New City is partnering with Mark and Melissa Young and their family to send them to the Philippines as missionaries. We enjoyed having their family in worship in July, and spent time hearing about their upcoming trip and how God has moved in their family up to this point. Read below for an update from Melissa Young:

Toronto Canada! A new city, with sights and smells and sounds all common to a large city…but with a cultural diversity that has to rival some of the best in the world! What an amazing city! For weeks I struggled over the fact that we could not go to Colorado for our 4 weeks of training. But now that we are here, I can see the immense good in it! Being in a huge city is much better preparation for all of us! It definitely gets things rolling!

Youngs1With our first week behind us, we have enjoyed diverse food and meeting new people! It is a delight to connect with others who have similarly sensed God’s call to “go” and are leaving much to obey that direction. It is enjoyable to live squished together…bear the heat…and engage in relevant topics with such passionate people.

The kids are doing well. It took a few days to adjust…and more adjustments are being made. They have been fantastic as engaging their new friends, trying lots of new foods, and taking on the new topics presented to them. The main difficulty has been loss of freedom – its hard for them to HAVE TO HAVE someone with them all the time. They hate it. They loved their freedom and their friends and their life. Giving it up for the unknown…for the gospel…its challenging. We experience the cost. But they are a joy to us – their laughter and engagement and tenacity are inspiring! And they keep us laughing – like Jaxen now. He just made the loudest fart I have ever heard in my life! Eesh!! What is the point??

Youngs3Anyway, Me? I am doing well. I am enjoying the food, the city, and the people. Those are easy! I love the community and the children and the topics. I love the stretching topics and the funny living circumstances! But for me, the struggle is the lack of schedule. When do I exercise? How do I exercise? How can I find quiet to do my devotions where it isn’t boiling? Personal time with God and movement are always important to me – I have no control over these right now. But I too adjust. There is tension, but not anxiety. There is peace, and enjoyment,….fullfilment and expectation. There is frustration and loss…and yet deep, abiding grace.

Youngs2My favorite topic of the week was around Islamic study. Our instructor was a wonderful man from Egypt – what a terrific, interesting person! Our group visited a mosque together – something I had never done. They made an exception and allowed Kharis to join us. It was awesome! To be able to see and hear the men at prayer – the absence of women…to interact with an imam…and then to debrief with our instructor – wow – it was amazing! Something I wish I had been able to do years ago. I felt deep conviction over my fear of the muslim people…conviction over how the church hides out of unknowing…and deep desires to love and connect with muslims in the future. I sensed deeply God’s love for a lost people – his heart breaks over their absence from His house. Use me, Lord!

Thank you all for praying for us – for loving us and and supporting us. You are a delight to my heart! If any of you were at our “sending” last Sunday at MiddleCross – THANK YOU! It was one of the most beautiful things I have ever been apart of. To experience deeply both celebration and deep sorrow was something I will never forget. You have loved our family well.

Love and hugs,

Melissa