blog | World Challenge

blog

The Problem of Happiness

Rachel Chimits
May 21, 2019

“You make known to me the path of life; in your presence is fullness of joy, and at your right hand are pleasures forevermore” (Psalm 16:11 ESV).

In her 2011 book, Ellen DeGeneres said, "…the key to happiness is being happy by yourself and for yourself. Happiness comes from within. You have the power to change your own mindset so that all the negative, horrible thoughts that try to invade your psyche are replaced with happy, positive, wonderful thoughts."

This advice sounds very catchy and pleasant. In some limited ways, it’s correct; we do have control over our reactions to bad circumstances. We come up against the limits of positive thinking rather quickly, however.

When Depression Isn't Healed

Rachel Chimits
May 17, 2019

A battle with mental health can already feel like a lonely one, but when God doesn’t miraculously free us from it, the question “Why?” inevitable rises.

A research project collaborating with the University of Oxford conducted a study on depression and anxiety disorders worldwide in 2016. They found that about 322 million people globally suffer from depression, making it the predominant psychological disorder.

Despite its prevalence, depression is often ignored or dismissed in great part because of the wide variety of ways it can manifest.

A Vision for Kenya

Irene Life
May 15, 2019

The callings of God on our lives can seem impossible, but one girl’s story is a testament to God laying out his path before us.

Back in 2017, I was napping and had a vision. It was so vivid, I don’t know what else to call it. I saw myself in front of a board meeting, and I was talking to them about kids and fund raising.

I woke up and quickly said, “God, that’s not me. That’s my brother.”

My brother is good with kids, so I pushed the vision out of my mind. I actually forgot about it until almost a year later. 

Pray for the Worldwide Church

Rachel Chimits
May 14, 2019

Pummeled with constant news about crises, it becomes tempting to simply ignore the persecution of our brothers and sisters around the world.

In a sermon at Times Square Church, Pastor Carter Conlon pointed out, “Many today find themselves journeying through this season of despair….

“As much as you know it, you’re doing what’s right. You’re trying to be a representative of Christ in this perishing world. But it looks so hopeless! Everything seems to be going the other way, and you wonder, ‘Will I ever make a difference?’” 

Turning off the Feelings

Often people respond to the overwhelming number of calamities in the news by simply lowering their eyes to whatever immediately affects them and shrugging off everything else.

The Courage of Vulnerability

Rachel Chimits
April 29, 2019

In an age of social media confessions and “tell-all” memoirs, we must ask ourselves what true vulnerability is and why it’s important.

In the opening lines of the Beatitudes, Jesus says, “Blessed are the poor in spirit, for theirs is the kingdom of heaven. Blessed are those who mourn, for they shall be comforted. Blessed are the meek, for they shall inherit the earth.”

People at the end of their rope are blessed? This passage begs the question of why God focuses on broken hearts and humble, mild-mannered nobodies.

These three opening categories are each vulnerable and—dare we say it?—weak.

A Leap of Faith

Rachel Chimits
May 6, 2019

When we’re making major life decisions or are faced with a huge change, planning our next move can be challenging.

David Brinkley is credited with having once said, “She took a leap of faith and grew her wings on the way down.”

This advice seems in the same vein as popular “empowering” messages that Western media figures, celebrities and even some Christians toss around, pointing to the wild success stories of a few and neatly sidestepping all the shattered dreams of many others who inexplicably didn’t manage to sprout feathers.

The dark side of this saying is its implication that whoever doesn’t achieve their goals is at fault for the failure.

No pressure.  

Finding the Ultimate Architect

Ilya Shchetinin
April 30, 2019

One World Challenge scholarship student shares how he went from a prospective architect to ministry leader.

I’m from Oregon City, outside Portland. Life was normal, going the usual route until this guy named Stan who was a Summit graduate married someone at my church. Whenever he was speaking, I noticed something different about him, so I finally approached him and said, “Hey, we should talk.”

Stan looked me in the eye for a solid 30 seconds, saying nothing, and I was thinking, What’s going on right now? I just said I wanted to talk.

Then he offered to hang out. We talked about life, and he eventually became my mentor. In a lot of ways, he encouraged me to think differently about God. 

The Promise of a Mansion

Rachel Chimits
May 2, 2019

In a fairytale life gone wrong, one young Filipino woman finds a true rescuing hero in her heavenly Father.

Krystal’s parents came to her and explained that she could finish high school, but that was all. She needed to find work to help support the family.

In the Philippines, this scenario was nothing strange, particularly for low-income families. At age 18, Krystal dutifully started work in Quezon, one of many poor, young women toiling in minimum wage jobs.

Everything changed when a handsome man approached her. He told her she was beautiful, striking among all the others, and he invited her into the wealthy, upperclass circles of his life.

A fairytale in the making…right? 

Finding the God of Truth and Grace

Vanessa Johnson
May 1, 2019

Now one of MOG’s leaders and World Challenge’s potential partners, one young lady looks back on how God made himself real to her.

I was born in Mexico. When I was five, my parents divorced. My father had put us in a situation where my mom was frightened for our safety.

We moved in with my grandparents who were Christians. Most people in Mexico are Catholic, so I grew up in a unique situation. 

Looking back, God was always present.

Picturing a Complete Family

I had a lot of anger as a child, and I would take it out on God mainly. I remember a couple nights getting really frustrated—“God, why is this part of my life this way?”—questioning everything.

A Question of Forgiveness

Rachel Chimits
May 10, 2019

"Are there any circumstances, do you feel, where one can be a good Christian and yet not forgive?" —Queen Elizabeth II to Billy Graham, The Crown

recent article about mental wellness advocated several appealing strategies for letting go of past hurts and creating healthier relationships: look for the positive in the situation, cultivate empathy for the other side and just move on.

It sounds very nice, but how many people are actually able to do this?

The real heart of the problem is that God was nowhere in this polite mix of pop-psychology and secular counciling.