rebelling against low expectations

Live Your Dreams Right Where You Are


What is your dream that you hope will make a difference? What is your work to change the world? Do you want to feed hungry children in Africa? Be a missionary to China? Cure diseases in impoverished areas or help communities affected by HIV/AIDS?

I’ve heard (or read) people say all of these things. The interesting thing about all those dreams I mentioned, is that a lot of them are said by people who are half a world away. An American girl wanting to be a missionary to Africa, an African girl wanting to be a missionary to China.

They are all good desires and aspirations, but what about where you are? What about the hungry man on the corner or the family that doesn’t have enough money to eat properly?

I live in South Africa amid a mix of poverty and affluence. There are towns with expensive houses and malls mere meters from squatter camps. Although I’ve always known the poverty and need, I guess you become used to it. It’s just there.

The team that I am a part of this year has the slogan: “We love. We serve”. As a part of what we do, we play with and show love to orphaned and abandoned children, teach Bible Ed classes in a school, run youth ministries, visit sick people and an old age home, and help pack and hand out parcels in villages. In the past I’ve visited African villages to run programs for the children. It’s interesting to me how these are things that others dream of doing. Travelling to Africa one day to feed children and introduce them to Jesus is something that I have read on blogs and in books many times.

Except this isn’t one day. It is right here, right outside, right in my town. Yet to me; whilst all of this can be enjoyable, difficult, exciting, and needed; sometimes it seems that it is not as exciting as one day setting off on a mission trip to Japan. Yet it is just as important.

But you will receive power when the Holy Spirit comes on you and you will be my witnesses in Jerusalem, and in all Judea and Samaria, and to the ends of the earth. – Acts 1:8

This is my Jerusalem. Maybe one day I will have the opportunity of going to the “ends of the earth”, but this is where I am. This is where I am meant to be now and this is the work I have been given to do. I still have chances to love like Jesus did, serve like Jesus served and that’s the whole point, isn’t it?

What about you? Maybe you dream of travelling somewhere, being a missionary far away, impacting the world in a specific way. Sometimes it takes time for the calling that you have to a certain place to come into action. So what about now? What about where you are? Wherever you are there is something you can do to show the world God’s love.

What are you doing in your Jerusalem?

Share Your Thoughts in the Comment Section!

There are currently __ Comment(s)

Photo courtesy of DFID and Flickr Creative Commons.


Print Friendly, PDF & Email

About the author


is a twenty year old South African that enjoys writing, photography, dancing, and good conversations. She is enjoying doing a missions program through a local church and likes trying new things, such as the challenge of driving the church's kombi, and learning how to relate to people of all different ages. She sporadically writes fiction, blogs and is learning Japanese.


This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.

  • I guess I’m doing alot of learning in my “Jerusalem”. The Lord’s been preparing me through many individual, seemingly unrelated small things, so I can be better equipped to follow His leading in the bigger things. At this point, I feel God’s focus for my life is in the areas of:

    1. Wisdom
    2. Humility
    3. Integrity

    Pursuing the Lord is sometimes very difficult for me, but I feel like when it’s hard and I do it anyway, it makes it easier for me to do it the next time.

  • This is such an important truth, Shendl! There are unreached people in every corner of the world. Thank you for reminding us!

  • Thanks Shendl! This article makes me want to go out and help in my Jeruselum!-But I don´t know how, any ideas anyone?

    • This is a great time of year to help at homeless shelters! Also, does your church have a youth program? I love to go help with my church’s AWANA program, the kids really look up to teens/young adults, and you can share the Bible with them!

    • It can be as simple as building relationships with your siblings! You could help out with various things at your church, maybe teach Sunday School, invest in relationships with people of all ages at church, and basically anyone you come into contact with. Katelyn’s ideas are good too. There are heaps of organizations you can get involved with, but you’d have to look at what’s around where you live. Here in Australia for example, public schools have Religion classes that parents can let their kids attend if they choose. There’s a desperate need for teachers, but it’s such a great opportunity to go into a school and teach kids about Jesus!

    • thanks guys! you made me realize I already am helping by helping with the preschoolers at my church, trying to be kind to my sister,and basically doing lots of small things every day.
      Thanks again for opining my eyes, will try some of your suggestions too!

      • I felt the same way you did after I finished reading DHT! Then I realized I was making a difference even if though it was through small things 😉

    • I have had the exact same question. Although I just decided to look at what I like to do {for me it is crocheting} and see if I can use it to help in any way. Then thanks to Okie Gal, and someone else I found out that you can crochet donations for hospitals, and other places. So maybe you can take a look at your talents and see if you can serve the Lord through it.

  • I live in Paraguay and I have a hard time helping my “Jerusalem” I struggle learning their language (and I still struggle learning even spanish).

  • Great Article Shendl!! I also live is the SA, {although I think of it as home, even though I am american} but your article is a great reminder to be a missionary no matter where you are.

By Shendl
rebelling against low expectations

The Rebelution is a teenage rebellion against low expectations—a worldwide campaign to reject apathy, embrace responsibility, and do hard things. Learn More →