Growing up in a church, I remember hearing stories from missionaries going into foreign countries – most often in South America or Asia, occasionally in Europe or Africa. I remember wondering what it would be like to go to a different place with different customs and cultures, then worship with new people and share my faith with others in that country.
Often, I actually found that thought intimidating. In fact, I still find that thought intimidating. Intimidating has never stopped me before, though. Intimidating has not stopped my from driving across the country alone a few times, intimidating has not stopped me from moving to new cities repeatedly, intimidating has not stopped me from improving my running from 2 miles in over half an hour to 4 miles in under 27 minutes over three years. And now, intimidating is not stopping me from going to Denmark.
My church, The Groves, is partnering with Students for Christ, the European section of Chi Alpha, to do ministry on college campuses in Copenhagen, Denmark at the end of August and beginning of September.
When Sunia, one of the pastors at my church, asked if I wanted to go to Denmark for this trip, if I wanted to go to Denmark to use my knowledge and skills and passion to share my faith, I initially said no.
“The time commitment is too long, and at the wrong part of the year,” I said. “And the money thing is kinda stressful, though I would be happy to donate to others that are going, to make cost easier for them.”
She smiled and nodded and asked me a few more times. Finally, after a lot of prayer and with a lot of support from friends and colleagues, I said “Yes, I’ll go with ya’ll to serve in Denmark.”
The work that we will be doing there is largely based around building relationships and awareness of churches in the communities, we will be supporting music events and engaging with a large number of college students in a variety of ways. Why Copenhagen? A 2005 survey on religion returned that about 80% of individuals in the country are atheist or non-believing in God. Sure, that seems like old data, but in the grand scheme of things, it is pretty recent and the need is still there.
I am going with four other members of my church community, and leaving Portland for Copenhagen on August 26th and returning September 7th. The plane ticket is just under $1100, and it is estimated that we will need about $500 for food, etcetera.
When I first agreed to do this trip, I figured that I could just pull money from my Emergency Savings Fund to cover it, but as I prayed about it, I began to realize that fundraising is God’s way of allowing those who cannot span geographic distance to be a part of the journey in some way. Your financial support of this trip is a way for you to say that you believe in the work that is happening, your financial support is a way for you for you to engage with a trip without going on the trip
So now I am fundraising for a mission trip to Copenhagen. To fund the whole trip, I need to raise about $1600. If you are interested in supporting, please go to thegroveschurch.com/give and click the donate button. When you are donating, please indicate in comments that you want to give to the Denmark Missions Trip for Nathanial Garrod.
During the trip I will, of course, be updating here, as well as Twitter and Instagram as frequently as possible, and if you donate, I will send you a postcard from Copenhagen with more detailed updates – well, as much as can fit on a postcard.