WE Are The Next Generation

As a 20 year old who has lived in Chicago her entire life, it can be easy to believe the next generation of leaders are the people I pass by on Michigan Avenue, or the people I run pass on the trail in my neighborhood, or the people I sit next to at the Starbucks on Lake Street. 

And that would be true. 
But it is far from a complete picture. 

I have been back in my home country for just over two weeks now and it has been challenging to enter back into a culture that feels foreign and familiar all at the same time. 
But the people aren’t all that different. 

The people in America and the people in the Dominican Republic live in very different worlds, but we are all just people. 

And there is such beauty in our unity. 

The movement of Christ is not just a movement for Americans. 
The message of Generation Distinct is not just a message for Americans. 

WE are the next generation. 
WE. 
The people of every tribe, nation, and tongue. 
WE are the next generation. 

It's me and it's you. 
It's our friends all around the world and it's the friends we have yet to meet. 

It’s Jorge Luise, and Israel, and Misael, and Josephina, and Berlin, and Chase, and Moises, and José, and Jeff, and Theresa, and Indiana.  It’s Steph, and Hannah, and Katie, and Margaret, and Lindy, and Bernie, and Steve, and Allie, and Veronica, and Lauren.

It’s my friend Alan in Constanza, DR.  He is a 20 year old missionary in his very own community who teaches children who God is. 
Alan told me,

"Young people have a big responsibility because we need to make a difference in the environment where we live by trying to live a life God wants. It’s a challenge, but we know if we are different the world is going to be different through Jesus.” 

It’s 22 year old Frankie Roskam, a recent college grad from North America who I met while serving in Jarabacoa, DR.
Frankie refuses to let her age dictate her impact for the Kingdom of God. 
She recently launched an incredible non profit called JOY, inspiring other young people to get in the game and make a difference for the Lord. (www.spreadjoynow.com)
When asked what the responsibility is for other young people to bring restoration to the world, she says,

“Young people have the responsibility to live life to the full-- the effervescent fullness of a purposeful life.”

It’s my friend Carolina Garcia, a 23 year old missionary in Monte Plata, DR.  
But she is not originally from the impoverished town of Monte Plata.
She is from the beautiful city of Santo Domingo, DR.

She told me, “Currently, as of the past 3 months, I moved to one of the poorest and apparently forgotten provinces of my home country to work in a position that's strange for me. To bring restoration to the world, I'm stepping out of my comfort zone and trusting God that He is using me in ways I'm not even aware.  He's leading me while whispering to my soul, and nurturing me in the quietness of the unknown.”
But she is not the only young person with a responsibility to take a risk and make a difference.

She says,

“The responsibility of young people is pretty much the same to every Christian: Give your life so that you may gain it."

This generation is so much bigger than just my corner of Chicago. 
The Church is so much bigger than just my corner of Chicago.
This movement can spread to so much farther than just my corner of Chicago. 

People all around the world are already living out this movement, and we can all be unified in our pursuit of Christ. 

God is raising up young people in every nation to be a voice for change in this generation and I am excited.
I am excited to see what could happen when hundreds of young, energetic, tenacious world changers declare that WE are the next Generation and WE are fighting to bring God’s Kingdom to earth. 

My friends in the Dominican Republic have taught me this. 

It’s time to unite and it’s time to advance. 
God is calling the next generation to change the world for His glory. 

I am back in the United States and I am back in my corner of Chicago. 
But my story will forever be changed by my time in the Dominican Republic. 

It is time for us to unite as a Generation and get our hands dirty and refuse to give up. 
It is time to fight for justice and impact lives and love people and change history.

There is a world that needs to be restored and there are nations full of young people who are ready to be unleashed. 

Let us begin today. 
Because WE are Generation Distinct.