We went into the year 2020 with great hopes for a new decade ahead. Unbeknownst to us all, this year has instead been littered with much suffering, disappointment, sadness, and confusion.

One of the joys of my life is speaking to summer mission teams before they go into all the world. Very sadly, this is the first summer that I can recall when there will be no mission trips for our youth. I feel disappointment for the missionaries as well as for those who would have heard the Gospel through these young people.

Today, I filmed this video and I found myself taking a trip down memory lane back to the time when a music mission team I led called Living Sound was stranded in Beira, Mozambique for three weeks, unable to reach our destination, South Africa. We were ultimately deported and sent back to the US completely heartbroken. We had worked for five months to raise money to spend a year ministering in South Africa, but never made it…at least that’s what we thought at the time. We were devastated and tempted to lose our trust in God.

In this video, I share the first half of the story. And in a couple days time, I’ll share the second half. I hope you’ll take time to listen, especially if you’re spiritually discouraged and teetering on hopelessness. I also hope missionaries who were unable to go this summer will also listen and find some encouragement.

Our story isn’t yet finished. All hope is not gone. There are good days ahead, and I declare that by faith. Hold onto hope.