Please don't make me...Part I

Edited to Add:  It has taken me about a week to write this post.  I'm not sure why...I just wanted it to be exactly right...

Back when I was a young teenager (heading into high school), my best friend in the world was a MK (missionary kid) whose parents served in the Philippines.  I met her when her family came to Nashville on furlough that our church helped sponsor.  We made quick friends and after the year-long furlough, she left to go back to the Philippines and I thought my teen-aged heart was breaking in two.  I wept for what seemed like days and wrote letters every week.  At least it seemed like it.  The only option we had back then was regular USPS and it took a while to get letters back and forth.  We managed to keep in touch for quite a while until they retired and moved back to the States...not too far from me...and then we lost touch (ironic no?)  I'm blessed to say I am now back in touch thanks to nothing short of a miracle.  Anyway...that was my first REAL brush with missions and missionaries other than GAs and the "Lottie Moon Mission Offering".  My whole life, I have been TERRIFIED that God was going to call me or Steve to be a missionary (and no, we're not going to be missionaries...just to put your mind at rest).  But I would pray to God that He would never make me go to a foreign country.

As most of you remember, back in 2007, I went on my first ever international mission trip to Thailand.  Now, in terms of what most people imagine as mission trips, I'm sure this was pretty mild.  And it was.  I stayed in a nice hotel and worked with missionaries and their children.  It wasn't easy, but it wasn't hard.  And it wasn't as scary as I imagined. Not to mention my best friend in the world went with me. :)  And for those that are interested, you can go here to learn how I ended up going to Thailand.

Ever since I came back from Thailand, I thought about maybe going on another trip.  But I haven't really thought much about where or when.  It's just kind of been in the back of my mind.  About a year ago, the pastor of Fish Hoek Baptist church in Cape Town South Africa, John Thomas, came to speak to our Adult Sunday School Class.  Brentwood Baptist Church has a pretty longstanding relationship with John Thomas and Fish Hoek.  You can read more about that here.  Because of the relationship with BBC and Fish Hoek, John Thomas speaks in our services fairly often and I've sat and listened to him...well..fairly often.  But something about this particular Sunday was different.  I left class that day thinking I might one day want to go to South Africa.  And except for the occasional fleeting thought, that's the last time I considered it.

Until a few months ago...and it seemed that everywhere I turned it was something about Africa.  I started wondering if God was trying to tell me something or it was just me WANTING to go and so I was noticing things more than usual.  It really drove me nuts for a while, so one Tuesday afternoon, I emailed my Bible Study leader (she would be the one highlighted here) to find out how she knew that it was God asking her to go to Haiti (or India where she's been several times) and not just her wanting to go.  Unfortunately, she didn't have time to answer my email before Bible Study time that night.  And that's when God showed up...

1 comment:

Christy said...

Wow! Shocking to see myself in one of your posts. =) Can't wait to hear part 2! I will be so jealous if you are going on some great mission trip. I have really been feeling the desire to go on a mission trip lately, but it just wouldn't work as the right time right now. Love ya, and I'm glad the miracle happened that we found each other again!