I’ve had a hearts longing to serve the Central/South American region with no rhyme or reason as to why, I’ve just felt a ‘pull’ towards that people group. Despite the fact that I’ve had this longing for 6 years, when my church announced a mission trip to Colombia I didn’t get all gung-ho about it thinking I was supposed to go. I had a few weeks until the deadline so I took my time deciding if I really wanted to serve in the murder capital of the world.
A few weeks after the initial announcement our youth pastor filled in for our senior pastor who was in Thailand on his own mission trip. His sermon was titled “Follow His Voice” and at the end of the service he requested that we all just be still and listen to what God wants to tell us. So I prepared myself by setting my papers down, sitting up in my seat, closing my eyes, clearing my thoughts and saying, “Ok, God I’m listening. What is it you want to tell me?” Instantly, He said “Go! Just go, Diane!” I knew exactly what He was referring to and although I had no idea what the trip was even all about, I knew I had to be obedient and sign up to go to Medellin, Colombia. At this point, the tears would not stop falling…tears of joy, fear, excitement and gratefulness.
Upon picking up the mission trip application immediately following that service, I found out that they’d be serving food to the homeless, holding children’s camp, ministering to pregnant teens and addicts. To me this felt like a confirmation of my obedience and like this trip was planned especially for me, because I currently/or have served in these roles locally and hurting people are the ones that my heart longs to reach out to.
I couldn’t contain my excitement that a longtime heart’s desire was actually happening and the way God spoke to me about it only made it that more special. I got right to work on making arrangements for my daughter in my absence, requesting time off work, applying for my passport, signing up for a Spanish refresher course, checking out books about Colombia, etc. Again, it just seemed like everything was confirming my obedience; so much to the point of my annual bonus being the EXACT same amount of what I needed to go.
So imagine my great disappointment when the youth pastor meets me at my car after service two weeks later to inform me that the trip has been canceled due to nobody else signing up. My first words were 'Really? Noboby else signed up?' I was shocked at that fact, then my heart got heavy with disappointment. I understand that God is in complete control and I trust that He knows way more than I do. I understand that maybe He’s protecting me, or just wanted to see if I’d be obedient when He spoke, or used this experience to light a fire in my faith, or just had me get a jumpstart on having my passport and family’s support for something else in the near future….I get all that, but I still can’t help, but feel a little sad that I’m not going to serve in the murder capital of the world come July.
Whatever His reason, it doesn’t really matter. What matters is that I know Christ has a purpose for me and I will NOT allow this to shake my faith or question my God. I will continue to prepare and be ready to follow His voice wherever it may lead….even if two weeks later there’s a change of plans.