about capture a cause
Written by Jonathan
During my time as an intern at Church at the Mall I remembered a missions trip I had taken as a child to Guatemala and felt a desire to begin using my gifts in videography for the missions field. I decided to give it a go! That’s when I started a little Facebook page called "Capture A Cause”. I used this page to promote a fundraising campaign that would send me on a few missions trips to document the trips, post photos and videos along the way, and create a recap of each trip to provide a more immersive experience to those donating towards those trips that could not actually attend them. Fellow church members, missions supporters, friends, family, friends of family, friends of friends, and friends of friends of friends all came together and blessed me with enough funding to go on 3 trips: The Dominican Republic, New York City, and Budapest, Hungary.
In the Dominican Republic we learned how to build houses using Styrofoam molds. My group built a house that would later be given to a chosen applicant in this impoverished area. We also spent time putting on a small VBS at lunch each day for the children that lived near the construction sites. It was clear that we were sharing Christ to these people by providing for their needs and caring for them as Jesus did so often. When we came home we all felt great and had grown from the experience. I had a short video that highlighted the trip, but I felt like for me there had to be more. I didn't have an "answer" to this missions calling. These people were searching for their needs to be met, we met those needs and introduced them to the ultimate meeter of needs, but I wasn't convinced that that type of work fulfilled my individual "calling". Was there something wrong with me? Why was I not quite fulfilled from this? I had no idea but I trusted it would be revealed as I continued my pursuit.
In New York city we assisted a local church in Washington Heights with their VBS. We sang and danced, played in the park, taught scripture, and loved on the church like crazy. Again, through this trip the love of Jesus was so clearly shown from the attention we provided these kids and the fact that we were willing to travel so far just to be with them. And again when we came home we all felt great and had grown from the experience. I had prepared another short video highlighting that trip, but I still felt like there had to be more. These kids came from rough environments, many with an abusive father or no father at all, and they were searching for their need to be loved. We met that need and introduced them to a loving forever Father, but I wasn't convinced that that type of work fulfilled my individual "calling". Nevertheless, I pressed on, continuing to trust that the Lord would one day reveal this calling as I continued my pursuit.
Then in Budapest the plan was to minister to Syrian refugees, but amendments made to Hungary’s asylum legislation moved those refugees out of the city. So we went with little agenda knowing that God had a will for the trip that we just couldn’t quite see, and He DEFINITELY did! As we began to learn about their shame-based culture we all imagined how difficult it would be for us to live there. The first night our group gathered together in the hotel lobby and had an impromptu Bible study. During this time the Lord revealed many different Scriptures to members of our group. There was a general theme to all of them: rain. The promises of bringing rain to a dry and barren place. In that moment in that hotel lobby there was a heaviness that we all could feel for the city of Budapest, for this church that we had yet to visit, and for the missionaries pastoring the church, ministering to the Hungarian people. The next morning at coffee we revealed these verses to the pastors and delivered the message that God sees what Agora is doing, He honors it and is so proud of the pastors, and that He will use them to bring rain to the dry spiritually barren country of Hungary.
In that moment they all broke down and began to communicate how timely this visit was. They spoke of how discouraging it was to live and raise a family in a shame based Godless culture such as Budapest. They mentioned that within the last few months the American missionaries who had been there for 10 years were considering moving back to the U.S. due to a spirit of defeat. All at once my eyes were opened to a new type of missions work that I never even knew existed. I began to think, “There are situations like this all around the world. Missionaries who give so much. They uproot their families, they move to a foreign country surrounded by an unfamiliar culture, and they are spiritually bombarded as the biggest target to the enemy because they are also God’s most useful weapon in that area. Yet, why have I never heard, ‘On this missions trip we need to make it a priority to encourage and pour into the missionaries on the ground.’ Maybe it’s just suppose to be an ‘understood’ thing? Or maybe we assume they get enough support from home in the form of phone calls and financial support?”
Regardless of the reasons, I hadn’t been on a trip with this mentality before. And seeing the reaction and difference that our group was making just by being there for the missionaries on the ground with no other agenda changed my view on missions. These pastors felt defeat. They felt discouraged and couldn’t see that they were on the cusp of victory. They needed to be reminded that God’s work was not yet done and that He sees and honors their efforts. We met that need and were used to help recharge the church of Agora with a passion that saw membership more than double over the course of the next 2 years, and finally I was convinced that that type of work was the work that the Lord was calling me to. A life dedicated to lifting the lens on missions that myself and so many other believers have grown up looking through.
Since this experience I have come to understand SO MANY elements of missions that I never knew before. This is what Capture A Cause is all about. It will serve as an open book to our life as missionaries and a representation of the lives we meet along the way. Here you will find pages of our story in the form of videos, blogs, and photos. The mission for Capture A Cause is to unify the Church through sharing cultural exploration and to use relevant platforms to bridge the gap between the mission-minded and the mission.
To experience, encourage, and engage.
(to dive deeper into our mission statement and what we are about go check out our blog post but like, what are we about? )
“Go therefore and make disciples of all nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit, teaching them to observe all that I have commanded you. And behold, I am with you always, to the end of the age.”
Matt. 28:19-20 ESV