Lord, Send me ANYWHERE, only go with me
Lay any burden on me, only SUSTAIN me
SEVERE any ties but the tie that binds me to THY SERVICE
and to THY HEART
I am not sure where to start. . .
I am not sure you will even believe it. . .
Last week David and I had our orientation in Springfield Missouri, the headquarters of the Assemblies of God. This is a time when the people who have applied to be missionaries or missionary associates come to "headquarters" for the final process. We receive our Psyche evaluations, have meetings, and interviews.
Canidate orientation is quite. . . intense
We met some amazing people. We were so humbled to be grouped with them.
We were able to sit and listen to the stories of veteran missionaries, who have dedicated their life to the call of God.
Their stories made us cry, and challenged and inspired us. When you think of the missionaries who gave all and left with a few suitcases and trekked into the jungle, that was these guys. We were so blessed to have met them.
On Monday Dave and I met with the person over the International Ministries, Joann Boutrin. She was so patient with us. She gently led us into some serious conversations about how to proceed in our decision "on how and where" to serve in the Kingdom of God. She introduced us to so many amazing ministries that are all over the world. After talking with her, David and I decided that even though we wanted to partner with International Ministries, this was not the best fit for us, as they are based in Springfield and travel to places all over. We want to live in the country we serve in.
So on Tuesday, we met with the field directors for Central and South America and Mexico, Dick and Cynthia Nicholson. We shared our heart for with them. We also talked about our call to missions and our sweet girls. They shared with us the vision they have for the area they serve. We expressed that we want to GO wherever they felt that we would be a fit, and could use our gifts and talents. After some discussion we focused on Central America and the countries that had urgent needs. They asked that we call the area directors for Central America, Jay and Nancy Dickerson. They asked us to consider going to El Salvador, Honduras, and Belize.
Later that night we were able to skype Jay and Nancy. After a difficult sykpe connection, we all felt like there were 2 options, with one being a better fit for us.
I am going to have to say that the Dickersons are such a beautiful example of servants who have been faithful to serve our God over a lifetime.
With all that they have.
We have been blessed to know them more than 15 years, and have been inspired by their life. Infact, having lunch with Jay and Nancy a little more than a year was a huge catalyst for us to start the journey and get our application turned in. (looking back, they were recruiting help :))
So. . . The two countries were Honduras and Costa Rica.
The better fit being Costa Rica.
Dave and I were both taken back, we really did NOT see that coming. I mean really. We had spent the summer there, but not as a goal of scoping out our future home. Simply to have the girls experience life outside the United States, and spend some time in ministry in a third world country. To give them a real experience of life as a missionary. We wanted them to have a really good understanding of what it ment when we said we were going to be missionaries. We spent alot of time in the country exploring it as a tourist, not as a missionary, or through the eyes of a missionary. So we were caught off guard.
The Dickerson believe, as we do now, that the country is ready for a time of great harvest, and that the national leaders are looking for people to help during this window of opportunity. What we will be doing is not completely nailed down, and as I learn more over the next few weeks I will share. But what we understand is that there is a great need for the indigenous people in the lower part of the country. Possibly working with Sustain Hope to finish a project that was started, but needs someone to finish the vision.
So on Wed. we met with the executive committee. This is the grandaddy of all interviews, It really is a little intimidating. We are asked to present our call and vision, with the country we are going to serve to the committee. We had to explain why we chose a country that the field director did not even give as an option, but let us know right off the bat they agreed with. It was a blessed time.
At the headquarters, there is a catwalk on the 5Th floor that brings you over to the missions department. The catwalk is lined with flags from around the world. It is such a beautiful inspiring walk. Really. At the beginning of the week, David and I walked down the hall, thinking by the end of the week, one of these will be ours. We were so blessed to finally walk down the hall and touch the flag for Costa Rica.
God placed a love for that country for me at the age of 15, on my first trip there. Years later, I wanted to take my family there, so they could fall in love with it to. And now, in a plan orchestrated by no one less than the mighty God we serve. . . We will go back as full appointed Assemblies of God missionaries.
We are so small in HIS big plan.