I am fourteen, and I am nervous as I leave for my first ever mission trip, but I know that my parents are far more scared than I am. We are driving past a dump, only twenty minutes away from the resort area of the Dominican Republic. I see a family living in this dump, and a little boy with no clothes on. I am forever moved by the poverty I witness first hand, and God confirms my call to missions.
It is later in the week, and God is speaking to me about giving up something so that I can better be used for his kingdom. I feel God is leading me to give up German so that I can take a Spanish class. I reluctantly agree.
It is a year later, and I learn that I have the opportunity to spend six weeks in Mexico living with the missionaries there. I wonder how lost I would have been without having that one year of Spanish.
I am now sixteen, returning from my summer in Mexico, only to face the sickness of my Nana, my favorite person in the world. I wonder why God is letting this happen, but I have learned to trust in Him. She dies, but she tells me that her favorite Bible verse is Proverbs 3:5-6: “Trust in the LORD with all your heart and lean not on your own understanding; in all your ways acknowledge him, and he will make your paths straight.”
I am seventeen, and God is changing my plans; I now feel led to attend Southern Nazarene University to study missions. I know it is the place for me.
I am a freshman, nineteen years old, and I begin sensing a call from God to go to Peru. I file it away into my plan for my life as something I would do after I graduate.
The following semester, these words echo through my mind: “No one has the right to hear the gospel twice until everyone has heard it once.” I know that I must once again surrender my plans to God, trusting Him completely. I must follow God’s call on my life to Peru. I must, for perhaps the first time in my life, allow my heart to defeat my mind.
It is three weeks before I am supposed to leave for Peru, and I am not even breaking $4000 raised for my two years in Peru, when I need $15,000 before I go. I begin to have doubts. I issue a cry for help to God’s people. And God’s people step up…one week later, I am fully-funded. God did amazing things, not only calling me to go, but also calling individuals to support me. I am humbled. I am confident. And I am trusting God completely as I head off into this next journey for my life, planting three churches in Peru.
I am twenty, and I am a real missionary. I am about to leave for my first assignment. I have fears, but God gives me overwhelming peace. And I once again know that my parents are far more scared than I am. But we are trusting God.
I am twenty, and God has given me a burning passion for the unreached people groups around the world. I pray that God would turn this passion into a holy anguish, so that the unreached who do not know the gospel, and have no hope of hearing it unless someone goes to them, will actually pain me to know about.
Looking into the future…I am twenty-three, and I have been back from Peru for a few months. Life is supposed to return to “normal.” I have people tell me that it is so good that I did this while I was young, and what a great experience this was for me. I think to myself, this was not an experience; this is the life that I have been called to.
“My life is worth nothing to me unless I use it for finishing the work assigned me by the Lord Jesus—the work of telling others the Good News about the wonderful grace of God."