My Journey into Missions
Never Say "Never"
How did it all begin? Where did the burning passion for the lost ignite? Well, it started when I went on my first missions trip to Argentina. It opened my eyes to things I had never seen before and my worldview was expanded. My heart ached for those who did not know the true hope in Jesus Christ. Did you know that people can see the hope and love of Jesus in you? A couple years later, I was in a missionary service when the pictures of children tugged at my heart. I felt God calling me to the children of the world. I went to college and got my teaching degree, but wasn't sure where God wanted me to go. My roommate in college and I had the opportunity to teach at an International Christian school in Brussels, Belgium. The Lord open the doors for me to stay for 4 years. It was an incredible experience and I worked with students from over 13 different nations. Towards the end of my time in Brussels, I knew that my heart was overseas, but desired to get my Master's degree. This is when I headed back to Minnesota to teach and study once again. God was working on me in many different ways. I had the opportunity to get my Master's degree while teaching at Maranatha Christian Academy. In the back of my mind, I always told God, "I'll go anywhere you want me to go, but please don't (Never) send me to Africa." I never really voiced this until it became evident one April day in 2005. I sat in a meeting with my missions pastor in Minneapolis. He listened to my heart wanting to head back overseas. He wanted to send me to China the very next weekend. I expressed my hesistancy, as I was still teaching until the first week of June. He then proceeded to invite me to go on a trip to the Democratic Republic of Congo with the church in August. I knew I had to figure out a way that it would not work out. As I made several phone calls to people and organizations I have gone on trips with before, each one was a closing door, and I knew that I would be going to Africa. I have now learned to..."Never say 'Never!'"
In August 2005, I went on my first missions trip to Africa, to the Democratic Republic of Congo. I wasn't sure what to expect, but I knew that God had orchestrated the right people to be on that trip. I fell in the love with the children and the Congolese people. My heart broke for the hopelessness of the people and how they were disappointed over and over again by their government leaders. The hope of a better life in Congo. The DRCongo is one of the richest countries in Africa, but you would never know it by looking at their living conditions. Companies from all over the world have come to dig in the mines of Congo. They are taking much of the resources that would bring these people wealth, but somehow the people never see it. The missionaries Jacques and Johanna Vernaud invited a colleague of mine and myself to come back and work with their Christian school and children's workers at the LaBorne church. My colleague Krista and I spent one year raising support and returned in August 2006. Our students at Maranatha Christian Academy donated thousands of items for us to take with us! We were blessed with toiletries, toilet paper, school supplies, food, etc. We were overwhelmed by their giving! Because of their giving we never had to buy shampoo, toothpaste, soap, etc. We had lots to give away to orphans, families in the church, and teachers & classrooms at the schools. What a blessing to give and to see people's hearts overwhelmed with gratefulness. Thank you to every MCA student and family who donated to the Congo Container Campaign. From August 2006 to August 2008, we learned French, built relationships, participated in various events in Kinshasa, worked with students, teachers, children's workers, and even tried caterpillars. We were under house arrest 3 times during the two years and learned about "the peace that passes all understanding". The peace of God is something that can not be explained. All I know, my security is not in government, police officers, or even the military.... but my security is in the Almighty God!! When you have no one to turn to and there is no one else but you.....YOU ARE NOT ALONE, but JESUS CHRIST is right by your side.
The beginning of this blog began in Kinshasa. You will find many stories and pictures of adventures, ministry opportunities, and various other events that I participated in and will continue to participate in the years to come. What an awesome God we serve! I thank God for the experiences that stretched me, built my character, and continues to take me out of my comfort zone!
"All I know, my security is not in government, police officers, or even the military.... but my security is in the Almighty God!"