Since the school had Spiritual Emphasis Week the other week, I got to thinking about the same sort of week that my school had when I was in high school. It was that week in 1998 that I was challenged to think about missions, despite me not wanting to leave my home.
Our church had a group that went to Hungary every summer to do an exchange type program with an English speaking high school here. Our youth pastor would talk about it each winter and ask us to pray about going. I said my token prayer and felt better for having said it. But in the spring of 1998, I was convicted that I had not really asked the Lord and that I wasn’t listening to him.
I don’t remember the speaker’s name during SEW or what he even looked like, but he talked about missions and how it didn’t have to be something we went overseas for but that we could minister and witness to people in our own neighborhood. I thought to myself that I could do that, because then I didn’t have to leave home.
He went on to say that some people are called to leave home, though, and go to different parts of the world. And that man looked directly at me and said, “Some of you aren’t listening to God’s calling.” I’ll never forget that moment. I felt so convicted and went home and prayed that if God wanted me to do something that he would make it abundantly clear.
Within a couple days, my youth pastor called me up and asked me if my family would house another student decided last minute to do the exchange program. I immediately thought this was God’s answer to my prayer, and he did make it “abundantly clear” as I had asked. I didn’t even have to look or search for anything! I talked everything over with my parents and they were glad to do it, especially if this was what I had been praying about.
I called my youth pastor back, and then he asked me if I would pray about actually going to Hungary that summer. I knew immediately that God wanted me to go but that I had ignored his tugging at my heart all along. This was just a little more than 6 weeks before we had to leave, but the Lord provided all of the support I needed right away and my passport in time!
It was the most difficult and challenging time of my entire life as I learned utter dependence on God. It was also one of the best times as well. It’s what gave me my love for Hungary and a desire to come back. Another trip in the fall of 2002, and now we’re living here.
Anyway, after hearing lots about SEW, I enjoyed thinking back to God working in my life through that week in high school. :)