Our training group was split into three groups and given an assignment - complete this particular task together. We struggled and struggled as frustration started to mount with each other. Forty-five minutes later, we completed the task - barely, but not perfectly. This was our physical test in teamwork - we had learned in class earlier in our first week of training that teamwork was essential to overseas missions, and now we were given a chance to practice it. Our teacher gathered us around and discussed how difficult it was for us to work together as a team without getting frustrated with each other. He reiterated to us how being in a community reveals relational brokenness, but how that brokenness provides an opportunity for us to experience salvation and relational healing. We discussed how the experience affected us, had a few “learning conversations” (conversations focused on what we contributed to the situation), and continued with other tasks designed to strengthen us as a team. Two days later, we were given the same assignment, completing it in less than 5 minutes. I was amazed as I thought about the transition in our group. We had gone through several days of difficulties together, and, as a result, had formed into a team that could accomplish seemingly impossible tasks. My prayer is that we are able to form that kind of team with our career missionaries when we arrive overseas.
Thursday, July 27, 2017
“Please pray for a friend. Her heart stopped and the doctors are having a hard time re-starting it.” I was in the middle of the second week of training at AFM when I read those words on Facebook. My heart went out to the friends and family of this person who was struggling to live. As I kept scrolling through my Facebook feed, I saw one friend after another posting the same thing, then saw that someone mentioned the girl’s name. My heart froze as my mind put the pieces together, realizing that my friend was the one who's heart had stopped. I started praying for my friend and for the doctors who were working on her. A little while later, I enlisted my friends that I’m in training with to pray with me on behalf of my friend. A few hours later, I received word that she had passed away. My heart broke as I thought through the many times she shared an encouraging word with me, how many times she would just turn and flash me a beautiful smile filled with the love of Jesus, how many times she would excitedly share what Jesus had showed her in her devotion time that morning. From what other people shared on Facebook, she did the same with everyone she met. Tears rolled down my face as my mind struggled with the question, “Why, Lord? Why her?” I realized though, that the beauty of her death is that she died knowing, loving, and serving Jesus - whereas many people around the world are dying every day without knowing or ever hearing about Jesus. Sharing the love of Jesus is why God has called me to serve overseas. My prayer is that Jesus with exude through me to the people I’ll be working with like my friend exuded Jesus to me.
Wednesday, October 19, 2016
How do I begin? First off, I’m not a writer… much less a blogger, so please bear with me as I stumble through this process. I wanted to share some of my story before the time came for me to share this post, but I have not had the time to do that. Hopefully I’ll find some time to share how I’ve gotten to this point in my life.
Right now, though, I get to share the exciting news that I have gotten an assignment to go overseas to serve in a jungle clinic for a year!
Right now, I work in an outpatient mental health clinic. It’s been a challenging position to have, and one where I’ve spent lots of time on my knees begging God if there’s somewhere else He wants me to go. It’s been difficult for me to be in a position where I’m unable to tell people about the Jesus who can heal them and who can take their burdens and who never leaves them or forsakes them.
Last August, I had met the recruiter for Adventist Frontier Missions (AFM) at ASI who told me about some mission opportunities that were available (after I had signed up that I was interested in going as a missionary). For some reason, the timing just wasn’t right at that moment. I knew I needed to get some sort of nursing experience (having just graduated), and I also wanted to pursue a bachelor’s degree.
But after working at my current position for a while, I knew there had to be somewhere else God could use me in a much broader way. One morning, as I was praying once again to God, where He would have me, He brought the idea of going with AFM to my mind. When I considered all the possibilities, it seemed perfect - perfect timing at least! After praying about it more and talking with different people, I decided the best thing to do would be to move forward and ask God to open and close doors as He saw fit in order to lead me to exactly where He wanted me. I started the application process back in May of this year. There have been hurdles to overcome even to get this far into the process, but I now have been approved and will be sent to the mountains in the islands of the Philippines in the fall of 2017.
I’ve been dreaming about what this day would be like. I imagined being so excited. What I didn’t realize was how soon reality would set in - reading through the description of the place and realizing I wouldn’t have easy access to internet so I could call home if I needed. The reality of going to a foreign country - a totally different culture and language - without the support of family or friends close by hit me hard. But what also hit me was the reality that God has called me to this, and He will be by my side every step of the way. I pray that this blog will be filled with blessings and answers to prayer on this journey into the unknown.
It will be exciting to recount how God will continue to lead!