment. I live my life day by day and oftentimes don’t even have a meaningful conversation with someone because I’m striving for the next great success. By the grace of God, I’ve seen a lot of success in my life for my age. I have a wonderful husband, a finance degree, a job that compensates me well, a house that I own, and I can go on. While these things appear to provide fulfillment, comfort and pleasure, they can never fill a void in your heart that Jesus is meant to fill.
To share more of the story that I have been unable to share until now – I was offered a full-time position at our current church, Awaken Church, in Columbia. They requested me to be responsible for missions, worship arts and finance. When I was offered this position back in October, I was honored and humbled but unable to reconcile what I would be “giving up.” This offer was unexpected and threw a loop in my 5-year plan. I’ve always known I was called to full-time ministry and like I described above, I have been running from it for some time. In America, we strive for the highest salary, the best benefits and external praise even though we are taking on unnecessary stress. As time progresses, the stress becomes a burden too big to be carried that negatively impacts every aspect of our life. We were never meant to carry stress like this. Even though my words may seem harsh or counter-cultural, I know that this is my conviction. God asked me to die to myself, take his hand and see where he leads me. He has given me a glimpse of eternity. I’m trading earthly gain for heavenly reward. I’m trading a material life to obey what I believe Christ is calling me to and I know that it will provide greater fulfillment than I even imagine. In just a few short days, I will transition into the role with Awaken Church.
While I was in Romania, I met wonderful people who are committed to seeing God’s mission fulfilled in Cluj. While our purpose was to share the kindness and love we have received from Christ, I think everyone on the team would agree that these beautiful, caring friends showed us more love and kindness than we could display towards them. This transformed me. They shared their testimonies of searching for happiness in other areas of life such as their secular job, money, and status. My dear friend, Georgiana, spoke a truth I still think about today, “I didn’t find what I was looking for.” After searching for fulfillment in other places, she chose to take a position in missions where she and the others at YWAM are required to raise their own financial support. I saw the good they are doing in Cluj, Romania, and God used their stories to speak to me. I am ever so grateful for their friendship and kindness.
From the moment I set foot in Romania, I knew that this was much different than previous mission trips. Not that the other trips were unsuccessful, but throughout the week God was showing me that Romania was quickly capturing my heart. I felt overcome with God’s love. I felt like I was home. I knew that this was a place that Ethan and I would frequent often over the next several years. While Ethan was not accompanying me on this trip (due to training in the Columbia Fire Academy), I knew I needed my better half to confirm this love of Romania. I want to be sure that this is God speaking to us as a couple.
To follow-up an intimate experience that I had with my Father, we have decided as a couple to travel back to Cluj at the end of March. Ethan will travel for one week and I will spend an additional week serving alongside the YWAM team and casting vision for our personal lives and a partnership with Awaken. In the meantime, we are learning the Romanian language the best we can to better serve the community. We are passionate about pursuing Christ with all we have. If you know our story, you know the past two years of our marriage have been constant acts of stepping out in faith, trusting that God would provide for us. We don’t see this transition or mission trip any differently. Ethan and I want to see what God is impressing upon us while in Romania and chase after Christ with all we have.
We will be traveling to Romania from March 23rd to April 7th. Ethan will be traveling a shorter timeframe from March 31st to April 7th due to obligations with the Columbia Fire Department. As I step into this new role at Awaken involving building the mission’s culture, I ask that you would pray for God’s heart to be made clear to me. I will be traveling quite frequently this year and I will be certain to provide updates of my travels via social media.
Would you consider supporting us? We are needing to raise support for flights, food and lodging for our trip in March and 2-3 additional trips I will be attending throughout the year. I can provide more details as we are launching the church trips in February/March time frame. We are so blessed to have so many cheerleaders. All of our friends and family have supported and cared for us so well. You’ve given your finances, you’ve prayed for us, you’ve hosted us in your homes and so much more. Thank you, thank you, thank you for being part of our lives and believing that God is working through us even when we don’t believe it.
To God be the glory!
To support the McEndarfer’s in their upcoming travels, use the online giving portal and select “Missions” as the account. Please contact Christian at firstname.lastname@example.org to ensure your donation was received. All donations are considered charitable contributions for the 2017 Tax Year. For more information on upcoming trips or to receive information on how to support the McEndarfers as they step into this new ministry role, feel free to contact Christian by e-mail.