Last month I wrote about how God asked me to be willing to give up everything I wanted, to “dance with Him” in romantical words. It was a difficult thing to say yes to, but I did it. I told Him I was willing to go wherever He wanted me to go, to do whatever He wanted me to do. That my life is about Him, it’s not about me anymore. I expected God to give me a period of waiting afterwords, of me not knowing anything about my future since I had no idea what He was going to ask of me. Me waiting for Him to tell me what kind of dance we would be dancing, if you will. But.. actually, He immediately began to fill me in on His desire, a dream of His for me. Are you ready?
The day after I renounced my own plans, He reminded me of a ministry that I learned about during my Children at Risk School, when the director of this ministry taught us for a week on street children. While I was in Mexico I often thought about how I would love to go to Bogota to see how they work, because while they take in children from the street, they do so with the intention of restoring them into a family. In Mexico I realized how important that family setting is, how much God really does want children to grow up inside of a family. When I got here to my counseling school I was talking with one of my classmates, and she told me that she comes from this ministry! That she had been a child at risk, a street child, but because of what God did in her life through them… she is now a missionary! Weeks later is when God began to talk to me, firmly, repetitively, through a lot of coincidences that weren’t just coincidences that He wanted me to apply to work in Colombia with this ministry.
At the same time, I felt a conviction that when God asked me to do this school He didn’t just want me to do half of it, which was my intention. After the three months of theory come three months of practicum, outreach: teaching and counseling in churches to carry the same restoration into the lives of others that God has brought to each of us. I didn’t know where the different options for outreach would be, only that God wanted me to go. So I said yes, Jesus, I will follow you.. wherever you want me to go. One of our leaders began to name the outreach locations one by one, asking that the people who felt like God was asking them to go to these places would get up and go as she gave us the options. I sat waiting, willing to go wherever God wanted me to go, just hoping that it would be clear to me where. First was Paraguay, and there were people that God had already given a clear message that Paraguay is where He wanted them, so they got up and left with the leaders of the Paraguay team. Next was Brazil, and the same thing happened that God had already been speaking to people about Brazil, so they went outside. Third was Europe, and even more left the classroom. I sat there with the remaining students, wondering if I would feel anything in my spirit when the fourth location was announced, or if I just hadn’t heard God right about the other countries. So, la Tia (the Aunt) as Chileans call all women out of respect, told us that the fourth location wasn’t for sure, but that they were working on contacting churches in…
I jumped in my seat, startling Tia a little, and it wasn’t long before I was crying because God is just so beautiful, and everything was so clear.
In the two weeks since that day, we as a Colombia team have gone from having one confirmed church that wants to host us to TEN. There are also plans in the works for us to teach and counsel at the same ministry that I’ve applied to work with next year. It’s all coming together.. as all things tend to do when one puts matters in God’s hands. In Bogota we’ll be staying with families from the churches during our stay there, which I am so excited for. Not only is God asking me to go work (I think maybe long-term) with that ministry in this city but He’s going to introduce me to Bogota’s people, to Colombia’s culture, first. I think He’s going to give me a giant heart for Colombia while I’m there, and that afterwards when I go home to raise support for a long-term stay I’ll be able to do so with a lot more clarity of what I’m really commiting myself to. It’s rather marvelous, to tell you the truth. And I wasn’t expecting any of this! He has filled me with joy and excitement to do what He wants, instead of doing what I wanted.
Prayers for the thirteen of us who are preparing for outreach to Bogota are very welcome, and very needed. We know God is going to take us to people who have a lot of need, and that these three months are not going to be easy. They will, however, be beautiful.
Also.. it seems I’ve discovered that dance He was asking me to dance with Him, it’s called the SALSA.. and according to my Colombian friend Doris “We Colombians are born dancing salsa.” Ahaha. Ay Carrumba!