Jason & Summer Wright: Expect the Unexpected
Jason & Summer Wright are LAC missionaries serving the country of Chile, where they arrived January of 2016. Along with their family, they are currently planting the church among urban unreached people groups in the Montemar region.
TOO CRAZY TO BE TRUE.
I grew up the son of an Assembly of God Pastor. For as long as I can remember, that reality gave me an identity and also came with preconceived ideas from others. I wish I could say that I did everything I could to distance myself from that perception of a pastor’s kid, but I didn’t. So when I began to feel a draw into full-time ministry and the pastorate, it scared me death. I couldn’t understand why God would want to use someone like me, a person that had lived with more doubt than faith at times.
That feeling was magnified a hundred times when I heard the Lord clearly tell me, that we were to step out to become missionaries. Summer (my wife) and I had been married, at that point, for close to 14 years. We had a life that was comfortable and thought we were going to start settling in to that life. We weren’t looking for a change. But within a year, our life would drastically change with the addition of our third child and a missions trip to South East Asia.
I could feel this calling from God growing stronger every day, but I could not wrap my mind around how to talk to Summer about it. She had married a guy that said upfront that he would never be in the ministry. I’d said that not because I had a terrible personal experience, but because in the natural, I’d wanted more for her and for our family. I had already laid aside a great career in the business world to enter ministry full-time. Suddenly I was feeling like God wanted to move us to another part of the world, to leave all that we know behind. It sounded too crazy to be true.
I DON'T HAVE WHAT IT TAKES TO BE THE NEXT JIM ELLIOT.
In the spring of 2012, we had the conversation. The funny thing is, I didn’t bring it up. Summer began to tell me through tears that she was feeling that God was calling us to make a change in our life once again. What a scene… two people sitting in a Thai restaurant in Southaven, Mississippi, balling like babies, getting ready to embark on a journey, that honestly, we really didn’t want to take.
Remember when I said that I had more doubts than faith at times? Those feelings of inadequacy and insecurity began to show up again. Why would God use me? I had the opportunity to be around heroes and the giants of the faith in my home growing up. Missionaries spent time with our family. We were up close and personal with them. They had a kind of faith that truly believed that dead people would rise, that thousands would respond to an altar call. They were pioneers that took canoes into villages that had never seen a westerner much less had an opportunity to hear the gospel of Jesus Christ.
I am not an outdoorsy kind of guy. I don’t especially enjoy camping out or fighting off mosquitos. I’ve never been hunting in my life — well, my dad took me rabbit hunting once as a kid and we shot and killed some mushrooms… but I don’t have it what takes to be the next Jim Elliott. But I knew God could use us. We had something that would transcend everything, the power of the Holy Spirit and an unshakeable call of God over our life. And even through the doubt, we knew God had a place for us. (preferably minus the mosquitos and canoes)
When we went through the process of appointment with Assembly of God World Missions, we were presented with the opportunity to come to Chile. We knew nothing about Chile. But within days, our hearts were melded with this country. In a moment, the doubt faded away and perfect peace took it’s place in our hearts. No longer were we afraid to step out. It didn't matter that we weren’t the people who wanted to trek through the jungle or drink ‘chicha’ in a village. We could see God’s plan for our lives.
MORE DOUBT THAN FAITH.
One of the guiding principles in missions is to do all we can to make sure that everyone has had the opportunity to hear the gospel of Jesus Christ at least once. It is the reason that so many of us have accepted this call to follow the Lord. It’s not for glory and it’s definitely not going to put you into the upper echelon of wage earners, but its reward is greater than either of those things. We are ambassadors of the King! We take His Kingdom everywhere we go.
Today, we live in Valparaiso Region of Chile. An area of close 1.2 million people. It’s a jungle, but one made of concrete and steel. A coastal area in the center of the country. An area that to look at it on the outside, seems like it has it all together. But the reality is much different. There are pockets of poverty and desperately poor people, but the on the whole, it is a middle class area.
In my mind, this is not what I expected from the mission field. But we have to understand that the mission field is not only about compassion ministries in the poorest areas of the world. Even in the metropolitan areas of Chile, there is a need that transcends the physical. A hunger that cannot be satisfied with stuff. There is a desperate longing for more. Without the real presence of God in their lives, nothing will fill that void.
I always thought that reaching an Unreached People Group would look different. But in our community of Reñaca/Montemar, there live more than 100,000 people and there is not a single evangelical church. Why would God call a kid that had more doubts than faith at times? Because one day, he would have to share the message of hope with a people that have the same thoughts.
BEYOND OUR WILDEST DREAMS.
On Sunday, September 11, 2016, we will be launching an Assembly of God church in the community of Reñaca. I honestly don't know what to expect. But with God, I’ve learned to expect the unexpected. I believe that He is able to build a powerful church where there never has been one. He already has joined us with an amazing team, gave us an amazing location and granted us unexpected favor. I believe he is about to do something that is beyond our wildest dreams.
But that is what the Bible tells us in Ephesians 3:20: “Now to him who is able to do immeasurably more than all we ask or imagine, according to his power that is at work within us…” He is able to do more than we could ever dream, if we are willing to take a step out in His strength and His power.
We arrived to Chile in January of this year. We are new missionaries and are amazed at how God is already using us. Every time we have had the privilege to minister in a local church, we have been blown away by the sheer number of people who are hungry for God. Every service there are people who run to the altars to begin a journey with Christ. This is in spite of our limited abilities to speak the language still. But HE is able to do more than we could have imagined because of His power that works in us! It moves ministry beyond our abilities and places it directly in His hands.
I have been blessed to be around some of the most faith filled men and women that God has created. But I am beginning to truly understand why they had that kind of faith. They had already seen God move in ways I have only read about or heard from others. They walked in something that was not of themselves. They saw how God would move in spite of their limited abilities and it created a desire to see it happen again, and a faith that it would happen again.
That kid that did everything he could to distance himself from being a pastor’s kid now is proof that God can, and will use the weak things of the world to confound the strong. He is proof that God can mold us like clay if we will simply allow ourselves to be placed in His hands.
We believe that a revival is coming to Chile. It is the reason we are becoming more and more passionate to see churches rise up in this country. Will you pray with us that God will raise up a generation of leaders for these churches? Pray with us that God would give the strength and resources to see more than 1,000 healthy growing churches in Chile by 2020.
Pray with us that God will call a few more doubters.
Support and commit to pray for the Wrights here.