Several people already know this information about me but most probably don’t. I wanted to tell everyone how I became “called” to be a missionary. Calling is a word often used in Christianity that indicates an inner urge or strong impulse that is believed to be inspired by God. My desire originated on a one-week mission trip to Haiti when I was 18 years old.
The story begins when my mom first told me about a mission trip that her church in Florida was taking (I was living in Pennsylvania). I was very excited about it at first, but as the trip drew closer, I no longer desired to go. In the end, I agreed to go to Haiti with a bunch of near-strangers to make my mom happy.
It was July and extremely hot. I don’t know what the temperature was, but it was hotter than anything I had previously experienced during the summers in Pennsylvania or Florida. Since it was a third-world country, there was no air conditioning and not even steady electricity for a fan. The group spent the week in a tiny village in Leogane which was a rough 2 hour drive from the capital city. The people in the village lived in tiny huts made of banana leaf walls and tin roofs. They washed their clothes and bathed in the creek. They were the poorest population I had ever met.
Several days into our stay, the group hiked several miles to a village in the mountains. I knew it would be hot, so I brought one bottle of water to stay hydrated. That one bottle ran out before we were even half-way to the village. The only shade along the way was 3 very tiny trees which didn’t provide any relief, and the hike took several hours longer than expected. Needless to say, the trek was miserable. However, when we arrived at the village, we received a warm reception. Two girls grabbed my hands as though we were old friends and we sat down together. We really couldn’t converse as the extent of my Creole was limited to things such as greetings and exchange of names and ages. Our time together was limited to about an hour during which time a missionary preached, songs were sung, and some small gifts were handed out. I said good-bye to my new-found friends, and my group returned to the mission compound several hours late for lunch.
That evening, several people from my group noticed that I was quieter than usual and expressed their concerns for me. I was coming to the realization that as wretched as the trek had been that day, I was willing to do it again and again to develop relationships with and to help these people. I felt that God wanted me to become a missionary overseas.
It is now nearly eight years later, and I still feel strongly convicted that God’s purpose for my life is for me to be a missionary. Several years ago when Alan and I were trying to pursue going overseas, all of the doors seemed to be closed. This caused me great pain and tears. However, more recently, all of the doors seem to be opening for Alan and me to go overseas. Everything is in God’s timing . . .