leaves1I’ve always been intrigued by genealogy, or studying the family tree. There’s something special about tracing back family history to its roots, seeing where you came from, and, ultimately, who made your life possible. But what intrigues me even more is the idea of a spiritual family tree. Have you ever thought about that? That you have a spiritual family tree, and it may or may not be biological at all! There are many in my spiritual family that share no blood relation with me, but share my heart–they have a stake in who I am today. Their faith molded me, inspired me, and, ultimately, helped bring me to life in Jesus Christ.

homelessWith Thanksgiving right around the corner, I’m especially grateful this year for these spiritual families, in addition to biological ones. In other words, I’m thankful for discipleship. It may sound a little bizarre to be thankful for discipleship, but this is a focus of SEND training, and it has been a powerful lesson taught and lived out this past month of SEND.

From SEND teachers to those met on mission excursions, Sarah, Quinn, and Ze, this year’s SEND team, have heard firsthand, time and time again, of the spiritual lineage in people’s lives. We have heard story after story about how people come to faith in Jesus Christ through someone leaveswho shares it with them! In essence, they are experiencing what true discipleship means, and why it’s important. These lessons are living proof that God’s design is for us to not only have biological families, but spiritual families.

God wants us–calls us–to be branches in other people’s spiritual family trees, and the SEND teamhas begun to do this in a powerful way. This past month, they have shared the love of Jesus with others–from strangers who are homeless to close friends and family. They are sharing their faith with those they work with, their families, and people we encounter on our mission excursions. I am so grateful to be a part of the discipleship sarahtraining for young adults in SEND North America, and to see the “trees” that grow from Sarah, Quinn, and Ze in the coming months. The seeds are planted, roots are developing, and the journey is just beginning!

Who is in your spiritual family tree?  Today is a perfect day to start planting seeds!

God’s blessings,
Mackenzie “Kenzie” Ritchie
SEND Leader