XXXI: Jumping In


I’ve spent all night trying to remember if I’d used that title before…

Most aspects of my life I at least try to measure out. I calculate the angles, pray, and do my best.

However, as data has been collected over the years, I’ve noticed that there has consistently been one exception to the rule:

Mission Trips

I can’t explain it, it makes no sense, but the moment a mission trip opportunity comes up, I’ll sign up without question. That means that the dates are going to work out, the money will fall into place, and everything will go smoothly. Again, I can’t explain the sensation, but this has been going on since I was…twelve?…yes, twelve years old.

Earlier this week Darco and I found ourselves in a room with six other people. We were discussing a journey to El Salvador in July. With myself being in education it’s a no-brainer that dates always work out in the summer, Darco also has a massive amount of vacation days to use before she “loses them”, resulting in this trip looking ideal.

While the situation is somewhat uncommon for her, this is something I’ve been apart of for over half my life.

I was 14 years old, awkward, and at a youth camp one summer when out of the blue I told my leader that I felt God calling me to the mission field. This snowballed into my committing myself to missions in front of my home church, selecting a college to study international missions, and even marrying a woman who would be gone prior to our engagement, as a long term missionary in Russia.

Obviously that wasn’t the end all, be all as I dropped out of the intercultural studies department at college, divorced the mission minded ex-wife, and completely closed off my understanding to anything associated with the phrase, “Going over there.”

What’s strange is sometimes the measuring device that we use to see if God is really guiding us in a specific direction for our lives and His will, is something that He’ll gladly, painfully use. True, I walked away from so many ideal circumstances that would place me in the field as a missionary (by which I mean a missionary that is either within the United States or global at the full time position), but that isn’t necessarily enough to get God to not do what He wants to do. He’s rather powerful in that way.

Think of it in this perspective…

Knowing that past. Knowing those errors. Knowing those mistakes. Somehow I still wound up in Guatemala three years ago, that eventually resulted in coming home to a girlfriend, and eventually my wife. Somehow, and I use that term loosely, I’ve wound up with a job that has an ‘off season’ during the summer and a few weeks in the winter. Somehow, I worked at running a soccer camp in Guatemala with one church, only to be asked by a different church to do the same in El Salvador. Somehow, even through every hurdle I’ve been able to put up, God’s still found ways to ship me out. Perhaps…perhaps my 14 year-old heart wasn’t completely flawed, caught up in the moment, or warranting attention at that church camp. Maybe, through the soul of a child, God was able to speak, and even through the demonstration of the stubbornness of man, He still chooses to use.

Two quotes in the past week have caught my attention through this interesting, and somewhat uncomfortable topic:

Look at the Bible, look at the people God used. God uses ordinary men.

-Pastor At Church-

The more frightening one, before bringing up this topic…

You know, I think it’d just be cool to pack up and move. Go to another country, ya know?

-My Wife-

This is all an awkward topic, I’m not sure why, but it’s something I don’t really talk much about. I blame myself for fear of what others may think, but it’s definitely been something heavy within me for the past couple weeks. It’s a mystery, but it also answers so much. Why I love travel, people, cultures, and why I have very little desire to have the “American Dream”.

It’s just doesn’t…stir my heart.

-D-

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