I asked Jordan Bressler to share about his experience as a missionary to New Zealand. I also asked him to share a link at the bottom for how readers can support him. Jordan was an all star student and I’m very proud of him for investing his life in others through missions.
“So where are you from?”
This is a question I get really often these days in New Zealand, where my “accent” immediately puts me out of place. While the short answer I usually give people is just a generic “America,” the truth is sometimes a little more complicated for me. Is where you’re from where you were born? Then I would be from Charleston, West Virginia, even though I only lived there for the first 2 months of my life. Is where you’re from where you grew up? Because then I’d be from Israel, where I spent the first 9 years of my life living there. Or would you say the place where you formed your identity and grew the most be the place you’re from? Because then that would be California, USA, having spent the most of my school years there.
Regardless of where I say I’m from, the many different experiences I’ve had in each one of these places has shaped me as a person. I’ve learned about many different cultures, how these cultures interact, and how I can interact with them. Over the years I have started to really understand Paul in 1 Corinthians 9:19-23. “Though I am free and belong to no one, I have made myself a slave to everyone, to win as many as possible. To the Jews I became like a Jew, to win the Jews… to the weak I became weak, to win the weak. I have become all things to all people so that by all possible means I might save some. I do all this for the sake of the gospel, that I may share in its blessings.”
Doing ministry in New Zealand has been a place that I can put together all I’ve learned and interact with many international cultures. While I’m sure being a brash, young American is a good way to get noticed, only through the learning and becoming “all things to all people” can I hope to reach the lost.
Athletes in Action reaches the lost through a process called “Win, Build, Send.” The idea is that you “Win” people to Christ, “Build” them up in their faith, and “Send” them out to do the same. One of my favorite examples of this is the story of our student named Mark. This past August, one of our student leaders, Josh, met Mark one day doing one on one evangelism, where we go out either on our own or in pairs, and randomly walk up to people and try to initiate a spiritual conversation. Mark wasn’t a Christian at the time, but by the end of the 20 minute conversation he decided that he wanted to make a faith step and begin having a personal relationship with Jesus Christ!
Mark continued to be interested in pursuing a relationship with God, and joined one of my bible studies that semester. It was refreshing having someone so new to the faith in the group, to ask the fundamental questions, and to allow us to help him grow in his faith. In addition to our bible studies, Mark attended some of our other social events, monthly meetups, and one on one discipleship meetings that are all a part of our “Build” strategy. It has been my pleasure to watch Mark grow and to own his own faith, despite no one in his family being a Christian or even supporting the idea of it. He has grown so much that he is almost ready to become one of our new student leaders, ready to be a part of the “Send” phase, and win others over just as he was.
Now you may be hearing this story and think, “Well that’s great and all, but what can I do?” You may be thinking that New Zealand is just too far away for you to make a difference in the lives of the people who live there, however I would like to give you the opportunity to reach out to the lost young people in New Zealand! I am looking to add people to my team of supporters to help in several ways, whether it be through prayer (the most important) or financial (the hardest to get). If you feel called in some way, and you’d like to learn how you can help, receive my monthly newsletters, or learn more about my story, please don’t hesitate to contact me at firstname.lastname@example.org
If you are interested, email Jordan and/or click the link below, which will take you to his giving page.