I Don’t Want to be Like Jonah

debbieinSen

A few years ago I was completely content working as the outreach director for my church.  This was my first job after graduation; I blossomed late in life but that’s a story for another day.  As outreach director I wanted to learn as much as I could about all the mission ministries.  It was at this time one of my friends, who was instrumental in starting the Senegal mission focus for my church, was preparing to go back to Senegal.  I asked to meet with him to learn what the team would be doing on their trip.

We met and he shared the details of how they were going to visit some Christian schools, make a visit to our church’s adopted village to reconnect and encourage the believers and learn more about developing micro-enterprise opportunities for Senegal.  After he finished sharing I felt this overwhelming joy in my heart and I said to him, “My heart just sings for you and the team.  This will be a wonderful trip!”

He looked me straight in the eye and said you should come with us.  I fumbled in surprise and said, “No! I don’t have a passport; I don’t like hot weather, sand or bugs, you’re leaving in about two months, I can’t afford the trip and I don’t like long, long plane rides. Nope this isn’t for me.”  You see, at this point I had no desire to cross the Atlantic Ocean or go anywhere that would require a passport.

My friend smiled and laughed then said he had to be going.  I wished him well and sent him on his way.  But the Lord was not done with me.  The rest of the day I could not do my work.  I had that scared, interested but overwhelmed feeling one gets when God is working and pulling in a direction that wasn’t even on the radar.  I knew I was in trouble. Unable to work I decided to have a conversation with my husband.  I shared what had happened, how logically this couldn’t be what God wanted and made sure to stress my fears.  Then I left him to finish his work and tried to go back to mine.  It was about two hours later that I text my friend with whom I’d had the meeting to express my frustration with what it appeared, God was doing as a result of his invitation to tag along on the trip.

It wasn’t long before I realized there was a choice to make, either I could be like Jonah and run the other way or I could embrace the call and allow the Lord to choose me for an adventure.  After some thought I knew ending up in the belly of a big fish or something like it was probably more uncomfortable than a God led adventure to Senegal.  So I embraced the adventure and in less than two months I had all the money donated, the complete support of my church, a passport and everything I needed.

yvetteanddebbie

 

My first trip is kind of a blur but one thing I can’t forget is how amazing the Lord was as he guided, protected, provided, encouraged, supported, equipped and cared for me while I stepped out in faith and embraced his call to join him on an adventure.  Now after several trips to Senegal my heart is full of love for this beautiful country and it’s people.  I am blessed beyond what I ever could have imagined not only by the friends I’ve made but by how God is at work in and among the people.  Each time I take a trip and join God in his work I see the amazing love he has for them and progress in their spiritual growth.

I challenge you to step out in faith and embrace the adventure that God is calling you to join in with him.  He has chosen you and already equipped you for the adventure all you have to do is trust him to enable you to carry out the task.

John 15:16-17

You did not choose me, but I chose you and appointed you to go and bear fruit –fruit that will last.  Then the Father will give you whatever you ask in my name.  This is my command; Love each other.

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