Jason Raine

Jason RaineMY LIFE CHANGED ON A MISSION TRIP TO SERBIA

Jason Raine: I'm a really high performing tech. I have great ratings, and everybody is extremely proud of me. I have this great identity, but what I didn't notice was my attitude and my boss told me, "Don't show up late. We have a meeting tomorrow." And I showed up late. He sat there and basically just told me, "You're not the same kid that I hired. You're not going to be able to make it. You're going to end up doing things that are going to get you let go." My world kind of crumbled down, I'm going, wait, I could lose it all because I just can't learn what it means to be a part of a team and connect with people.

Helen Todd: You just heard Jason Raine talked about a difficult conversation with his boss. This conversation actually led Jason on a journey of realizing that he had walked away from God and who he was supposed to be. I'm Helen Todd, Vice President of World Missions Alliance, and Jason is my guest on today's episode of The Limitless Spirit podcast. Jason walked away from God because of a bad experience he had on a mission trip during his senior year of high school, and that's what makes his story even more amazing, the fact that he recently went on a mission trip to Serbia with World Missions Alliance during the pandemic and that mission trip changed his life for the better. It is amazing how God can rewrite our stories. Jason will also share more of his past and the circumstances that led up to that life-changing mission trip to Serbia, and some of the awesome things that happened during this trip that you will have to hear to believe.

Helen: I haven't met you in person yet, but I heard a lot about you and how God's used you for His glory during the last mission trip to Serbia, which took place last summer, and I am excited to get to know this person who decided to go on a mission trip in the midst of the pandemic. And I'm also excited to share your story with our listeners.

   I find your testimony interesting and probably somewhat typical to the story of many people in their Christian walk as to where you grew up in a Christian home and surrounded by church culture, but you never got to develop your own personal relationship with Christ and so, because this was more the faith of your family rather than your own, when you ran into a specific situation with your youth minister where he didn’t present himself the way you thought that Christians should, that affected your relationship with God. Can you share a little bit more about that?

Jason: Yes, I'd love to. I think as a child when I grew up in church, I was taught all the right things - what it meant to be a Christian, to love God, to be in relationship with Him and to be active in the community, and through my senior year in high school, we actually on a mission trip and I had a falling out with the youth minister where he felt that he couldn’t keep me safe. It was my first experience to where I was kind of being that child that was hard to control, up in an area where, you know, we were going to go into a district that basically you had to be kind of behaved and under control and…

Helen: Was it a domestic mission trip or a foreign mission trip?

Jason: It was in the United States, yes. It was a … it was, this one was more of a local mission trip and you had to, you know, basically be led by the leader and through a different project and he felthe couldn’t keep me safe and halfway through the mission trip instead of trying to work it out, he sent me home. And I think that was the first time that I ever felt abandoned by God, like abandoned by his leadership and I was like man, this is the person that's supposed to be teaching me faith, but yet their story doesn’t align to my story and I just decided at that point it was better to figure it out on my own and I walked away from God in my senior year of high school.

Helen: So, of course now being an adult and looking back at that situation from the perspective of an adult, what do you think really happened? Was it that this minister just felt like he could not control you and he just took an easy way out? Did he actually didn't tell the truth about your behavior or he just lost patience with you and sent you back?

Jason: Yeah, I definitely think there was two parts of it. One, I think he lost patience, personally that was a big piece that I had to work through in my own personal relationship with him and with God and where I wanted to place judgement on the whole situation, but on the other side of it, as a youth, always being known for leadership and helping within the youth group and wanting to lead the youth group and being a part of, being very active in my faith, I wanted to control the situation. I wanted to be the one that everybody followed. I wanted really to be that example for people and what I allowed to happen was my pride to kind of take over certain situations.

Helen: So, that's how you turned your back on God and tell me what happened during those years that you were running away from God.

Jason: My running was more of trying to create self-identity. I graduated from high school and within 6 months of graduating from high school, I hired on to the company I am with today. I've been a part of that company for 16 years and in that company I was able to be hired in at the ground level and was technician to just basically work in the trade. And it was one of those things that I noticed in my career, as I progressed even to where I'm at today, it let me really see a lot in myself that I was just seeking identity. I was seeking purpose. I was seeking basically a name for myself and within a few years of being at the company, I was one of the highest rated technicians in the company. I had high remarks. I was held in high regards and it was a lot to basically take on at a young age and the part that God kind of really used through a lot of this is I started to run into problems in this time, this season away from God and even though I had all the blessings of an amazing job, it was a blue collar job in a trade union and as a kid in his 20s, getting to the top of the trade scale and being paid great money as a 20-year-old, it's amazing to see that even though you have everything, you can still feel the greatest amount of emptiness and to not know what God's doing in your life.I still remember the day that God kind of knocked on my door, basically in the season of openness and loss and He really used a mentor of mine, my manager that I reported to at the time, and I remember it because I started just being like, alright I'm a really high performing tech. I have great ratings. Everybody is extremely proud of me. I have this great identity but what I didn't notice was my attitude, again kind of a resemblance of what happened when I walked away from God was my pride and my attitude towards…I'm the best, look at me, you know, here is Jason. And I started to notice that just I didn’t care. I came into work late. Idid what I wanted to do, again repeating the same mistakes I did as a child. And I still remember the day. It felt like yesterday. My boss told me like, "Don't show up late. We have a meeting tomorrow." And I showed up late. I didn’t care. I didn’t. Just that I was, I'll get there when I get there. And I remember seeing his face like it was yesterday, even though it was more than 10 years ago, and he was so mad at me. Because he was like,"I just needed you to show up on time today." And to the point to where he literally took my keys from my hand and said,"Come into the office. We're going to talk." And I was like; I got to go to work. I'm late, like let's go. And he goes, "No." And I remember when he came into the office. I could tell he was so angry.I was sitting in the office for a good, what felt like a millennia, but he sat there and basically just told me, he goes, "You're not the same kid that I hired. When I hired you in your teens and over the last few years, you've done some amazing things and you've become a, you know, probably one of my best technicians," but he goes "The attitude you have, you won't be my best technician because you're not going to be able to make it. You're going to end up doing things that are going to get you let go." And at that moment, he kind of gave me an option. He said,"I'm going to either tell you, you know, go to work, and we're going to figure something out, but what I really tell you is I think you should take a week off for vacation and really figure out what's changed over the last few years." And hearing that option and knowing that there's a possibility of me being let go from something that gave me so much identity and purpose, it was something that my world kind of crumbled down, I'm going, wait, I could lose it all because I just can't learn what it means to be a part of a team and connect with people. And that was a part of me that I think it really hit me. And at that point, as a young 23-year-old, the thing that God revealed to me in that moment was I walked away from Him, but it wasn’t until ultimately I found a church that had a sense of community, had a sense of who God was and people in my life to really help me look at the scriptures and to really dive into what it really meant to have a personal relationship with Him.

Helen: So that was in 2009. Well, fast forward 11 years and the year 2020 and we're in the midst of the pandemic. How is it that God stirred you…? Oh, have you gone on any mission trips between then and 2020?

Jason: Yes, in 2012 or 2013. I was able to be a part of a mission trip down to El Salvador and Guatemala but as I know we'll share in what God brought me to this was my first mission trip across the pond, as I can say. God really created a story that I would've never imagined through a pandemic. We take a look how God works in all of our lives and this pandemic happened. Everything that I was so used to doing in life, Christian walk and the ways that I volunteered and the ways that I connected and served, every summer for basically the last 7 years I volunteered at our church's youth camp and I ultimately looked forward to it every single year. It felt like it was just home, something that I went to. I got to become a big kid again every summer, running around with water balloons, squirt guns, and all the different things. And God just really shook me up, shook my spirit up when that happened. And so, like any 30-something at home, not able to go anywhere, on lock down in pandemic, I downloaded the newest, craziest social media app that everybody knows as TikTok. God used an amazing friend on there to create a story to open me to just a whole new group of people, and I can't thank her enough and being that she was on one of the earlier podcasts, it was just cool just to hear her story because God, I think …

Helen: We're talking about Carrie Ann, right?

Jason: Talking about Carrie Ann, yeah. God used her to bring so many people together and then through that, allowed me to meet an amazing man, Nate, and Nate, Allan, and I became just the greatest friends. We started together, the two of us, a Bible study on Tuesday nights and through our friendship and growth there, we just started talking every day like we were two long-lost friends that God connected.I still remember the day that me and Nate were praying together one night because I knew he was going to Serbia and we were just praying about when the next mission trip we would go on and I remember it clearly in my brain. I was like, alright God, I know you’re working. I know this friendship that Nate and I have is amazing and you’re going to use us to build up the kingdom. As me and Nate are praying, I know both of us feel the call to go on the mission field and to be connected, so you know, when this pandemic lessens, can You let us know when we're supposed to be going? I know Nate and I are looking to go early in 2021, so we'll get through the holiday season and all of these, you know, pandemic will be less across the world. But lo and behold, God sent out an email through World Mission Alliance to say, "Hey, we still have some spots left on the Serbia trip." And that was mid-September, early September. My mouth just hit the floor because Nate forwarded me the email and said, "Hey, I think God answered our prayers to tell us when we should be going on the mission field. It looks like October." And I was like, you've got to be kidding me; I'm not ready for that. And there's a big part of it that, again I saw God working in my life, is I don’t need to be ready for it, that God is the one that's ultimately opening the doors and He's basically asking us to live out the scriptures, basically say, here am I, send me, and to be ready to answer His calling. So, with that, I reached out to WMA and just started the process and God used the connection from Carrie Ann to meeting Nate to meeting World Mission Alliance to really just awaken my whole life because if God didn't bring a pandemic, something that was so crazy, changed my life upside down, I would've used my vacation in my normal walk of serving with my church versus going on the mission field, and I think that's where God really uses things that we don't understand, different moments in our lives and He allows us to walk through seasons that sometimes we don’t understand things. And I remember hopping on the plane for the first time to go the furthest away from home that I ever have but felt the closest to God and really the sense of purpose in my life, understanding that He had a greater plan.

Helen: We will talk a little more in-depth about what you experienced in Serbia but as you were sharing, I was thinking of a couple of things. First of all, the pandemic, you know, we talk about all the negative's that came into our lives through this pandemic but in your case, first of all, it brought you into a new group of friends and of all things, through social media and there's so much talk about our relationships being very superficial on social media but in your case, it introduced you to a very solid group of friends. So that's kind of interesting, and when I was interviewing Carrie Ann a few podcasts earlier, she said that her social media presence was really started to take its shape during pandemic. So that's one positive thing. And the other thing I was thinking, you know, the pandemic stripped us of a lot of things and one of the main things is things have become beyond our control, which is very unnerving and unsettling for a human being because we like to be in charge of our situation, in control of our circumstances, but if you think about it, we never are. Our lives are completely in God's care and in God's control and in a sense, through this pandemic, He brought us right where He wants us to be, fully relying on Him and in your case, He took your faith even a step further. So during the pandemic, when everything is uncertain as it is, He called you to go somewhere totally unknown, like you said, furthest than you've even been before from home, so I have to commend you for your obedience and trust in God for making that step. That had to be quite a step for you, and of course, trusting World Mission Alliance, which you have had no previous relationship or connection with, so I know that God rewards us for our obedience and trust in Him always greater than anything we can imagine. So I assume that was the case when you went to Serbia. So, let's talk about some of your favorite moments during your mission trips, not even favorite but maybe life-changing moments. Sometimes life-changing moments are not the best ones, but what were some of the life-changing moments for you in Serbia?

Jason: Serbia was a trip of a lifetime. It also created friendships of a lifetime and knowing that we were going and really understanding the trip to be a part of a medical mission during a pandemic, to be able to reach out and connect with the community, it was something that I looked at and going okay, God, I know You opened every single door for me to be here. It was just; there were too many improbabilities of a work meeting that had to be on a date that was different, to my boss approving my vacation, to all the different things that God had to open those doors. And I remember getting there and we're sitting in the airport and we're waiting for everybody to show up and I kind of laughed because on day one, our luggage didn’t show up. And it was just, you know, Satan was trying to discourage us, and I knew that we were there for ultimately a greater purpose and it just made me laugh. It made me think about just all the different ways that, you know how things could just go wrong. And to think that I'm a couple, four thousand miles from home and God really worked to get me there and I was just, it was crazy. I didn’t have my luggage but I was at such a peace, and I remember the moment when we met [@21.02], we started talking. I had a video camera in my hand. He walks up to me, kind of gives me a hug, and he says, "You're going to be my guy." And what I didn’t know at that moment was that was God opening a new friendship to know, and ultimately show me why I was there. And we rode together the whole way into the city of Novi Sad and it was something that, as we just sat there and talked, the two of us and shared about what both of us really love and technology and what we do for the church and what I do for my home church around technology, and he invited me to come over early to help him be a part of that Sunday service. And I just, my eyes just were wide open as I walked into the church building to see their technology set up. And it's every piece of equipment, if I were to just name it out, piece by piece, from the sound board to the video switcher, was the same exact piece of equipment that I used at my home church. And they just had so many questions on, "Hey, how can we make this better? What can we do to fix this? We can't figure this out." And it was just; it just made me smile and laugh at God. I'm like, God, I knew I was praying for You to show me why I was here, but You had answered it in less than a couple of hours of meeting Pastor [This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. ] and just meeting the people in the church and seeing the technology that they're using, trying to just be able to not only enhance their local worship but to share it around the world. And I think from day one, God just continued to open my eyes and my heart and allowed me to really see that this journey to Serbia was definitely an answered prayer, and it was something that just softened my heart, reminded me just how we pray and how we connect to Him. To even, to closing to the last day, I just… this guy came in and it was our last day there on Monday. We were doing the final day of medical mission and the doctor had to leave a day early, so we weren’t able to really do a real clinic and it was more of just a day that we could pray for people and to give out glasses and in other parts of the medical mission except being able to see the doctor. And I remember this guy, he came in, and there was something about his spirit that all of us felt when he walked in, and there was just something different. And we asked if he was here to see the doctor and he said, "No, I just came in as, you know, I'm a member of the church and knew that you guys were here praying for people. I just wanted to spend some time in prayer. I feel at a loss and I felt defeated." And he joined with me, Nate and Kenna and we just heard his story. And he started to share that he had cancer. It was more when he was going to pass, not if he was going to pass, and he just said that he just came in today because God told him that he needed to just come and pray and to spend time in His Word and connect with Him. I've never seen someone to have that level of just faith, and it reminded me of the story of the woman who just, she believed in the scripture that if she could just touch Jesus' cloak or come close to Him that she would be healed. As Nate and I were praying, you know, it's like the best way to describe it is you get your hair that rises on your skin. You get those moments that you just feel like something's going on. I remember halfway through my prayer, Kenna was with me and she stood up, and she said, "Hey Jason, I just want to let you know we can stop. God told me that he's been healed." And I looked at her and I was like, that is some amazing faith. I just want to be able to have amazing faith like that, to be able to hear God speak. I knew something was going on. I could definitely feel it. It was unexplainable and even seeing Kenna's faith and Nate's faith and I just come into accord, like this is something that God has told you, then I come in accord to you and with you guys, and I truly believe in it and I have the faith that God has healed this man. And we hopped on the plane next early Tuesday morning and flew back to the United States with no real answers, and the next day after being back, and we get this text message. And I was like, oh wow - Pastor Galle texted us. And he sent us a picture of us when we were praying for that gentleman but then he also sent us this message that we want to let you guys know that the man came running into the church building to find us today because he came back from his doctor's appointment and he, the doctors are asking him what he did, which when he got his x-rays and you know basically coming back into this appointment today and they're saying that they could not find any cancer at all, that he was 100% healed. And I think, you know like a perfectly well-made Sunday, that was God's kind of cherry on top, from the beginning of the mission trip to show me why I was there, to the end of the mission trip, to the last day, showing that He was in control and that He was there with us, that His Spirit was alongside of us. I know that why in a pandemic we were all safe, traveling around the world, that God kept us all healthy, took care of all of us and ultimately, He guided us to be there and to just see who He is and to see His miracles and to understand that we're here to just keep our ears open and to listen to Him and to know that He is working in our lives. And He's calling out to us and we just have to be willing to listen and to answer that calling.

Helen: That's a very powerful story. I think it's incredible that God chose to do this miracle on the day when there was no doctor present in the medical clinic, and I think there was a beautiful reason for that. He just wanted to show that it's by His power, by His might, by His healing touch that He chose to heal this man. And Kenna, who sensed that he was healed, she's a highly trained R.N. She's a wonderful medical professional but she discerned in her spirit, not through her knowledge, but in her spirit she discerned that he was healed. That is an incredible story. I cannot imagine…you probably don’t even fully recognize yet the impact of what happened in Serbia, but I can see that it has been life-changing for you. So how do you feel for now you're different from Jason before that trip?

Jason: I can tell you going back to work, Helen, there's been a lot of questions where I'm like is this my ultimate end destination? I've been with my company for 16 years and it has been an amazing ride and just what God has brought me to in my level of profession, and it's really made me pray and think - ultimately, is this my final resting ground? Is this the place that God wants me to be at for the rest of my career or is there times and seasons like this where He wants me to be able to still work from here and to share the good message of who He is in my profession, but also have the finances and the ability to travel around the world and to help people? And I know, just like you shared, Helen, that Serbia is a part that I don’t fully know what God is doing there as a revival, but I do see His work is evident, not only in my life but in the people's lives there because I know I'm still connected with them, still talking to them, still praying for them. They're still part of my everyday life. It just created a level of friends that I would've never imagined, even to being so far around the world and I know as we're recording this podcast, it's funny, my phone has vibrated a few times and it's been a few of them. I think they know I'm talking about them, but ultimately, I see that God is at work in my life and He's really provided not only some just greater purpose to pray for but to really be open to the doors that He has in front of me and knowing that those doors, knocking on them can be somewhat scary because we just don’t know what the answer on the other side is going to be and to know that He has been just stirring my spirit, stirring my heart and really changing who I am and He's just not only opened my heart to a whole new level of prayer and to a whole new level of what it means to connect with one another. It really allowed my heart to know that this year of 2021, even as the pandemic continues, my goal is ultimately to live out the word "connection," and to be a part of who He is and just help people connect and to build new friendships and to continue old friendships with people that are just working in my life. So I definitely would say that 2020 was a year that I'm grateful it happened. We all prayed for perfect vision and for God to reveal things and I can tell you I didn’t expect Him to reveal the things that He revealed and take me around the world because that's what's truly made me different is just how He's really given me a different set of lenses, a different vision on life.

Helen: Thank you so much, Jason, for sharing your story and I look forward to how God is going to use this and where He's going to take you from this point on.

   I like the way Jason is approaching 2021, a year of connection. Even though the COVID-19 pandemic has continued longer than any of us ever expected, let's make sure we stay connected to others and most importantly, connected to God. It is important to listen and obey when the Lord calls you to do something, and if you feel a tug on your heart to do missions work, just like Jason described, we'd love to tell you more about it. Visit our website, the address is RFWMA.org. We have information there about the upcoming trips and how you can get involved and also you will find the information about our upcoming Greater Purpose conference in May of 2021 in Branson, Missouri. Check it out. The website again is RFWMA.org.

Jason's Hearing His Voice Testimony

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