Posted on May 22, 2022 Conversations & Soccer

The Short-Term Mission desk is happy to share these following reflections written by a current member of the Emerging Leaders’ Connector group. His name is Liam Farrell. He was blessed to serve alongside Ann & Bill Clemmer in Goma (Democratic Republic of Congo) for 8 weeks. God smiled upon him and opened his heart to “more yes.” Here are some of Liam’s reflections:

“Previous to my short-term mission, I had thought that the reverse culture impact would have dissipated mainly within the first few weeks of returning home- I was wrong. While it is hard to draw direct comparisons between the world of the Democratic Republic of the Congo and the United States, I find myself seeking out cultural diversity in pockets where I reside. My experience abroad has bridged a once sizable gap between international students at pickup soccer and myself. During my study abroad experience in 2021 and short-term mission in 2022, I discovered the value of conversation and exploration into the given country’s culture and people. At home, I find comfort in speaking with those who are visiting. They have taken a giant leap of faith, which is not unfamiliar to me. I also empathize with the struggles one faces leaving family and friends and going abroad- even to the U.S.. But whether one is from the DRC, or the U.S., studying or volunteering, God absolutely appears in and connects internationally curious and adventurous people no matter where one may be.

We thank Liam’s parents for encouraging Liam to remember Romans 12:10 “Be devoted to one another in love. Honor one another above yourselves” in all he does. We are grateful to God for having opened Liam’s eyes to the power a soccer ball can have in bridging cultures. We thank our partner and global servants in Goma for hosting and welcoming Liam with open hands, hearts and souls. They lived 1 Peter 4:9 “Offer hospitality to one another without grumbling.”

If you are curious to hear more about what is happening with the Emerging Leaders, please listen to our podcast, B4M, Bridges for Mission, Season 7 episodes 1 & 2