Becoming a Missionary - The Story of How I Landed Here

How I Landed Here

For me, becoming a missionary was not an easy road.

It wasn’t the path I ever imagined I’d find myself on or dreamed I would walk one day.

Yet, here I am.

Just starting our second term and still pondering the process of becoming a missionary, what that means and how I landed here.

{the below story was also featured on LiveDead Silk Road}

I was 17 and home from my first youth mission trip to Honduras. On that warm summer day, I sat quietly in my parked car.

I remember that moment so clearly.

It was one of those serious, reflective moments, the kind that cause you to sit still and honestly appraise your life. I looked around at my beautiful little town, my cute little car, my stylish purse tossed on the passenger seat next to me and the many happy people buzzing in and out of stores around me.

Everyone was absorbed in their own lives, completely unaware of the place I’d been, the things I’d seen and the immense need of hundreds of children in the mountains of Honduras who were right at that minute still suffering from the effects of Hurricane Mitch. Their need for housing, for medical care, for education, for basic necessities and most importantly, for people to tell them that God loved them.

I was old enough to know that it wasn’t just the villages I’d visited. There were hundreds and thousands of other children in many other countries around the world who needed those very same things.

I’d had a small glimpse of a great world of suffering. Of deep lostness. Of great hurt and need. Of true hopelessness.

In all honestly, I wanted to put it out of my mind. Who would want to dwell on those kids and families and villages and the huge task of helping them. I didn’t.

I didn’t want to consider the need for people to leave the comfort of their homes and go share the realness of Jesus with those who haven’t yet heard.

I didn’t want God to ask me.

I wanted to go back to being unaware. I wanted to go back to my job and spend my money on a new outfit from my favorite store in my cute little town. And, in my humanness, I wanted to forget and move on. I had senior pictures coming up after all…

I’m sure God smiled, “She doesn’t know how strong she can be with me. She doesn’t know what I can do through her if she is willing. She hasn’t learned that with me she can overcome any obstacle.”

Becoming a missionary

I went on with life. Made a small photo album of my trip. Thanked the congregation for sending me. And closed my missions chapter.

Or so I thought.

Fast-forward two years to college.

A guy who was called to be a boots-on-the-ground, full-time career missionary in the hardest places of Africa.

A girl who was still telling God (and the guy), “No.”

Fast forward to a Sunday during our pastoral ministry and seeing truly behind the prayer card for the first time.

Fast forward to today and you’ll find that guy and that girl (me), after 12 years in full-time children’s ministry stateside, living in a West African country where 94% of the people have yet to hear that God loves them.

Speaking the name of Jesus in harsh places, far places and hurting places.

Becoming a Missionary - The Story of How I Landed Here

After offering God every single excuse I could muster for not becoming a missionary, after routinely repeating the “Lord, don’t send me!” prayer, after having made up my mind that I could not be the person who could leave everything to go beyond… Here I am.

Just as God had an answer for all of Jeremiah’s excuses in Jeremiah 1, God also had an answer for all of my excuses about becoming a missionary.

Jesus was the answer.

The answer to my fear. The answer to my weakness. The answer to my faults. The answer to my limited ability. He was the answer.

I can go and follow and live beyond so all can hear because He is the answer. Because He loves me.

Jeremiah 1:7-8 says, “But the Lord said to me, “Do not say, ‘I am too young.’ You must go to everyone I send you to and say whatever I command you. Do not be afraid of them, for I am with you and will rescue you,” declares the Lord.”

And like Thomas A Kempis said, “A man’s true progress consists in denying himself and the man who has denied himself is truly free and secure.”

I’m learning that in denying and going, I’m finding true freedom and security. I’m discovering true joy and strength.

In obedience, I sense my Provider, my Protector and my Savior in ways I’ve never before sensed His enduring presence.

And I stand in line with those who have gone before me, walking the path of greatest resistance for those who must hear the Word of the Lord.

We go, in faith, knowing that not only is God with us, He is empowering us to live each day in His purpose, in His plan and in His strength.

What was your process of becoming a missionary? How have you come to land where you are?

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *