“I believe; help my unbelief!” –Mark 9:24b
Happy New Year Everyone!!
I have some exciting news from my personal life to share with you. The company I work for runs a charity that works with impoverished people all over the world. Its primary function is a micro-lending institution that gives small dollar amount loans to help people make a business for themselves and to empower them to lift themselves out of poverty. Other functions include sending volunteers to work on farms, teach literacy skills, train them in job skills etc.
Several months ago I was nominated to apply to go on one of their volunteer opportunities because of the work I have done teaching English to some of our English Language Learners here at the location where I work. The trip I was nominated to apply for is a program in India.
We had three months to complete the application process. For the first two+ months of this time, I did absolutely nothing. I didn’t work on my application at all, partly because I didn’t think I’d be accepted, partly because of fear and partly because I don’t feel a particular call and burden to India. Please don’t misunderstand me, I think India is a fascinating place and I love the Indian people. One of the very first people who ever witnessed to me about Christ was a former Hindu from India and I am forever grateful to him for it. I am thankful for the many people that God has called to India. It’s just that I have a very strong burden for the Chinese. It has been prophesied to me multiple times that I would work with Chinese and that at some point I would go overseas to minister to them in some capacity. I have struggled to believe and accept this. I am a very introverted person and the idea of going overseas and speaking on His behalf (especially in a foreign language and culture) is extremely intimidating to me.
Anyway, I didn’t do much with my application because I kept thinking, “Why India?” India after all didn’t fit in with the prophesy so it didn’t seem like something I needed to pursue. However, God later got a hold of me and I felt like He told me that I was ignoring an opportunity that He was putting in front of me. So I applied.
Fast forward a few months later. Yesterday I got a phone call from the director of the program. He asked me if I had had my heart set on India and whether I would be really upset if I didn’t get to go there. I was a little thrown off by his question because normally if you’re rejecting someone you just say “We’ve decided to go with another candidate” or something like that. So I said I might be a little disappointed, but I wouldn’t be upset because I prayed that if it was God’s will for me to be in the program that He would open the door and that if it wasn’t His will that He wouldn’t. The guy paused a second (and I started inwardly freaking out a little that I had just violated the unwritten rule of never bringing up God in a work situation), but then he said, “So if God opened a different door, you would go, right?” He went on to tell me that they hadn’t chosen me for the India program because they had another opportunity he wanted to discuss with me. He explained that they are putting together a pilot program to visit three of their projects in countries where they’ve never sent volunteers before. He said the three projects are in the Philippines, China, and Taiwan and then he said, “We really hope you will go”. So crazy! I definitely didn’t expect this. I almost didn’t apply because the location didn’t make sense to me, but God had a plan all along. Two out of three of these locations are Chinese speaking countries. Actually, even the third recognizes Chinese as a minority language.
Granted, this is a program through work and not an actual missions opportunity, but I know that God has put this together. No one at work knows about the prophesies I’ve received or about my burden for the Chinese. The first time I was told I would go overseas was before I even knew Jesus when I was only about ten years old. Then shortly after I was saved in 2004 a prophesy came that I would be a missionary to Asia. That was nine years ago. Since that time a few other prophesies have come my way which made it clear that the focus would be on Chinese people. Even though this will only be a short trip, I see this as the beginning of the prophesies being fulfilled in my life. It’s humbling to watch God put things together.
I feel ashamed of my doubt. I have doubted for so long. I have struggled to believe the words that were spoken over me even though they matched the burden within me. I have felt too inadequate; I have told God to send someone else. I have focused on my own lack rather than on His ability. I have seen the years slip by without any indication that any of it would come to pass.
I know this is just a work trip and I don’t know what God’s plan is, or how many more years will pass between now and the true fulfillment of that plan, but I repent of my doubt. I don’t know how or when or why, but what He has spoken over my life will come to pass, every word of it.
I want to encourage our readers. If God has given you a calling or a burden, or if things have been prophesied over your life, trust God to bring them to pass! We don’t know how long it will take, but if God has told you something, hang on to it! All things are in His hands and in His timing!
May you be blessed in 2013!
In His Love,
Blessings on your Journey!!!
Thank you. Happy New Year and God Bless you!
wow, this sounds awesome! I love hearing stories like this!
It is amazing how God orchestrates everything in our lives, isn’t it?
I love that! I am reading a book right now called the Spiritual Secret of Hudson Taylor and it is a very good read. His story is similar in the sense that he had the burden but God kept closing doors and diverting his attention for years. The reason became clear when the doors did open. If you have the time you might want to pick it up. Blessings!
Thanks for the suggestion. I have read several of Hudson Taylor’s quotes on Missions, but I’ve never actually read any of his books. I think I’ll check it out!
It’s actually written by Dr. Howard Taylor, once of Hudson Taylor’s ancestors. But its really cool because what the author did was compile all of the letters and journals he could find and tells Hudson Taylor’s story through the perspective of his letters, journals and letters to him. I have learned a lot through this book. I’m sure you will be blessed.
Oh, okay. Thanks!
This is a great audio book on Hudson Taylor life called ” Hudson Taylor’s Spiritual Secrets” -http://www.sermonindex.net/modules/mydownloads/viewcat.php?cid=1135
Thanks! You guys are the best!!
am really excited for you, not so much that you are going anywhere, but that you are experiencing God being your God. If God is with you, who can be against you, wherever you are or may go.
I am so happy for you! Thank you for sharing. Your post brought tears to my eyes reading of your burdens for China and your dreams. I believe this is the beginning for you and your dreams will come true. You are an inspiration. God bless and have a safe journey.
Thank you. My burden is for Chinese people in general, rather than from any specific location. It is my desire to see all Chinese people come to know the truth of Jesus Christ whether they are in China, Taiwan, Singapore, Malaysia, the United States etc…Thanks for stopping by and reading our blog!
Have you been to Asia before? How long is your trip? Will you be going to all three locations? I haven’t been to mainland China yet, but I spent two years in Taiwan and visited the Philippines. You will love it. My opportunities there were not mission trips, either; I was teaching English. But simply by being the kind, caring person that you (I can already tell) are, you will make friendships that can last a lifetime and through which you can be a witness. I left Taiwan about a year and a half ago, but I still maintain contact with many of my language exchange friends there. I miss it—and them— immensely.
p.s. Thanks for stopping by my blog!
Hi Jessica, I have not been to Asia before, but I teach Sunday School at a Chinese Church here in the United States and also maintain friendships with a couple of Taiwanese people who are back living in Taiwan after having come to the US for school. My trip will only be for a few weeks this time around. That’s awesome to hear that you were teaching English in Taiwan. I have often thought of doing that. Actually, I will be getting a taste of that while I’m there since that will be my primary function while I’m there. Obviously, I won’t be there long enough to really get a feel or understanding of things, but at least it’s an opportunity to get my feet wet.
Wow thank you for sharing this! It’s truly a testament of God’s ways being above our own ways and we should trust Him! It was awesome to see. you take a leap of faith and it encourages me to take more risks with God in obedience and trust him even when the path doesn’t look like what you thought it might. Thanks again!
Yeah, it was eye opening to me too. I need to trust God’s voice more when He tells me to do things because He can see the big picture, I can’t.
Love this! God has even more awesome surprises for you on this journey. Watch for Him in the little things! Keep your focus on Him, and He will raise you up! I pray that the people that you encounter will have a lasting place in your heart and you will be a magnifying light for their eyes to see Jesus clearly!
actually, I’m not looking for Him to raise me up. Quite the opposite really. We are all servants to Him. It’s just of matter of where and when and how to serve. I do hope that that somehow, people will see a bit of His light in me and be moved to have a relationship with Him. And I pray that is true for all of us. We are all on this journey of learning how to be more like Him and to present Him as He is to others. Thanks for your comment, it was very encouraging.
Rebekah, be encouraged. God has a calling on your life. Many heros of the Bible thought that either they had misunderstood God or that they were not qualified to do what God had called them to do. Moses and Gideon come to mind. God will prepare you and sustain you. His Spirit will guide you. Do not be afraid.to walk throught the door that God opens for you. You are never alone. The Holy Spirit resides within you. Wishing you a blessed 2013!
Thanks for your words of encouragement. I really appreciate them!
P.S. I like the “h” in your name. It reminds me of SaraH and AbraHam.
Thank You! I Needed The Affirmation, especailly in the light of recent events in my life. Lord I hear you loud and clear.
I’m glad this post spoke to you. Hold on to what God gave you!!!
Rebekah – this is awesome! When God’s hands move, lives are changed! Don’t go there with any expectation other than letting God use you according to His plan. Enjoy the ride (and the culture!)
Great advice. Thanks! 🙂
That is just fabulous news! Thankyou for sharing it with all of us, and have a wonderful time!
Thank you. I hope to!
This was a wonderful story! It is so amazing how God works out everything for His good! I pray that you will have a wonderful trip and that God will prepare the hearts and minds of the people you come in contact with, including your co-workers, and that God will have divine appointments. My husband and I teach English in Taiwan (which you already know from stopping by our blog, thanks by the way). It’s a wonderful country, full of kind people with a spiritual hunger! I hope that this trip grows you and helps to clarify your calling. 🙂
Thanks. I love your blog. I have an affinity for Taiwanese people, but so far I’ve only met them on my own “home turf” lol. I’m excited to go see the place I’ve heard so many stories about!
Love your transparency and willingness to share your personal experience of obedience with us! I wrote about a similar insight on my faith journey in a trip devotion, “When Maybe Becomes Yes” …http://wp.me/pAK6C-8i
Blessings on your missions adventure!
Great post. Thanks for sharing it!
Hey Rebekah! Do you know yet which country your work trip is in? I haven’t been to the Philippines but I have been to China and Taiwan (I consider Taiwan to be my second home) so if you want to know anything about either place let me know. It’s AWESOME that you have the opportunity to go, visiting Asia is an experience like none other. Do you know when your trip is?
Actually my work trip will be in all three of those countries. As of right now it looks like we may only be in the Philippines for a couple of days and the vast majority of the trip will be split between China and Taiwan, which is awesome to me because the more time I have in Taiwan, the better! LOL! The trip is still several months away and the dates haven’t been nailed down yet. I may reach out to you for some insight as I get closer to take off! 🙂
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