My room is full of maps, missionary articles, and the words "He said go." Ever since I spent a year in Peru as a student missionary, I've wanted to go back out and help people in other countries.
For so long, I wanted be a "missionary". You know that great evangelist, or inspirational influence, that helps save lives. That person that can save orphans, or help solve medical crisis', help end world hunger. I wanted to travel, wanted to explore, wanted to see things and be changed, wanted to give until it hurt, I wanted to make a difference.
And yet in the last few years, my perspective on missions has changed quite a bit. Mostly through some classes I've taken in global community development at Southern, and also in part to experiencing nursing life in the hospital.
Missionaries are not perfect people, with great faith, who have it all together. Missionaries are not people who travel the world too and forth, constantly adventuring. Missionaries do not save the world. Missionaries do not make a bigger difference in people's lives then people who live in the United States. The word missionary does not define someone's identity or make them a better/ bigger person. But instead anywhere you are in the world, you can be a missionary if you love Jesus and choose to make sacrifices for Him.
And sometimes being a missionary at home is harder than being a missionary away.
Because making sacrifices and loving Jesus, when you are comfortable, is extremely difficult.
So even though I was ready to travel to other countries and serve as a far-away "missionary" after graduation, I felt Jesus wanted me to stay in the states. But the idea of helping kids in other countries, and traveling to help people farther away, has never left my heart. For a long time I've been wanting to go back into the mission field.. but for so many reasons it hasn't been right. and God has called me to be a nurse in the states.
About a week ago ago, I got a call from a friend, about a special opportunity to go to a mission clinic in Kenya. I would be working with African Mission Services which is a very medically and sustainably focused mission. I would learn how to deliver babies, would help provide postnatal mother and baby care, and would help lead short term mission trips and mobile clinics to the Masaai tribe.
There are so many reasons why this opportunity sounds amazing to me. First of all, I have always had it in my heart to go to Africa- ever since I was little- I have dreamed of visiting. Second, I have always wanted to learn how to deliver babies. And finally, there is a genuine need for a pediatric nurse's hand in the clinic there and I feel much more prepared as a nurse to actually be able to help.
As I hear about this opportunity to go back into the mission field, my heart is overjoyed with excitement. Nothing do I want more than to go, experience the new culture of Kenya and use my nursing skills to help mothers and children over there. And yet my heart is afraid, because I don't want to go without God's direction. I don't want to go without His peace. I don't want to simply run away from a difficult situation here, or go because it sounds adventurous or fun. I want the "calling". I need His guidance, need His approval, and His "Yes, I send you."
So as reluctant as I am to tell people, for fear it won't work out.
I'm writing because this is my heart. And I need your prayers. I need to make some decisions soon since I would need to leave for Kenya February 14th.
As Psalms 23 promises The Lord is my shepherd, and I shall not want. Because He will make me lie down in green pastures, leading me beside still waters and restoring my soul. God promises that in this time of unknown, He will give me peace. That God will guide me to Kenya if it be His will, and protect me. Or that God will keep me here and sustain me and give me purpose here. Wherever God wants me, that's truly where I want to be and where I want to serve.
Friends, I'm really excited about this opportunity but more than that, I want to follow God and know His peace and desire for this situation. Please pray for me that I would have wisdom with whether or not I should go.