When the spirit pours in and puts us on our path

A take from Jake’s Mimms’ mission trip to South Africa where he served at the Tlotso Youth Retreat. Jake is from Crossroads Church in Georgia, USA.

Becoming the mentor he was meant to be

Jake Mimms from Crossroads Church in Douglasville, Georgia has always worked with students – since he was old enough to do so! He progressed quickly through all the student ministries and, by 24, was working with middle and high school kids aged 10
to 18.

 

Jake had a knack for spotting kids with innate leadership skills, the ones whom others looked up to. They were his focus, as he felt that by helping them develop their special skills, he’d be helping to build a new generation of leaders who would, in turn, raise others up. On his own journey as a youngster, he had never found that sort of spiritual mentor amongst the student leaders in the church, and this made him more determined to be that person – and to help others be that too.

A positive path through the power of God

While he really enjoyed coming alongside younger kids as a positive ‘older brother’ influence, he had yet to go on a mission. Not for want of opportunity, but because nothing had called to him yet. But when a mission to minister at the Tlotso Youth Retreat in South Africa came up, he immediately felt the pull to go.

 

Jake describes the feeling as powerful and positive:

I’ve had different opportunities to go on mission trips before, but I never had that feeling of God telling me to do it. But this time when I accepted, it was this most amazing feeling. From the moment I committed, I was in it with God. I was reading and praying, and it just felt very relaxing. It was like a meditative experience. I just woke up in the spirit, just ready, and it was like He was just nurturing me to get ready to be here.”

 Jake wanted to keep an open mind ahead of his trip to South Africa, but he did expect to find a need, a want for more:

I was hoping these kids would want to learn, want to engage with us – and that is what I found. All of these kids are seeking knowledge, all of them are seeking love, and it is amazing that we have this atmosphere for that!”

Finding purpose and personal transformation

And that atmosphere, in part, was enabled by the beautiful location of the Retreat, at Eastside Community Church. Jake felt the space was perfect for small groups to gather and reflect together, to break away and come back together.

 

And coming back is something Jake plans to do:

I’m already planning my next trip back. I texted my wife right after we met the kids and the leaders. I told her I that these kids are my purpose.”

The transformation in Jake through a single Retreat in South Africa has been profound. Although he has worked in youth leadership for years, he still doubted his leadership ability, especially in the context of a new culture, a new language and with new kids he’d only just met. “But,” says Jake, “I found that God affirmed it all, and I had these wonderful children who wanted to be in my group and it’s just been amazing!”

 

And so in taking up this mission – in pouring into the next generation – Jake found his purpose and his path.

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