leaps into overseas mission
By Lavinia Ngatoko in Challenge Weekly, New Zealand
AUCKLAND, NZ (ANS) --
David Inglis does not really know what to
he touches down in Argentina in a few months' time, but one thing he is
certain of is that it will be a life-changing experience.
The 18-year-old from Tauranga, New Zealand, became a
Christian just over two
year's ago, and this short-term mission trip to the South American
seems like the chance of a lifetime.
David, who will leave
the country on February 19 and return on September 16, is supported by
Link, an international community serving local churches
throughout Latin America.
Although he knows he
will be involved in building projects and other ministry work, the trip
very much a step of faith for him.
"To be honest I have
no idea what I'll really be doing," he admits. "But I started dreaming
months ago of going overseas on a mission trip. There are lots of
me wanting to go but one of the main ones is that I want to get
challenged by God."
David will spend two
days in Chile, before flying
to Peru for 10 days and then
on to Argentina
where he will be the only Kiwi working with a Latin Link team for four
For the next two
months he expects to be pretty much left on his own, although he will
under the auspices of Latin Link.
"I will not be
isolated but it will give me some experience and an idea of what being
missionary is all about."
David who has a
younger brother and is the only Christian in his family, says his
"blown away," about his trip and are supporting and helping him with
He knows the
experience will help him on his journey as a Christian - a journey he
will not be easy.
David did not grow up
with a belief in God. But his experience of the deaths - his
while sitting next to him when David was only about 14 and another
of cancer at a young age - stirred in him awareness that there was
One night in
November, 2005, while sitting with a Christian friend chatting in his
recalls something appearing that they immediately knew was not of
David says his friend
cried out to God and they felt like a wind swept through the room. It
sweep right through him.
After that they sensed
the presence of God.
The next day he went
to church with his mate and then to the pastor's house where he gave
to the Lord.
It was not all easy
going from then on, as he continued to struggle with the desire to
alcohol at parties, as he was so used to doing in the past. Like so
youth around the country, getting together with friends for parties
getting on the booze.
But God got hold of
Ready to take to leap onto the mission field is 18-year-old David
Inglis of Tauranga.
"God told me not to drink."
Now, he says, he has
got to the stage where he knows he can still have fun without alcohol
and he is
relieved that he can still hang around with his old mates, and not
"I used to think it
was a necessity for me to drink and have a good time. But I can have so
fun when I'm sober. I've got no problems with going to a party now
feel comfortable with who I am and won't compromise myself. Most people
party know that I'm a Christian and approach me about it and they
But David readily
admits he has a long way to go as a Christian.
Hurdle is too high. Teenager David Inglis signs up for overseas
An overseas missions
experience means a chance to move into a completely different
to break away from the norm. He wants to gain new experiences and
different cultures and to share his experiences with people upon his
He also hopes to see
many miracles while over there.
For now though, David
says his job as a child-care assistant at an after school and holiday
programme is the "greatest job" he could dream of having.
At the time Challenge
interviewed him he was excited about the chance to preach for the first
his church (New Life Church Tauranga) the following Sunday.
"I'm preaching about
miracles. It's a bit nerve wracking, but I'm really expectant and I
will show up."
David believes he
will return to South America in the future and does not rule out the
possibility of missionary work in other countries.
"But I could be a
missionary in New Zealand,
in my own backyard."
|Lavinia Ngatoko reports for
Challenge Weekly, New Zealand's independent and non-denominational