When someone thinks of a missionary, they ask that person “Why do you do what you do?” I am asked that question often, and I respond with the answer: “It’s a calling from God.” I know that each person receives this call differently. I can personally say that I did not hear an audible voice but was gently lead to this call by our wonderful Father God.
I look back at the verses in Proverbs 3:5-6 which exhort me to “acknowledge Him and he will make my paths straight.” When I fully surrendered to going full-time into missions, I did not know if this would be in the U.S. or abroad. In my wildest dreams back then, I would have thought this would have led me to Africa, serving missionaries as a medical coordinator.
Looking back on my life, I realize that I was influenced by missions from an early age. My family had a friend who spent 30+ years on the mission field, and I grew up hearing stories of her and what she did in Africa as a nurse. I know that I have always had a love for missions and missionaries, and I loved to hear their stories when they came to speak at the church. I would even say that I put them on pedestals to exalt them as better than others because they left home to serve God.
However, at this point and time in my life, I would never want anyone to put me on a pedestal and exalt me. I simply surrendered to the call of God in my life; I am serving Him as I serve his servants—other missionaries. God places calls on everyone for many reasons, but for some of us, that call involves serving God away from our home country. For many years of my life I have lived overseas, and in each foreign location, I have known I am clearly in the place that God wants me.
Has it been easy? No. Over the years, I have missed many family events, and at times, I so wanted to be there with my family during crises and rejoicing times. God is the only one who has enabled me to endure and stay at this task He has called me to complete for Him. The calling is never easy, but it has placed me in the center of the will of God. What is your calling?