During my time in the Philippines, I learned so much from God. I saw his protection, His faithfulness, and even His peace. I knew that God had placed my feet on that land for a purpose. I feel blessed to be chosen by God. Over there, the Lord comforted me with Isaiah 52:7- “How beautiful on the mountains are the feet of the messenger who brings good news, the good news of peace and salvation, the news that the God of Israel reigns!”
Now that I’m back in the states, my mind is a bit overwhelmed by everything I saw and experienced. I know that God is going to use that trip to the Philippines to further my ministry here. How? I have no idea! That’s the beauty of living for Christ and allowing Him to write your story. You never know where He’ll take you. His vision for your life is far greater than your own and His plans are better than any you’ll ever have. I’ve seen that in my own life.
Had I been asked one year ago if I could see myself preaching in the Philippines to thousands of people, my answer would have been “No!” Everything about this trip was an example of how God works in our life, because had it been up to me (and what I thought I was capable of doing) I would have probably never left Macclenny. But, I knew months ago that God had planted a seed in my heart to travel and to speak to people. Now I can see how He is fulfilling that desire and those seeds are beginning to sprout. He’s given me the greatest message to share. I took the Good News of Jesus to the ends of the earth. I’ve seen places that many others will never see in their lifetime. I’ve touched the hands of some of the most beautiful people in the world. I’ve shared smiles with children who met a white person with blue eyes for the very first time and I’ve introduced Jesus to some precious people who deserve Him just as much as you and I. My prayer prior to going to the Philippines was, “Lord, take me to the ends of the earth!” He did just that! I’ve traveled some of the most dangerous roads to reach places high in the mountains. I’ve seen first-hand some of God’s most beautiful landscapes and I’ve met some of the most wonderful people. I’ve lived out Mark 16:15- And then He told them, “Go into the world and preach the good news to everyone.” Roman Catholics, Muslims, and even those who had never yet heard this Good News met Jesus for the very first time. I know that I’m so blessed to have been given this great assignment. I’m so humbled by the fact that God would choose to send someone like me…the most timid, unqualified, missionary ever! I’m sure you’ve heard the phrase, He doesn’t call the qualified, He qualifies the called….well I could have been the poster child! I’ve never considered myself a preacher before. I’ve never been one to speak in front of thousands. I’ve never even wanted to travel all by myself! Look how God used me! Look how He qualified me and gave me the ability to do His work, even when I thought this kind of thing was certainly for someone other than me!
My dad asked me the day after I got home what I would share with people about the lessons God taught me on the mission field. He said, “Now that you’re a speaker….” I giggled, but it’s the truth. I’m a speaker and I now have a new piece of my story to share. To be honest, there were so many lessons I learned! He and I sat together and listed many different life messages that could be drawn from this experience and I do believe that God is just filling the shelves of my heart with life messages that I’ll be able to share with others one day as I tell them about the wonderful things He has done in my life. Life messages win people and people will be drawn to Christ because of these stories.
The great beauty in all of this is that I now have seen God open doors for me and take me places that I otherwise would have never gone! There’s just something beautiful about allowing God to write your story. He overwhelms me with how infinite the possibilities are and He’s using me to advance His Kingdom in some of the most wonderful ways. I’m doing more now than I ever would be doing had I stayed in the comfort of my ministries close to home. Yes, those are needed and I am a true believer in missions on the home front and working in the local church, but there’s a great need for people to step out of their own comfort zones and begin trusting God to use them according to His plans, not ours. He won’t take everyone overseas. He may call you to areas of ministry that never seemed possible for you. He certainly did that for me! My life would be so different had I chosen to settle into the comforts of what I was used to. I think about how small of a box I would be living in had I not followed the desires God’s placed in my heart. I’m so thankful for the work He’s doing in me and I pray that as He molds me and continues to write this beautiful story, others will be inspired and compelled to lead a life with Christ as the author, not the editor. I never dreamed that 2 Timothy 1:11 would describe me…. yet here I am!
2 Timothy 1:11- “And God chose me to be a preacher, an apostle, and a teacher of the good news.”