Here I Am, Send Me!
It all started with having a conversation with my friend, Cecelia. Cecelia shared amazing stories with me about her experience on mission trips. I was in awe at how God had used her on the mission field. She encouraged me to consider going because she thought God could use me in the same way. I don't remember what I said, but I remember thinking that it could never happen! I was a small town girl and living in the Midwest was a new adventure for me. From time to time, she would mention it to me, so I vowed to pray.
One Sunday, a pastor from another church came to do a presentation about missions. He highlighted an upcoming trip to Ghana, West Africa. My spirit leaped for joy and I felt the Lord telling me that I was to go. I thought, "Me, Lord. But, how?" I kept the word in my heart and soon I shared it with a lady in my church. She was so excited for me. I asked her, "But, what about the money?" She responded, "Oh, the Lord will provide." She said it would such confidence. She said it with such boldness, I believed it! So, I started telling everyone! Soon, I was off to Ghana for a short term missions trip! I had such amazing support from family, friends, church members, and co-workers. It was evident that God was in it.
I was so excited to see how the Lord was going to move during our trip. I prepared for months getting ready: mentally, spiritually, and physically. I was so nervous, but I knew God was up to something great. When I arrived in Ghana, I felt at peace. On Sunday morning at worship, I felt I was at home. I felt a sense of belonging. Throughout the week, I was amazed by the people and the beauty of the country. I also cried continually as I witnessed the images of abject poverty.
One day we had a ceremony at a local village to thank God for the new water well. The people praised God for what seemed like forever for clean water. "Really, God? Are they thanking you for clean water?" A lady sung a song thanking God that her labor had not been in vain; that her worship of Him had not been in vain. She testified that she had never thought she would drink clean water in her lifetime. Humbling.
Day by day, I learned a lot about the living conditions of the people in the bush of Ghana, West Africa. While there is much beauty in Ghana, there are also many things that break my heart. When I came back to the States, I was not the same person. At first, I thought I was having an emotional high from my missions trip, but it wasn't a feeling. It was a shift in my thinking. A breaking in my heart. A longing to serve God in another way. While I was perfectly content in my career and ministry at church when I left, I had a holy unrest that I could not shake. Since that time, I have gone from job to job; ministry to ministry; church to church: only to realize I needed to respond to the voice that spoke to me 7 years ago. "Leave everything and go to Ghana!" I thought I was crazy! People told me I was! "We need Christians in the 'marketplace,'" they shouted. It is true. We do, but God has called me to Ghana and finally I'm going!
We all have a passion and a call from God on our lives. It looks different for each person, but make sure you follow your heart and God's vision for your life. People may have their opinion about what you should be doing, but the only opinion that matters is God's! Be free and walk in your calling today! So now I say again with confidence, "Here I Am Lord, send me!"