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.