Friday, January 21, 2011

Carry the Name of Christ

Then I heard the voice of the Lord saying, “Whom shall I send? And who will go for us?” And I said, “Here am I. Send me!” Isaiah 6:8

Well I am going to Africa!!! God has given me the AMAZING opportunity to spend 2 whole months in Africa over the summer! After I came back from Passion, I really felt a call to do some type of missions work this summer. It was probably a combination of Francis Chan's message on living a life worthy of the gospel, David Platt's session on his book Radical, and Louie G's talk on carrying the name of  Christ wherever you go that really got me thinking about how I was living my life. I realized that I had always been living for myself. I was constantly making choices just because I wanted to climb the "ladder of success" or become more popular at school or have my name known around campus. But God has showed me the past few weeks that instead of trying to make much of myself like people of the world, I need to humble myself in order to make much of Him because He is the one that deserves all of the glory! Another thing I was really convicted about while I was at Passion was, if I really believe that there are billions of people around the world who do not know Christ and who are destined to spend an eternity in hell, then why am I not doing everything I can to spread the love of Christ to those places? How can I sit in my little "Christian bubble" and honestly be okay with that? The reality is, I can't. Christ has called us to be disciples of all nations. He has commissioned us to give everything we have to follow him and carry his name to the unreached places of the world. So that is what I want to do. When the Lord asks "Whom shall I send?", I want to be ready to say "Here I am, Lord. Send me!"

If you know me at all, you probably could not picture me backpacking through three countries in Africa for two months living out of a backpack. Trust me. Neither can I. Honestly, I am a little freaked out about the whole thing. Leaving my family for two months and going to remote villages in Africa while living in a tent does not sound like the most comfortable way to spend my summer. I would so rather be doing an internship in New York or living in Florida and spending my time at the beach with friends. But, I guess this is not about what I want or about being comfortable. I am pretty sure that if you read Matthew 10, the passage where Jesus sends out the 12 disciples, he makes it perfectly clear that discipleship is not going to be easy nor will it always be fun. He says that they will be like "sheep among wolves" and "will be hated because of him". After reading that, the whole discipleship call does not sound too appealing. But I am pretty sure that Christ did not have that much fun being beaten and dying on a cross for the very people who rejected him.

Okay, so back to Africa. After I returned from Passion, I decided to get on my computer and just start searching for different missions organizations. After about an hour, I finally came across an organization called AIM (Adventures in Missions). The organization looked pretty legit, so I decided to look through their website to see what they were all about. It was amazing! They sponsor trips for every age to all parts of the world. For college students alone, there were about 10 trips that they were sponsoring and that was only during the summer! After looking through all the trips, one of them really caught my eye and that was the trip to Africa. This is what the trip description said: "Experience the life of a nomadic missionary as you move from country to country across Africa. Pack lightly! You’ll be carrying your bag everywhere you go, unless you luck out and find a helpful camel to join you on your journey into some of the most remote locations on the continent. Your expedition will take you through Uganda, Tanzania, and Kenya as you share the love of Christ with those you meet along the way. Be prepared for a life of simple living, since the goal of this trip is total immersion into the way of African life. You will eat what they eat. You will live in their villages. You will walk with them as they journey two kilometers to fetch water. You will pray beside them as they ask God to heal their loved ones or bring much needed rain to their land. You will worship God with them as the rains begin to fall. And all along the way, you’ll see the kingdom of God expanding in the lives of the African people." Once I read that, I knew that was where I wanted to be. I wanted to carry the name of Christ to the people in Africa even if it meant living in a tent and taking cold showers for two months. So, I applied.

About 4 days after I submitted my application, I was called for an interview with a woman named Stacy. When I found out I had to do a phone interview, I was not quite sure what to expect. I was sure she would ask me about my faith and ask about how I became a christian and why I wanted to go to Africa. It was nothing like I had expected. Yes, she did ask me all of those basic questions but it seemed like she was more interested in the struggles that I had gone through. She asked me to go into detail about my past relationship and why it ended and how that made me grow closer to God. I have to be honest, I was not all that thrilled when we were talking. I hated having to rekindle all those bad memories that I was trying to forget. After we had finished talking, she said that I would find out if I got accepted to the trip about a week later. For the next week or so I spent most of my time praying. I really had no clue whether or not God was really calling me to do missions work. I mean, me backpacking through Africa? But I knew that if it was part of God's plan that I go to Africa then everything would work out the way it was supposed to and it did. Stacy called me yesterday and told me that I had been accepted for the trip! I was so excited!!! I get to spend my entire summer carrying the name of Christ in AFRICA!!

On a side note, the timing of that call was actually pretty interesting. When I finished my interview with Stacy last Tuesday, she said that I would know within a week. That meant that I should have found out by this past Tuesday. However, when Tuesday came around and there was no phone call I was a little disappointed. But God always knows what He is doing and His timing is always perfect. This past Monday I had a pretty bad conversation with my ex. I won't say all the details but as of now things are definitely over for good. I mean the relationship has been over for a long time but now it is looking like we are just going to be out of each others lives completely. Which I understand that exes cannot be friends most of the time and I agree with that, but I don't think things should have been left on the terms that they were left on. It just wasn't good. Anyways, for the first time I had the realization that I needed to end things for myself. I was constantly being hurt and I did not want to participate anymore. So I made a decision that I was going to finally let go of my own desire to have some sort of reconciliation with him. I closed that door. Actually in reality, God closed the door. I just decided to stop spending my time trying to open it back up. Anyways, the moment I finally ended things, God opened so many more doors! It is really awesome to have things like that happen. It makes me realize that God really does know what He is doing and if I would just listen to Him and give Him complete control over my life, everything will work out. "For I know the plans I have for you,” declares the LORD, “plans to prosper you and not to harm you, plans to give you hope and a future." Jeremiah 29:11

ps. Here is the website to the trip. 

1 comment:

  1. God is so good. :) Just look at where you were 6 months ago! Even 6 weeks ago! I am so excited for you. Even though I will miss you A LOT over the summer, I know God is going to take you places you never have even imagined. I'm excited that I get to watch first hand the journey He will take you on before you go. Love you roomie! Praying for you (still) ;)