When thinking about going on a OYC, we often talk about how the decision to go on a OYC requires faith. It requires not faith in a calling or in a sign, but faith in God and His Word.

Yet we must be careful not to neglect another vital factor in our decision: love.

The Bible shows that Jesus’ went on His “missionary journey” because God loves us.

In John 3:16 it says:

For God so loved the world that he gave his one and only Son, that whoever believes in him shall not perish but have eternal life.

The “so” helps us to see that because God loved the world, He acted out His love in a specific way: He gave His Son. In other words, the way Jesus shows His love for us was by giving His own life to us. He went because He loved us.

Most Christians are aware that Biblical love is active, yet it is difficult to direct our love at something or someone that we aren’t familiar with. If you are considering going on a OYC, this might be a difficulty that you are currently facing. It’s hard for you to love a new country or a new place that you may have never been to before.

Fortunately, in many places the Bible teaches us how to grow in our love. Here are just two:

  1. Pray what Paul Prayed.

In Ephesians 3:17-19 it says:

And I pray that you, being rooted and established in love, may have power, together with all the LORD’s holy people, to grasp how wide and long and high and deep is the love of Christ, and to know this love that surpasses knowledge-that you may be filled to the measure of all the fullness of God.

 Paul prays this for us because we need to grasp God’s love. We need to grasp God’s love to be filled to the measure of all the fullness of God.” God’s love is so big and sometimes so incomprehensible. If you are considering going on a OYC, pray that God will help you feel His incomprehensible love not just for you, but for the different sites you are thinking about. Pray to know the incomprehensible by God’s power. Know that God loves the different OYC sites and He wants all men to be saved.

  1. Love because God Loved.

We love because he first loved us.

We love the verse “we love, because he first loved us”. When we find it difficult to love, it encourages us to look back on how God loved us. Once we realize how He loved us, any obstacle to our own love goes away. If you are considering going on a OYC, know that God went ahead of you and loved the different sites first. He has offered His forgiveness to all nations. Know that God went first, because God loved first.

To start your journey, go to oneyearchallenge.org and register.