God Turned My World Upside Down

The question is often asked of our missionaries, “How were you called into missions?” One of our newest workers, about to leave for North Africa, shares her story.

I was not born into a Christian home. Religion was a foreign thing in our high-achieving household, not looked upon in a positive light. Things were not looking good for me as a twelve year old, as I began walking down a destructive, sinful path pursuing the world and its revelry.

In good timing, a friend invited me to join her youth group. I tagged along casually for a couple years, tuning out any spiritual talk and enjoying the fun and games. When I was fourteen-years-old, the youth group was going on a retreat to a Bible camp in a beautiful forested area. I decided to join in to enjoy a weekend away with my friends. In getting there, we were given an afternoon of “solo time”—a chance to retreat into nature to pray and read our Bibles. Frustrated, I wandered off by myself into the trees, muttering to myself about how silly all this religion was—and how I felt sorry for these people who were so deceived by it. As I walked, I pulled a leaf off of a tree and began to study it. I had never taken note of the intricacies of a leaf before—thousands of veins and lines, on this one little leaf! And there were billions of them in this forest! I then noticed the same intricacies on my own hands—wow! How could I have not taken note of these things before? I stopped walking in the most beautiful clearing in the woods, surrounded by astonishing creation. My heart began to pound, and tears welled in my eyes as I realized that maybe I had been wrong. That maybe, God was real, and that He had made all of this, and that maybe He had made me! And if He made me, I could not live for myself anymore, but wanted to live for Him. I called out to Jesus to save me, alone in that forest—and it was as if God saw my hard, sinful heart, took it right out, and put a new one in. I was transformed from the inside out. I was not looking for Him, but He saw me walking on a path of death and reached down and grabbed me, as if to say, “No, this is the way—walk in it!”

After high school, I decided to follow the Lord’s prompting and explore the possibility of missions. I headed overseas for a four-month short-term placement, and after two weeks of being there, I said to myself, “This is what I want to do for the rest of my life.” Seeing firsthand the realities of those unreached by the Gospel turned my world upside down, and I knew life in Canada could never be the same for me. So four years later, I thank the Lord to be one step closer to serving Him overseas.

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