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Discipleship - a Lifelong Journey of Openness

Paul’s words in 1 Corinthians 11:1 have always struck me as very courageous and extremely risky. He says, “Follow my example as I follow the example of Christ.” Many different things go into discipleship, but I believe that this may be one of the most important parts. Discipleship, in this sense, is like inviting someone into the house of your life and leaving the doors to all of the rooms open, even though some of the rooms are still a mess. It’s saying, “Jesus has brought me this far, there’s still a lot left to do, but we’re working on it together. Jesus wants to do the same thing for you. Let’s walk through it together.” You have to be humble and transparent, sharing about where you are now, where you have come from and where you are going: towards more and more intimacy with Jesus Christ. You then invite someone to walk the same path towards Christ with you as you continue to set the example for them to follow.

Vida220 is all about discipleship. This year there are 25 of us involved full time: 19 first year students and 6 in leadership. We are 25 young people living in the communities of Upala, Talamanca, Siquirres and Heredia, giving our best effort to be and make faithful disciples of Jesus Christ. As leaders we take the risk of exposing ourselves and our lives as examples of people who follow the example of Christ, but we are far from perfect. We are well aware of our many imperfections and we strive to allow Jesus to humble and transform us into his image. We hope that the students will do the same, setting the example for their teammates and for the people in the various communities they are ministering to. We must all allow our lives to be open and completely exposed before Jesus so that he can lovingly reveal to us the areas of our lives where we still don’t look like him. To be a faithful disciple is to follow the Master’s every move, imitating him and therefore becoming like him.

In Vida220 we are striving to do this very thing. It looks different in each context and in each community we are reaching out to, but we always have the same goal: to be and to make faithful disciples of Jesus Christ. We struggle in our teams. We often want to throw in the towel. Sometimes we lose our focus. Other times we see God move in ways we never expected. We see him heal the sick and broken. We watch our teammates become more like him. We hear him speak to our own broken hearts. When we allow it, we are transformed day by day into his image. And when our time in Vida220 is done we all hope to have left behind an example that will be followed and hopefully made even better by the next one.  

 

Liz Sweigart

Liz Sweigart and her husband have been part of VidaNet for the past 5 years. They serve on the leadership team and as program directors for Vida220 discipleship school

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Growing up and reaching out!

We serve to raise up disciples and send out missionaries to spread the gospel of Christ through acts of love.