"I will praise you, O Lord my God, with all my heart; I will glorify your name forever." Psalm 86:12

Thursday, June 24, 2010

Looking Back

This evening, I can't get Africa off my mind. I can't get missions off my mind. I can't get the nations off my mind!

I started reading "The Missionary Call," and what I have read so far simply has defined the term "missionary call." We use the term so freely in churches and conferences, but the term never really gets defined. Here's the definition Mr. M. David Sills offers us:

"The missionary call includes an awareness of the needs of a lost world, the commands of Christ, a concern for the lost, a radical commitment to God, your church's affirmation, blessing and commissioning, a passionate desire, the Spirit's gifting, and an indescribable yearning that motivates beyond all understanding."

This got me to thinking. I began thinking back to when I first sensed God's calling on my life to missions. And then I remembered that I wrote something in my journal about it. So, I did a little digging, found my old journal from my freshman year of college, flipped through the pages, and stumbled upon this entry from January 5, 2007...

"As of January 4, 2007, God has made one thing very clear to me. I have an undeniable calling on my life to do missions. He has worked on my heart this past week and he physically took over my body and made me stand up as a symbolic way of answering His call at Passion '07. PRAISE GOD! It was nothing in or of me that made me stand up. It was purely the Holy Spirit. And at this moment, I have no idea where, when, or how I am going. But I do know that I have said "yes Lord" and that where, when and how I go won't matter because I know I will be with Jesus Christ."

I literally remember this exact moment. I remember exactly where I was sitting in the Georgia World Congress Center. I was near the front of my section of the bleachers. Louie Giglio was speaking and said something along the lines of, "If you are sensing God's call to missions, stand up," in many more or less words. All I know is, I stood up. Instantly, these thoughts were racing through my head...

"Oh crap, what did I just do?"

"Why am I standing?"

"Woops, I think I stood for the wrong thing."

"Oh no, I think I need to sit down."

"I'm so confused. I really need to sit down."

But... I kept standing. Then Louie asked the people around us to touch anyone nearby who was standing and begin to pray over them. I remember someone grabbing my ankle. I don't remember who, I just remember the touch. I tell you all these details to let you know how vivid and how real this moment was.

I am so thankful for that day. I am so thankful the Lord literally took over my weak legs and caused me to stand. I am so thankful for the 1.5.07 journal entry. I am so thankful for the questions that filled my mind. And I am so thankful for how the Lord has been at work in my life these past 3 years since then and has perfectly orchestrated every single step leading up to this very moment, and leading up to what is about to take place in the next 5 days.

Those questions that once filled my mind - the where, when and how - have now clearly been answered.

I am so thankful to be able to say:

I am going where? To Niamey, Niger in West Africa.
When? In 5 days, for 2 months.
How? My great God has provided and my trip is fully funded.

And I am so privileged to be going with my one and only, Jesus Christ.

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