Guest Post: Hi, my name is Rachel.
Rachel is an awe-inspiring woman of Christ. She was on a trip I led this past summer and led us in worship every morning and night. It was an absolute joy to serve alongside her during the week and be ushered into the presence of Christ through her humble heart, beautiful voice and guitar. Her heart is so big, so open and so full of love and joy.
Rachel is in an interesting place in her journey with missions. She’s following a calling that she feels the Lord has placed on her heart, but she’s in the midst of that journey right now..
Rachel, thank you for opening up your heart to us and writing a post for this series. Love you sister.
It is amazing to me how God changes your heart and desires. Sometimes I think of who I was before God intervened in my life; I think of the desires I had to do or to not do certain things. The only word I can think of to describe the change is “supernatural.” The most recent change in my life has been a new desire to spread the gospel to the nations. I remember my father joking with me and saying that I was going to end up in India or somewhere. I would calmly respond, “No, that’s not what God is calling me to.” At the time, that was true, but over the past year something drastic has happened in my life – something I never expected, dreamed, or desired.
During the second half of this past school year, God began to awaken my heart to His heart for all people, tribes, and nations. Every message I heard, every conversation I had, every book I read revolved around this Truth that God is a missional God. Somewhere along the way, we have lost that. We have become okay with sitting in our comfy pews in our nice air conditioned buildings while thousands of people die and spend eternity in hell every day. I began to read of how poverty and hunger would not exist if Christians stepped up to do what we are called to do. I had no idea that this was just the beginning of a great journey God is leading me on.
Towards the end of the school year, God made it clear that I needed to go to Haiti with a team from my church. My spirit was expectant as I prepared to go, but I could never prepare my head or my heart for what I experienced. I have been overseas on mission trips on a few different occasions. Usually, the first day or so is stressful and scary with new sights, smells, sounds, and especially traffic, but Haiti was different for me. We boarded the bus for the first time and headed to the guest house and peace flooded my heart and body. Peace to the point that I fell asleep. The second or third day we were in Haiti, my college pastor asked me what I thought and how everything measured up to my expectations. All I could do was stare at him as tears began to well up in my eyes. He told me that he knew if I ever came it would change my life, but I knew that it was important that I was there THAT summer. God had started to open my eyes to His heart. Any other previous year, I would not have been awakened to that reality. As I continued to pray and process everything that was going on all I could think was, “God, is that what you are calling me to?” There was a certain knowing in me that He was, although I was (and still am) puzzled with the how, where, and when. Working with the children at Life as Hope orphanage was an incredible experience. For the past year, I have been praying for God to take my heart, seal it for Him, and give it away as He sees fit. I never dreamed He would give a piece of it to a country and a people. As I think back on my time there, I can’t help but smile, rejoice, and long to see them again. For the first time in my life, God created in me a desire to not just live in another country, but know the people – understand their culture and language and carry the name of Jesus to them.
The crazy thing is that God didn’t stop with my trip to Haiti. Over the past few months, God has continued to teach me and grow me. I realize now that missions is not a special calling. No, I do not think we are all called to live in another country, but we are ALL called to missions. I should prayerfully seek after God in staying as much as I do in going; however, we are often content to stay, get a job, buy a house, build a family, and line our pockets with money without a second thought of “God, is this what you’re calling me to?” I do not know where this journey is taking me or if I will ever be able to return to Haiti. I am confident that God will guide my every step along the way. I believe that He will continue to change my desires and my heart and lead me down paths that I never dare trod before He intervened.
To see Rachel’s group, Petal Harvey Baptist Church’s week in Haiti, click here to read their trip journal.
“Hi, my name is ______.” is a guest post series inspired by a girl named Casey. Casey went on a mission trip to Haiti in June 2013 for 10 days with Bethany as her trip leader. Her response after returning home (found here) spurred us to look at our trips, Haiti and missions from the other side. This post is 100% the authors own words, work and inspiration. Thank you for your love and support.