By Olumayowa A. Famakinwa
Just to introduce myself, I am a 22 year old male, currently enrolled in school at Baylor University and working full time in Waxahachie, Texas. This summer, I was called to go to Busia, Kenya and teach Vacation Bible School to orphans.
Now, I wanted to mention everything about myself because I know there are tons of people who the Lord is calling to do something too, but you are looking at yourself and using everything that God has given you as reasons why you shouldn't go. I know, I did it myself.
You see, when this opportunity was presented to me, I thought it was an opportunity I would unfortunately have to pass up. A missionary came to my church to challenge us all to go on a short-term mission trip, but I hardly thought he was talking to me. To me, I thought a missionary was someone who took on the position full time and devoted their whole time to mission work; or someone who was retired and has nothing but time to go on mission trips. I didn't know God was looking for a missionary just like me, in my current situation, for His purposes.
I finally realized it when God asked me to get serious about going to Kenya this summer, so that was when I prayed and told Him, "God, this trip is to teach orphans Vacation Bible School, that's not a manly thing to do! That's for girls, why would you send me?" And the Lord responded and said, "I have chosen you to go." (Matt. 22:14) Then I told the Lord, "God, I am trying to start school soon and be successful at work, I need to stay focused, this trip is in middle of everything and I can't divert my attention." And the Lord responded and said, "I have called you for such a time as this..." (Esther 4:14)
That's when I noticed my excuses weren't working with God so I got real serious and said plainly, "Father! This is 10 days off from work, I can't afford to miss that many days and still pay all my bills!" But God responded with, "My son, it is I Who gives you the ability to produce wealth." (Deut. 8:18) Then I realized I couldn't win our argument, so I gave in to God and prayed for His favor to make everything fit into place. And I can confidently say after everything was over, He did all that and so much more.
Looking back, that experience taught me that many of the things that God blesses us with, we use against Him when He asks us to do something. Months before I ever heard of the mission trip, I prayed earnestly to God for a job, and He gave me one. Now I wanted to use that job as an excuse to not do something God was earnestly trying to get me to do.
Also, I thank God for my youth, my masculinity and an opportunity to attend school, and these were all the same things I wanted to say prevented me from going on this mission trip. This shouldn't be so. So I want to admonish all who read this to think about what God is pressing on your heart to do, and see what things are stopping you. Are they actual obstacles, or things you know God put in your life in the first place?
Everyone on our mission trip had "reasons" why they should be unable to go, our team consisted of teachers, choir members, college students, a business owner, many people with children both old and young, retired people, full-time workers, unemployed, married, single, someone who had never flown on a plane before, claustrophobics, people with breathing problems, people with bone, joint and flexibility issues, asthmatics, people of completely different backgrounds, personalities and talents. Yet God overcame everything in each person's specific situation to form us into one unified body able to do His work and prove why He wanted us to go.
So now I pose the question, "What does a missionary look like?"
Anything that is created in His image...and that's you...
Buckner is now accepting story submissions for Buckner eNews Now and the Buckner Web site from people who have participated on mission trips or local volunteering.
Send your story in a Microsoft Word document to firstname.lastname@example.org. Include your name, city and state in the subject line along with the title of your submissions. Stories should be no longer than 1200 words. (ex. Your Perspective – John Doe, Houston, TX)
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