The past several weeks I have been talking with some very close friends about our decision to move to Guatemala and they have been asking questions that have really challenged me and I am grateful for that. Although, I can’t answer all of them right now, contemplating them has really helped me even more to feel comfortable about the decisions we are making.
Like many Christians, I’ve been through so many ups and downs, highs and lows in the 41 years of my Christian walk. Since Jeff brought up the desire of stepping out in faith to serve people in need as a missionary, I have to confess, I have struggled. Actually, I have struggled greatly for the past six years with the idea of giving up the comforts I have in America and leaving all my family and friends to start all over again in another foreign country. Sounds familiar… I have been through this once before when I moved here from Hong Kong. However, back then I was doing it for myself. I have confessed and repented because through studying His Word and listening to several messages I have heard recently, He has shown me selfishness in my life. This time, I genuinely want to do it for God, if God would allow me to serve Him in such an honorable way. I am relying on God to help me get through my selfishness and personal struggles. To know that you need to do something doesn’t necessary mean you will not struggle with it.
Recently, I had a spot show up that my doctor couldn’t tell what it was so he wanted me to have a biopsy done. I remember laying on the biopsy table in the hospital and I made a promise to God, If He would allow me to continue to be cancer free, I would serve Him period, just show me where and when He wants me to go. The bottom line is, Jeff and I just want to do God’s Will, whatever that is. Guatemala surely is not where I would pick for us if I had any say in it. I would much rather go to an Asian country or maybe somewhere in Europe or a beautiful island paradise, that would be nice huh. LOL I can understand why some people are surprised to learn that I am willing to go to Guatemala instead of Chiang Mai, Thailand. I have asked myself the same thing. I am not sure why I have had such a peace from the beginning, I know absolutely nothing about Guatemala besides what the ministry is about, I just know I do. It’s probably because I have been praying to God that I want HIS PLAN, not mine.
I am humbled, I know I still have so much to learn, but I’ve come to realize that living out the Word of God is far more important than just staying in my comfortable life, studying the Bible but not doing what it says to do. I also have struggled with if I am fully equipped or really qualified to do this. But I heard a great saying that said, God doesn’t call the qualified, He qualifies the called. God doesn’t require me to be a Bible scholar or a theologian before I or anyone else can serve Him and do His Will. He just wants me to be obedient; and I want to be obedient to my Lord!
You may ask, how do I know Guatemala is where God wants us? To be honest, I’m not sure how to answer that. Can you know 100%? I think you just need to keep leaning and walking forward and He will guide your steps. I feel like God often take His children one step at a time and we have to take that step of faith with anticipation and trust in God and He will show us what is next. Sometimes what’s next is to wait, like we have been doing for the last six years. For six years we have prayed to go to Chiang Mai but nothing was happening. About 2-3 months ago, Jeff and I asked God earnestly, with open hearts, to open the door and show us where He wants us to serve, no matter where it was. Jeff still thought it was Thailand and Burma and we even planned a trip there to visit. But, He has answered that prayer by opening the door wide open to minister in Guatemala, not Thailand. When we read the Lord’s teaching in the Bible and then learn about the desperate needs over there, there is nothing that shows us why this isn’t God’s Will for us to go and serve there. God wants us to do His WIll and there is no doubt in the mind that anyone who reads and studies the Bible will know God’s Will is for us to help the helpless, the sick and the poor, the orphans and the widows. Matthew 25:35 says it plainly, “I was hungry and you gave me food, I was thirsty and you gave me drink, I was a stranger and you welcomed me, I was naked and you clothed me, I was sick and you visited me, I was in prison and you came to me.” Then, the righteous will answer him, saying, “Lord, when did we see you hungry and feed you, or thirsty and give you drink? And when did we see you a stranger and welcome you, or naked and cloth you? And when did we see you sick or in prison and visit you?” The King will answer them, “truly, I say to you, as you did it to one of the least of these my brothers, you do to me.” After reading this passage again and again, I don’t see why we would have to pray for another 6 years, spend a lot of brain power and time to think if it is really God’s will for us to help these orphan girls in Guatemala because they are suffering all of these things! What about James 1:27, “Pure and genuine religion in the sight of God the Father means caring for orphans and widows in their distress and refusing to let the world corrupt you.” and there are so many more passages like this.
However, still, for as much as I want to do what God calls us to do and I do have a great peace in my heart about our decision to go to Guatemala, I can’t help not to feel some degree of sadness because I will be very far away from all of our family and many of our dear friends, especially our Nikki and Alex. Trying to uproot a life that I have known and built for the past 27 years to go to a totally strange place is very scary and a big step. But the door has been opened for us, so we are going to step in faith and keep walking forward with this great commission to help bring the Gospel to Guatemala and help the orphans. Please pray for us. Jeff and I appreciate you so much, and we need your fervent prayer and to come along side us in this new chapter of our life.