Here’s the final part of this chapter in my journey to the Philippines. It’s crazy to think that this journey is really only just beginning. I’ll do my best to write while I’m in the Philippines, however, as far as internet access goes, I’m not sure what to expect yet! Prior to learning where I would be serving, I prayed that God would send me to the ends of the earth if that’s where He wanted me to go and where I could be used. Since the following entry was written, I’ve learned that I will be serving on the island of Mindanao in the city of Davao. I’ll have the opportunity to visit remote villages and share the Gospel with people who may have never heard it before! How exciting and overwhelming it is to realize that God chose to send me. I’ll be the hands and feet of Christ!
“Sunday, March 4th arrived. I got up, got dressed, and went to Sunday school. The only thing on my mind was what my time at the Tebow’s house would hold. I left church a little early to be sure that I was on time. It seemed like somewhere I’d read that Mr. Tebow likes promptness and I was going to be sure that I was on time! I arrived at their house a few minutes early and a friendly girl named Camille walked with me to the front door. God must have known how nervous I was so I thank him for placing me there at just the right time so that I didn’t have to go in alone. Camille rang the doorbell and to my surprise (yet again, Lord!) Mrs. Tebow opened the door! She and I talked and I quickly found myself very comfortable with her. She is so kind and down to earth. She made me feel right at home. My time there that day was rewarding and I felt honored to have had the opportunity to go. But, at the end of the day, I still didn’t know if going to the Philippines was part of God’s plans for my summer. The wait continued.
About a week later, I received yet another email from BTEA. This time, they informed me that Mr. Tebow had reviewed my application and had a question concerning my belief of assurance of salvation. He noticed that I attend CFT, which is a Pentecostal church, and wanted to be sure that I believed that salvation is an eternal gift since some churches believe otherwise. Wow. I wasn’t sure why I had to go through all of this! It seemed, at the time, like it was quickly becoming a very controversial situation. I began to feel the pressure! My words needed to be written with wisdom and grace that could only come from God. What a way to put my name out there from the start! I thank God for giving me a wise and very understanding Dad. He and I talked for quite some time. I shared my heart with him and told him that I wanted to share the gospel and allow the Lord to use me to make an eternal impact on the lives of the Filipino people. I wanted to fulfill the Lord’s plan and I felt like he’d brought me to this point, so He had to have a reason for this. Dad and I typed and typed and typed what seemed like a pretty extensive email, but I was confident that in the end, I had honestly shared my heart and goals in the way the Lord would have me do it. The next day, they emailed me back and, again, to my surprise, this is what I read:
“…Thanks for clarifying. I’m going to go ahead and put you in the first two-week slot you requested. “
WOW. Not only did God come through, but he also fulfilled a desire of mine before my very eyes! When I think about how miraculous this was that I was being told I could go (at the very time that I’d requested at that!), joy and thankfulness flooded my heart. I recognized that only God could have done this and it is by His hands that my story can be told. I later found out that they actually had to turn down 75-100 people for the mission trips this summer. That, therefore, proves that God’s hand is in this and there is no question in my mind that it is all a part of His plan for my life.
So, here I am. A missionary! I never thought I’d be where I am today. I guess that’s why God is in control. Almost 1 month has passed since I found out that I would be spending two weeks this summer in the Philippines and God has continued to prove Himself faithful day after day. I’m responsible for raising my own funds to go. The cost of the trip is $3,600 and for some, it may seem like a daunting task for one person to undertake! Not for me. With bold faith, I’ve had a peace all along that my God will provide all the money I need to go this summer. I’ve met people and shared the news with many others and God has softened their hearts to give. It is amazing to watch Him work! Everything has a time and a purpose. It isn’t my job to have all the answers. I need only one, “Yes, Lord. I’ll go!”
My prayer is still that God would continue to make the sun stand still in my life and show me what His plans for me are. Those “impossibles” that I mentioned earlier are no longer impossible. They are absolutely possible and I believe that God is using even this experience to prepare me for what is to come. God’s plans are unfolding before me daily. I know that He’s working through the mission trip and this entire journey. There is a reason that I’m going with this organization [BTEA] and that the Tebow family is a part of my story. There is a reason I had to answer the tough questions. There is a reason I had to wait, and I know deep in my heart that there is a reason I was chosen to go. God has taught me to listen and obey. If he says, “Go”, I need to go! I’ve discovered that His ways are much higher than mine. His plans are far grander than any I could have drafted on my own and His timing is perfect. He knows the desires of my heart and He knows what is best for me. I believe that one day I will walk in a room full of people and be able to share this God-story in its entirety. It is not finished yet. In fact, I believe that what you know now is only the beginning. I pray that you’re encouraged and motivated to awaken inside of you an audacious faith and begin looking for God to do some amazing things in your own life, just like He’s doing in mine!”
Since the time this was written, I’ve been able to raise exceedingly above the funds needed to go. The abundance will be used on the mission field. As I said earlier, God has answered another prayer and I’m going to the ends of the earth. While I’m nervous about being a first-time international flyer and leaving my family to travel so far away, I know in my heart that God is with me. In those times that I find myself slipping into worry, fear, or stress, I remember how far I’ve come along this journey. I remember who brought me to this point, and I constantly remind myself that no matter where I go, God has a plan for my life. He already knows about the precious people I’ll meet and those that I’ll be able to share the Gospel with.
Here’s some specific things that I would ask you to pray about:
1. Pray that God would open my eyes to His plans for my life and His purpose in choosing me to go to the Philippines.
2. Pray for safety for my team as we travel throughout Davao and into remote villages.
3. Pray for safe travels to and from the Philippines and that God would be glorified in all things said and done.
I can’t wait to arrive back in America with many stories to share!