Sunday, November 16, 2008

November has another meaning for me

Every November my church, Grace Bible Church, has it's missions conference. Five years ago this month God somehow dragged me to one of the events and forever changed my perspective, which would in turn change everything about how I spend my money, my time, and my resources. I want to share my story, even though it is at times embarrassing in hopes that someone might realize that just like God has a role for us all to play in caring for the orphans, he has a role for us in reaching the nations with the good news about Jesus. Here we go...

As part of our misssions conference that year our church was hosting a "Day of Discovery" which was touted as Perspectives in a day. For anyone not familiar with those events it was a day long class on missions. Kyle really wanted to go and I'm pretty sure my first response was no way, I am NOT going to spend an entire Saturday bored out of my mind learning about missions. Besides if there was one thing I was sure of it was this, I was not now not ever going on a missions trip, frankly I wasn't interested in leaving this country for fun, I definitely was going to live in Africa and eat bugs (unfortunately that is probably a quote, no exageration here). But the Holy Spirit moved in me just enough that I chose to try and be a godly wife and go if it was so important to Kyle.

So we get there and I am not happy but I'm going to be there for 9 hours so I might as well listen. The speaker stands up there and just begins to read from the Bible, showing us God's heart for the lost, His desire that none should perish, His love for all people. Then he reads from the Bible the scary stuff (for me at the time) the commandments (yes commandments) to go, to make disciples, to send, to teach, to serve. We learned a lot more about the world, the people in this world who have never heard about the fact that Jesus died for their sins and if they just believe that they will spend eternity with Him in heaven. We learned how many people there are who have never heard and how few workers are there sharing with them and how even less money is given to help those missionaries. We learned how 98% of all international people who come to live in America for a period of time, never set foot in an American's home, that one made me cry. So I sat there all day and the man just read from the Bible and shared facts about missions around the world no gimmicks just truth, but it was all one needs to hear, and I left there sad and scared to death.

I have never experienced the fear of the Lord (a respect and understanding of my need to obey) as strongly as I did when we left that class. At the end we had a chance to pray and this is about what I said, "Lord I do NOT want to go on a missions trip, but I'll go if you make me. Lord, I am scared out of my mind as to what this might mean...I don't want to live in Africa and eat bugs and not get all the comforts of America, but I am more scared of not walking in obedience to You. Please tell me exactly what to do and give me everything I need to do it, because all I can contribute is saying okay." We got in the car and Kyle said I'm so excited I think we should go on a short term trip and I literally shaking with fear said if God wants us to I'll go. Kyle was shocked, I'm sure.

So after that day I committed to all I could at that moment, to pray everyday for God to send workers to the field, and I did. Then God told me clear as day to go on a short term trip, we signed up for one and 8 months from that class we went. But the awesome thing and what I hope encourages you, is God took care of everything. I mean not just all the physical things (the money, the doctor appointments, the plane tickets, the details), He took care of the biggest challenge of all, my heart. God used those months of prayer and Bible study to take away my fear, to trust Him with my life fully, to give me a love for the lost and for all nations, and to fall deeper in love with Him than I had ever been before. Oh, and I didn't have to go to Africa or eat bugs, my view of the world was so small and so wrong.

So I encourage you, pray. Ask God what do You want me to do with what You said,

"Go therefore and make disciples of all nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit."Matthew 28:19

"Then he said to his disciples, "The harvest is plentiful, but the laborers are few; therefore pray earnestly to the Lord of the harvest to send out laborers into his harvest." Matthew 9:37-38

"But you will receive power when the Holy Spirit has come upon you, and you will be my witnesses in Jerusalem and in all Judea and Samaria, and to the end of the earth." Acts1:8.

"13For "everyone who calls on the name of the Lord will be saved." 14How then will they call on him in whom they have not believed? And how are they to believe in him of whom they have never heard? And how are they to hear without someone preaching? 15And how are they to preach unless they are sent? As it is written, "How beautiful are the feet of those who preach the good news!" Romans 10:13-15

1 comment:

KyleC said...

This isone of my favorite stories about you, and how God worked mightily in your life. He provided the time, the money, and the power for you and I to go to a place that scares some people. Thank you for sharing your story.