Today’s message of Hope comes from Ryan Breakfield, World Race alum (January 2020). Here he shares how his World Race mission trip ending sooner than expected has grown his passion for ministry in the United States. Check out what Ryan chose to do when he got home unexpectedly after only three months on the field.
It’s been six weeks since we got the news: “This is the end of your World Race.”
So many emotions began to flood in—confusion, frustration, sadness, worry, disbelief, anger, and so, so many more. Our team decided to make the next day one of the best days ever, and it did end up being a special day to spend as a family, shopping and sharing one last meal in the art district of Lima, knowing the next day we would pack our bags and head back to the USA.
When I left Peru, saying what I hope is a ‘see you later’ and not a goodbye, I knew I wasn’t supposed to go back home to California. See, in the midst of the chaos of the world, I was sent into a tailspin of constantly asking, “What are you doing, God?” Why are you bringing so many people who you have called into the world back to the States? Doesn’t your word say “GO AND MAKE DISCIPLES?” Frankly, I was also a little bit upset with Him for yanking me out of my community and my family.
Fast forward to today. Knowing I wasn’t supposed to go back to California left me without a lot of direction. Thankfully, the World Race gives us elders, or “coaches,” who encourage and counsel us along our journey. And our amazing coaches, the Shaws, had offered up their home to anyone needing a place to transition from the field back to the US. Keep in mind, I barely knew these people at that point, but what I did know was that I wasn’t supposed to go home yet. So I booked a ticket to Colorado, where I am now doing life with two other squadmates, my coaches, and a few other World Race alumni who had already been living with them.
We honored the stay-at-home order and isolated ourselves for a few weeks. All the while, my soul was restless knowing there was a world out there suddenly thrown into fear and chaos and knowing I was able to bring Hope. But during that time of being still, a forced sabbath, I was able to grieve, like many others, the loss of my plans of being overseas for 11 months serving God’s mission. We spent those weeks inside praying, processing, and learning about each other. Looking back now, I am so thankful for that time because I was able to really see that my Race didn’t end.
From the beginning, Adventures instilled in us, “life is ministry, and ministry is life.”
During the time here with the Shaws, God began to reveal things to me in that stillness that I would have never seen, specifically in these verses in Jeremiah. “For I know the plans I have for you,” says the Lord. “They are plans for good and not for disaster, to give you a future and a hope. In those days when you pray, I will listen. If you look for me wholeheartedly, you will find me. I will be found by you,” says the Lord. “I will end your captivity and restore your fortunes. I will gather you out of the nations where I sent you and will bring you home again to your own land.” (29:11-14)
We all know that verse 11 is something people quote, and it is true the Lord has great plans for us. But as I read on, I realized there is so much more to that promise! First, He says He will listen, and He says that when we seek Him we will find Him, that the world will find HIM!
AND THEN He says, He will restore us and BRING US HOME FROM WHERE HE SENT US! HOW COOL IS THAT?
When I read that, I realized there is a purpose here for us, for every missionary that has been sent home to their home nation, and it was at that point I began to wonder what we as a missional community here in Colorado could do to spread hope while continuing to honor authority.
I searched local ministries and sent out emails to at least 30 of them. One ministry kept popping up over and over in the replies I was getting: Crossfire.
Crossfire is a food pantry in Colorado Springs that has been serving the community for 20+ years. Most pantries had to close because a lot of their volunteers were elderly and vulnerable, so we decided to go help out and see what we could do.
When we got there, we learned more about this ministry. Their first mission is to share Jesus with people and second to feed them. They asked us to start conversations while we loaded up cars with food and told us it was okay to hold up a line of cars if we needed to pray with someone. They asked us to make sure to smile even though we had a mask on and to make sure people know they are loved. One of my favorite things about this ministry was a sign that said, “The food you received today was provided by Jesus.”
See the people who run Crossfire get it. They understand that what they do is all about pointing to God, and they are not ashamed. When I went on the World Race, I went to serve God, make disciples, and to make God known. And through this new experience, I’ve realized that is still true here in the US.
I committed to 11 months of giving up my desires and for what God had for me. That hasn’t changed just because I came home. In fact, I think it has grown because I have realized no matter how bad things get, there are always opportunities to serve God, and there are ministries like Crossfire right in our own backyard with people who are just as passionate as I am.
By coming home, God wasn’t saying, “Okay, your mission is over.” He was saying, “You have been activated to do great things for me, but it looks a lot different than you thought it would.”
More than half of the 30+ ministries responded, whether it be with their own needs or suggesting other places for us to serve. We even sat down and planned out some possible projects in our neighborhood because, while most of the world has stopped, the body of Christ needs to rise up and continue to feed the hungry physically and spiritually.
I truly believe that this is a pivotal moment in history, and the world will never be the same. Are we going to be the light in the darkness we are called to be? We don’t need to be rebellious and go against what our government is asking us. We simply need to be still, listen, and seek ways to partner with those who are already doing the work here because there is a HUGE NEED right now for help.
Let’s get out there and be the hands and feet, feed the hungry, and bring the only water that will satisfy this world.
Don’t miss the opportunity to meet the needs of people in the United States right now through sharing the Gospel with men and women in prison. See this message from WR alumna, Paige Deur, to find out how you can be light in the darkness in a very tangible way.
And click here to provide Bible studies for prisoners.