Here I Am: Send Me
"And he said unto them, Go ye into all the world, and preach the gospel to every creature." Mark 16:15
I guess it was about five or six years ago. Pastor Doc Shell was my Senior Pastor at Christ Chapel in Florence, Alabama. If my memory serves me correctly, a team was either returning from a mission trip or we were sending a team out. I don't remember all the specifics. My home church has always been mission minded--to equip people and send them out into the world with the good news of Jesus.
I do remember Pastor Doc asking everyone who felt he/she may be called to the mission field to come to the front so a prayer could be spoken. I felt a nudge in my spirit to go to the front for prayer. I hadn't spent a lot of time thinking about missions, and I didn't know what it would look like for me. All I knew was I had a desire in my heart to share His goodness, love, and mercy to as many as possible.
Pastor Doc told us to ask God to show us the faces of those we would serve. I was half afraid I wouldn't see anyone's faces. But I remembered God doesn't give us a spirit of fear (2 Timothy 1:7), and if we ask in faith, we will receive (Matthew 7:7-8).
I closed my eyes, and I prayed. I began to get a vision of children. Children who looked African. There were several of them crowded around me. Immediately, I thought, "I'm going to Africa, I suppose." If I said I wasn't terrified, I would be lying. I started to recount some stories I had heard from missionaries who had served in Africa. Stories of how they barely made it out with their lives.
But I knew wherever God sent me, I would be okay.
I wasn't too afraid, because I felt the trip would be way down the road, so I put the vision on the shelf hoping to take it down when my kids were grown.
Fast forward to present day. A year ago, God called my feet, hands and heart to Haiti. It was completely unexpected. Haiti had never been on my radar. It's amazing how God works. He's always behind the scenes orchestrating His will and purpose. I sit here two days out from my first mission trip to Haiti in awe of my Father. I never thought of Haiti when I saw African American children in my mind. But God knew.
God knew Pastor Bobby and Toyia Gourley would be sent to Christ Chapel as senior pastors, and He knew they would come with a dream in their hearts for the country of Haiti.
Sometimes we do things because we want to, sometimes because we know it's what God wants, and sometimes it's both.
Throughout my life I have been completely sure of God's will a couple of handfuls of times. I knew:
- He wanted me to marry David
- He wanted me to have my children when we did
- Where He wanted our church home to be
- Where He wanted me in my careers
And to add to the list:
- He wants me in Haiti for an assignment in 2018
I am grateful for the Sunday morning, Pastor Doc Shell encouraged us to dig in and ask God where He would have us to go. I'm thankful I got a vision of the people. I'm thankful for Pastor Bobby and Toyia who have this amazing dream for Haiti, and I am so thankful for all the people who have planted seeds to help me get where God is sending me. I can't wait to report what all He did when I return.
I am going expecting. I'm going with the intent of pouring myself out completely in this nation. And I have a feeling I will walk away just as changed as the people we encounter.
I appreciate your prayers for our team as we embark on a ten day journey which will change lives and hearts for the Kingdom. Please be in prayer June 7-16.
Here I am, Lord. Send me.