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How I Was Called to the Mission Field

26 February 2009 175 Comments

We were asked to write a story of how we were called into the mission field.  Here is my story…

When I was little, I remember in school when the teacher would ask me what I wanted to be when I grew up and I was never able to answer them.  I wasn’t quite able to pick a profession that I really loved or wanted to do for the rest of my life.  Fifteen years later, I still feel the same way.  I am getting ready to graduate in less than 80 days and I often get the question what I want to do with my three different fields of study.  I still cannot pinpoint an exact profession.  I always just end up answering that I want to help people and show them love for the rest of my life.  While that may sound like a broad, cop-out answer to avoid a 9-5 job, I believe it is what I am created to do.  I would be perfectly content if I never had an actual profession and ended up doing a thousand different little jobs for the rest of my life if it meant I could impact and help people in the process.

When I was in 8th grade I heard a sermon that changed my life.  I had always grown up in church, and was raised by an incredible family of faith.  After this sermon, however, I can still remember the incredible passion that I had for the Lord, and I remember hoping that I would keep that passion for the rest of my life.  A man named Darrell Scott came and spoke about his daughter Rachel who was killed in Columbine a few years before.  He spoke of her passion and love for the Lord, even at a young age.  She cared about everyone she came in contact with, and was killed because of her kindness.  (You can read Rachel’s Story Here). Listening to her father speak about her life and ministry was very moving for be because she and I had many similarities, even down to wanting to be famous actresses ?.  That sermon sparked a flame within me that still burns deep today.  From that moment, I made a commitment to myself and to the Lord that I would try my best to live everyday with the type of passion that is evident to all.

My journey of passion continued through high school as I pursued a deeper relationship with God. I got to go on my first missions trip when I was in ninth grade.  I went with my youth group to Piedras Negras, Mexico and knew from the second I stepped off the plane that I was finally doing what I was created to do.  I felt like I was literally moving and dancing within God the stream of God’s will.  I returned to Mexico three times after that summer to do missions.  Those trips embedded within me a love for people of other cultures, and a desire to travel to foreign places to share the Gospel.  Since Mexico, I have had the incredible opportunity to travel to Budapest, Hungary, New Orleans, Israel and South Korea to do missions work.  E ach of these trips was very different in context, and I learned many valuable lessons while on these trips.

This brings me to my life today…Last semester Shane Claiborne came to speak in our chapel.  He challenged much of my thinking and ended up ruining my life in a good way.  His approach to life is very simple: Why should we as Christians have, when others have not?  Literally, why do we have two winter coats when our neighbor does not have one?  How is that showing Christ?  That sermon sparked within me a desire to find a way to do missions in the context that I am in right now.  I began on a journey last semester of sacrifice that has changed my understanding of my world.  It lead me to the understanding that the missions field exists in my backyard, I just had to turn my ears to hear God’s heartbeat for right now.  I have been learning that God desires to use me in whatever context I am in at the time, whether it’s an orphanage in Africa, or a college town in Tennessee.  God is always desiring to do great works in the world around us, I just think we often times get busy with our own lives that we miss it.  My prayer is that we slow down life enough to see the incredible things that God is doing right now, in our own reachable environment.  I pray that we come to understand that the missions field is all around us, and that God has uniquely equipped each of us to do incredible things right where we are.  Some are gifted and called to go overseas, but I do believe that God has a plan for each of us, right now, exactly where we are.

May we open our minds to dream the big dreams of God for our own area of influence…right now….just as we are….and may we be brave enough to step out into them.


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