Today's post was written by Rachel, one of our current Mid-Termers who is serving in South Asia.
Last year when I taught 2nd grade in a faith-based school, my students and I would study unreached people's from each continent. We pulled up a list on my phone one day from the Joshua Project that listed unreached people groups. If green is next to a people, then they have believers and an established church. If yellow---some believers. If red-- no known believers or people even attempting to reach them. Once they realized what this meant, the kids literally cried out, "What? None of them believe!"
I scrolled through what seemed like hundreds of people groups. Finally, one leapt off the page that had a tiny green square next to it, and the silence was broken by sixteen cheers, claps, and eruptions of "whooohooo!!!!!"
Every time I taught on the topic, my heart kept breaking for the people who had never heard. The kids and I lifted them up. We storied. We acted stories out and made them into puppet shows. It was my favorite thing to teach. Sometimes I would get overwhelmed by all that was required of me, then I would step back and think. Is math most important? Reading? Science? History? Grammar? Writing? NO. The Word of the Creator of the universe was, is, and always will be the most important news I share with second graders in Alabama or with tribal peoples in Asia.
The next few months I began to evaluate my life. What did He want me to invest my time in? What was I most passionate about? What if I dreamed pursuing something that I thought would be impossible? Did I really believe the Father was big enough to handle this vision for my life? He kept leading, as always. He led me through trials I had never faced before. For example, He brought me to dependence on Him through a car wreck in which I lost a good bit of money that I previously planned on putting toward going overseas. Through it all, He brought me back to what I learned months before when I was serving overseas: He ALWAYS provides.
I talked to people. I asked for advice and lifted it up. I put it all on the table - my future, my career, my family, my time, and my sense of security in the job I had. My good friend who had planned on going with me realized it wasn't what she was supposed to do. With no teammate, I was a little discouraged but clung to the promise. He always provides. A week later I got a text from a girl I knew. This is what it said, "You wouldn't be thinking about going overseas, would you?"
"What?" I thought. Umm...not coincidence. I called her up, and she was open to anything. We were likeminded in why we would go, the amount of time, and the region we would serve. We agreed the Father was calling us to go to South Asia for at least a year.
Meanwhile in the classroom, my heart beat fast. I was nervous. I usually never became jittery talking to my beloved second graders. But today I was. I waited until after lunch, when we usually had time in the Word together. "What have we learned about different people around the world this year?" I started with.
"They wear different clothes," one girl chimed in.
"You're right!" I replied. The way I planned for kids to answer questions usually never worked out. I should have remembered that by now. So I worded the question more specifically. "Can anyone tell us about different beliefs people might have?" They caught my drift. "What can we do?" I prompted.
"We can lift them up because they have never heard about Him."
"Yes. We can also go. I have asked God what He wants with my life, and He wants everyone to hear the Good News. I have decided to move to a different country to tell people about Jesus," I shared.
"WHAT? I'll miss you! I don't want you to go," said one of my girls.
"Why would you do that? Don't get Ebola. Be careful. You should live in the Brazilian rainforest, like we studied, Miss B."
A flood of questions and opinions came at me like a wave. We soon began studying the region and asking the Father to open the hearts of the people to the Truth. I know I will miss the kids I taught. They are such precious kids, but I know I am going where God wants me.
What I'm doing and where I'm going shouldn't be seen as radical, unusual, or impractical but simply biblical. GO AND MAKE D!sc!ples of ALL nations! How will people from every nation, tribe, people, and tongue praise Him in their own language with their own music and own cultural dress if they have never heard?
Father, may I have a heart for these people like you do. May I see them with your eyes and look straight through to their soul. Let me not be distracted by the sounds, smells, sights, and foods I'll swallow, but saturate me with an overwhelming compassion for them along with a burning passion for the nation to be reached.
There are people whom I have personally met with my own eyes who are waiting for us to tell them. They live for statues that will not last, and they have no hope. It's the little girl I met on the street with no one to take care of her. It's the college girl on the beach who wanted to take pictures with me, an American. It's the old grandfather in the village who worships a monkey. I know there will be more trials for the purpose of His glory and my good. I also know He is worth the risk. He is worth the cost, and He always provides!