July 2010 changed my life. Evan had been invited to attend IDEAfarm with Broken Voices and asked me to come along. At first, I said no thanks, but as God worked on my heart, I realized that I was supposed to go. So I went with Evan, to support Evan, and to be with Evan.
I had no idea that God would speak so loudly to my own heart.
The second day we were there, I had gotten up early to shower before all the other ladies got up. It was incredibly quiet in the house, so I grabbed some cereal, my journal and Bible, and went to hang out with God before starting the day. I didn’t have a plan on what to read, but my heart felt drawn to Isaiah. So I read the first chapter and came across verse 17:
Learn to do good;
Reprove the ruthless,
Defend the orphan,
Plead for the widow.
My eyes just kept reading that verse, mesmerized by it, but not really fully comprehending it. In particular, I couldn’t escape the fourth line, “Defend the orphan.” What does that mean? And what is a girl in Florida, USA supposed to do to defend the orphan? I mean, really?!
That day, we met Tymm, who was serving as a leader for our small group team for IDEAfarm. Evan and Tymm were engaged in a conversation about living out faith, what the Church is supposed to be and look like, and what we were doing to support social justice — all topics that make my little heart flutter. So I pulled up a piece of hardwood floor, and joined their conversation. Somehow we ended up talking about Rwanda and I mentioned that I wanted to go there specifically because we sponsor a little girl in Rwanda. Tymm “just so happened” to be leading a trip there in winter 2010 to visit orphans. God’s uncanny with His humor sometimes.
So I went to Africa for two weeks in the winter of 2010. And, as cliché as it is, it totally changed my life.
I remember writing in my journal that I was tired of being a “part-time” Christian. That is, I was tired of my life only sometimes ministering God’s awesome story, but most of the time just doing the normal American thing. I feel like God gives us the opportunity to truly be a light in the world and sometimes we take it, sometimes we miss it. I am tired of missing it. So whenever we have the opportunity to be the hands and feet of Christ to the world around us, we take it. Whether that’s through gleaning with our church, serving in the nursery, or going across a whole ocean to eastern Africa, we’re doing it.
Previous trips: Rwanda/Ethiopia 2010, Uganda/Kenya 2011
My next trip: June 8-15, 2013, Antigua, Guatemala!
How can you GO?
Do you feel a draw to the mission field? GO! There are a number of organizations that support short-term and long-term mission work. Also, check with your local church to see if they send short-term teams out. Here are a couple of links just to get you started: