I became a christian years ago in high school. Shortly after God made Himself known to me, He put a desire in my heart for the nations. I had visions of being a missionary in foreign lands. Instead, I have spent the past 20-some years in basically the same town.
At least 3 separate times I was signed up to go on a missions trip and for various reasons, I had to cancel. Many times I questioned whether I had heard God correctly. So, I would pray and ask God to remove the desire if it was not from Him. It became stronger. Finally my long-awaited desire became a reality this past Spring. I went on my first overseas missions trip.
I loved every moment I spent in Africa. There were moments of soul-searching, in fact, most of my moments were cutting me to the core of who I am. Every ounce of me was put into question. Could I love these people the way Jesus wants me to? Am I genuinely concerned about their needs? Will I trust God to protect me from sickness and disease? Who am I really when all of my comforts have been stripped away?
I learned so much about myself and my Saviour. Ever since I have been back I have had a one track mind - Africa. I long to be THERE but have a family and husband HERE. I had a taste of what significance looks like and nothing here seems to compare. When you look a child in the eyes who has not eaten for days and you get the opportunity to serve her, your life takes on new meaning.
Discontentment - that is what I have allowed to breed in my life. So, I asked God to use me and He has! I still would prefer Africa, but for now this is my ministry. Take a look at these kids. It seems like they have come out of the woodwork this summer. This is the first year that I consistently have anywhere from 12 to 14 kids at my house. They are not always the same kids but they all have two things in common. One, all of them come from broken homes. Two, all of them need Jesus.
You see, God used my trip to Africa to teach me the importance of feeding a child and taking time to notice him/her. Had I not gone on my missions trip, these children would have probably been annoyances. Instead, they are my mission field. Tonight I had 3 extra kids for dinner. Most people think I am nuts. I choose to think that God will use our family to show these kids what a home-cooked meal and two-parent home looks like. Besides, they always get to witness us praying when they stay for supper. Most nights they get to listen to us do devotions as well.
I still believe Africa is in my future (how can it not be when 2 of my children are from there). For now, I will look out my window and see that the harvest is ripe.
Here are just a few of the kids who hang out with us: