I’ve had missionary work laid heavy on my heart for at least the past year, and as I’ve gone through this phase of wishing and wondering, God has spoken to me time and time again. If you’re struggling with doubt, I hope someday you realize just how loved you are by a God so great. He answers prayers in so many tiny, yet miraculous ways.
God lit a flame in my heart for missionary work when I was in sixth grade. I saw a boy with a shirt that said, “This shirt is illegal in 51 countries. Restricted in 40 Nations. 11 hostile areas.” and on the back in the shape of a cross it said, “I am not ashamed of the Gospel because it is the Power of God, the salvation of everyone who believes… Romans 1:16.” That rocked my world. At ten years old, I already knew how I wanted to spend my life. I wanted to be a missionary. I really believe that that was one of my first encounters with God. I quickly became obsessed with the thought of going overseas and carrying The Gospel with me. I watched members of my church leave and come back with radically changed hearts, and every part of me wanted the same. So over the years I’ve begged my grandparents, “Let me go, please let me go.”
This past year God took my infatuation with missionary work even farther. I became so intrigued by all of it that I found myself spending hours at a time every night watching videos of missionaries loving on all of these broken people in shacks and huts and on dirty streets. I wouldn’t get too far into any video before I’d just start weeping. I mean, really sobbing. I was overcome with emotion, and let me tell you, the Holy Spirit does that to me. It’s not me that longs to be there in those shacks and slums, it’s the Jesus in me. I know now as I look back on the past year, that I was being called, but I struggled to figure out if it was just me wanting it, or if it was really God saying, “Go.” Africa especially was really tugging on my heart strings. I again begged my grandparents, “Please, let me go. You have to let me go.” just over and over and over. They weren’t thrilled with the idea of letting me go, and any parent would agree that it’d be hard to let a child go overseas without them. I can’t say I blame them. But I still had this nonstop feeling of, “This is what I’m supposed to do.” And there’s really no other way to explain it.
Two months ago I reached a point of desperation. I said, “God, if this is what You want me to do, give me some sort of confirmation. Let me know that it’s not just my wanderlust heart getting in the way.” At that time, I was a part of a Fields of Faith team in my area. For those of you that don’t know, Fields of Faith is a yearly event that involves a worship team and speakers. Every year the team gets on stage and does a Christian rap. When I received the lyrics to the song, I noticed the title was “Send Me”, by Lecrae, a song about being a missionary. I read through the first set of verses and came across, “People deep in Africa, looking for an answer. In China men are dying men, until they know Who died for sin. So, look what grace did, not for us to stay in.” Not even a week after praying for confirmation, God gives it to me here. It get’s better. I didn’t mention this before, but along with Africa, I had also felt called to go to China. China scared me more than others, because they have limited religious freedom. I’ve read stories of persecution and torture in China that are beyond anything that words can explain. Scarred by fear, I was kind of pushing it to the back of my mind, ignoring the call God had placed on my life to go. But when I read those lyrics, every bit of fear just fell off of me. That was the confirmation I prayed for. It hit me square in the face that I’m here for one reason, and that’s to share Jesus Christ with every soul I can. If it means losing my life in the process, then what an honor. Bring it on world, my God is much, much bigger.
I began praying, “Lord, if this is Your will, change the hearts of my grandparents. Let them see Your plans for me.” Long story longer, God did just that. I applied for my first mission trip to South Africa a little over a week ago, and I’ve been accepted. Praise God. Just a few days after finding out that I had been accepted, I received a book in the mail from a long distance friend. This book was from 1956, how did it end up in my hands? Because our God is so great, and I’m continuously reminded of that. I opened it up, and the first page was about a missionary and his journey with South African people. And wouldn’t you know, June 19th, I’m headed to South Africa to sing songs of praise on red sand, and love on every life I find, sharing Jesus with each soul I come across.
Please be praying for me as I raise the funds to do so, and if you have any advice whatsoever, I’d love it. Glory to our gracious God.