"I was concerned that I would have to directly oppose my parents in deciding to go on the trip."
What are good ways to share your thoughts with your parents about potentially going on a summer project?
What hesitations might your parents have about you going? Be prepared to answer those questions before you talk.
Pray for God to be working in your parents hearts even before you have a conversation.
Josh needed his parent approval.
What made you realize God was calling you to go on summer project?
God was igniting a passion in my life for spreading the gospel and ministering to others. I also realized that I was holding myself back from God. My biggest reason to stay was to get an internship, which would have been fine. But I realized that he wanted me to take a step in faith and allow him to work through my life.
What obstacle did you encounter along the way?
I knew going on summer project was the right thing for me, but my parents were against it. I was concerned that I would have to directly oppose my parents in deciding to go. We had a few conversations about it in which I felt misunderstood. It definitely gave me a lot of doubt about going, but I found some closure about it through going to God with it and my friends and mentors back at school.
What was the turning point?
My parents warmed up to the idea as time passed and I began raising support. They were en-couraged when they saw that the money was coming in for me to go on project. A week before I left, they told me that they were proud of me for raising support for the trip, and agreed to supply whatever I did not raise in the next few days. Through the process, God showed me that if I follow Him, He will provide.
What practical steps did you take during the process?
First, I talked with my parents, spent time in prayer, and sought wise counsel to make sure I was following God’s lead in my life and that it was the best decision. I had spent a lot of my life being afraid to do anything that my parents didn’t agree with, so I had to start to set up personal boundaries with them. I told them that I was going to go on this trip whether they agreed with it or not. At the same time, however, I showed respect by honoring their wishes that did not affect where God’s direction for me. For example, they did not want me to call family or their friends; this was difficult, but I and God still brought in all of my funds.
What do you recommend to others who face a similar obstacle?
Remember that God is sovereign. If he wants you on a project, he will provide a way. Trust in Him and keep praying. You have to rely on God’s sovereignty. And sometimes that isn’t comfortable. It is very humbling. But keep sending letters. Keep making phone calls. It’s amazing to see your faith grow while raising support. You have no idea what God can do if you just open yourself up to Him. Go to God and community for biblical counsel on the situation. Do not back down because your parents don’t agree with what you are doing, but do be respectful of them. It would have been really easy for me to disrespect them, but that would not have represented Christ to them. Do not end up turning away from something God has for you because your parents disagree, or for any other reason.
Josh attended Fiji Summer Project in 2012.