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Refresh

by Aaron Kim

 


To conveniently summarize the entirety of my EADS experience into a single word: Refresh. Similar to a webpage that has stalled and become slow, frustratingly stuck, I found that I was entering the EADS mission field with a depleted soul desperately in need of a reboot or refresh. My pandemic years were particularly overwhelming as I tackled several new obstacles as both a graduate student preparing for graduation and employment, and as a pastor figuring out all the nuances (read: problems) of transitioning into online livestreams and ministry. With fear discouraging every human interaction and apathy permeating every congregation, I quickly faded into discouragement, frustration, and exhaustion. I was doing my best to manage all my responsibilities and meet my own expectations, but struggled with thoughts of hopelessness. Faced with more problems than solutions, I was desperate for help, contemplating a resignation from all obligations pertaining to my church and medical future.


Due to passport renewal delays, I was unable to attend EADS in May as I had originally planned. Discouraged, I settled on staying the course and moving forward as originally planned: continue to pastor at a sufficient enough level, and look for jobs in the local hospitals with my newly minted board certification. I held onto the hope that maybe I would find more purpose and pleasure by finally working in both the medical and ministry fields I had been dreaming of. I was surprised and relieved to receive my renewed passport a couple of days before the June EADS trip was set to begin, and immediately began to contact the administrative staff in the slim chance that I could tag along as a last-minute addition to the team. After a couple of additional phone calls and sorted details, I was allowed to join and even extended the opportunity to serve as medical personnel in addition to general pastoral staff.


I started the trip with a desire, honestly a sort of demand of God, to just be replenished and refreshed. I did not have a missionary’s heart to serve, but the heart of a beggar, begging for any spiritual scraps I could take from anyone and everyone. Through the course of the trip, I bore witness to the faithfulness of Christ to love San Telmo, the Church, His people, and even me. He began to not only give me scraps, but heapings of fresh anointing and reminders. I witnessed the EADS team testify of His love through their skits, testimonies, and love for the local church communities with an exuberant, inexplicable love that could only come from Jesus. I witnessed God using my medical training to tend to the physical needs of the team in spite of my insecurities as a healthcare provider. I witnessed the worship of genuine hearts fully surrendered to a life for Christ. I witnessed the beauty of God- centered friendships and running this race with colaborers. I witnessed a Father loving His children; a Healer healing the broken and wounded; and a King revealing His heart for His Kingdom. Even after having served on this same Mexican field for several years past, He opened my eyes to reveal that though my own seasons have changed, He has most consistently and continually remained steadfast in His love for me. I began to recognize through the whispers of the Holy Spirit that what I had so desperately sought was not another accomplishment or trophy, but the peace and fulfillment found only in Him. To realize that Jesus says in Matthew 11:28-30,

“Come to me, all you who are weary and burdened, and I will give you rest. Take my yoke upon you and learn from me, for I am gentle and humble in heart, and you will find rest for your souls. For my yoke is easy and my burden is light.”

Through EADS, I was able to be refreshed. To break the busyness of my unhealthy patterns and uncalibrated heart, I rediscovered that first love which brings freedom and hope in Christ alone. I walked away transformed and unstuck.

Refreshed.



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