A Call


Often the only thing that keeps one going is the sense of calling, the knowledge that, whatever the circumstances may appear, one is doing what God has called one to do.

You might be full of joy and strength in Christ, and be held in awe by all who know you for the way God uses you in ministry.  You may have a cast-iron constitution, boundless energy, a deep, experiential knowledge of the faith, and you may be a whiz at languages and have an innate, intuitive feeling for culture.  Everyone who knows you may tell you you’re a born missionary, and you may desire nothing more in the whole world.  However, if God has called you to something else, then going overseas is nothing less than sinful rebellion against Him.
Knowing what God’s will is for you in this regard is not always easy.  Some people have a powerful, road-to-Damascus experience, and they know without a doubt what they need to do.  Others have known since childhood that they would be missionaries.  However, God often chooses to lead us only a step at a time.  (Perhaps if He revealed more to us we would run away and hide!)  We might hear a missionary presentation, and feel a burden to begin praying for them, and for the work in a certain country.  And as we follow God’s leading, He might begin to put cross-cultural ministry opportunities in our path.  And perhaps there might be a team making a short-term trip somewhere, and you know that you should be on it.  And, as we feel our way ahead in the dark, God, in His timing, keeps making the next step clear.  A call – the deep conviction of God’s will for one’s future, and the peace that accompanies it – is often found somewhere along such a path of asking, seeking, and knocking.
Missions is a life of spiritual battle.  Satan throws all sorts of opposition in our way, looking to make us pull back in fear and discouragement.  He probes our armour constantly, looking for weaknesses to exploit.  There are times on the field where, humanly speaking, all one’s efforts seem utterly pointless, and the question arises, “What on earth am I doing here?”  Often the only thing that keeps one going is the sense of calling, the knowledge that, whatever the circumstances may appear, one is doing what God has called one to do.  There is a mighty peace that comes from knowing that one is exactly where God wants one to be.  And, if there is real doubt about whose will it was going overseas, Satan knows from experience that there is nothing like a little flat-on-your-face failure to give such a person the conviction that it was all a terrible mistake.

So, don’t be discouraged if you’re still in the feeling-things-out stage.  But know that at some point before departure there needs to be a rock-solid conviction that going overseas is God’s will, and not your own.

There are some other things that one needs to hear from God about.  WEC has some distinctive convictions and ways of doing things.  (Make sure to check this out in the pages of the About WEC section.)  Those convictions need to be your own:  you don’t join an animal rights association if you work in a slaughterhouse!  One of the functions of our application process and four-month candidate orientation is to see if God confirms not only one’s call to missions, but one’s call to WEC.  You may be surprised by the amount to which you bond with and depend upon others in the organization.  It’s something like a family, so you need to be sure it’s the right one for you.

Finally, WEC isn’t the US Marine Corps.  We don’t decide where you are to go and then send you there whether you like it or not.  We believe that just as God calls someone overseas, he gives them direction about where they are to go.  Remember, you need to be sure it’s God who put you where you are to serve.  Some people join WEC knowing they are called overseas, and that WEC is the one for them, but aren’t sure about where exactly.  But as they learn about all the various WEC fields and ministries, and pray earnestly for direction, most come quickly to know what the next step is.

While it is so important to know what God’s will is for you, it needs to be stressed that not knowing is no reason to sit back and do nothing.  God can’t steer your ship if it’s always anchored in the harbour.  If God is stirring your heart about going overseas, then start praying, learning, talking to people, etc.  Call or write us!  We can help you think through some of the issues, and give some advice about how to proceed.  Our headquarters staff have decades and decades worth of experience overseas, and are happy to help.

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