How Migration Changed Me
I was 14 when God and I started to play tug of war, with my heart.
At this point in life I was completely disinterested with God. I basically didn’t want to be involved in anything that dealt with me going to church and didn’t include friends.
My father, who was my best friend, always had a drive for mission. He wanted to help those that didn’t sit in the actual church pews find the Man Upstairs, the person who had given him so much joy and fulfillment in life. My dad wanted them to experience that joy and fulfillment too. As the years went on and God began to turn my life around, mission was constantly stuck in my mind! I wanted to reach people who couldn’t be reached and share the greatest gift, Jesus.
But life became busy and I ignored God’s tug until I heard Him louder than ever before.
In 2015 God told me to GO.
That year, my dad‘s fight with cancer came to an end. And, even though this made me feel like my life was over, I felt God’s tug come back like a flood. But, it was different this time - peace came with it. That’s when I became certain that God was calling me to leave everything behind so He could use me as a vessel to bring light to the people of Guinea!
I thought I went to reach the unreached. Instead, they reached me
One would think that nine months in a different country would be difficult because of a language barrier, different food, and just a completely different culture. And, my experience was difficult but it was also extremely painful. Let me explain. You see, this painful process originated because I had the wrong mindset. I went into missions thinking "I’m their only hope, their Savior, and I’m going to be their light in their dark world. I AM going to reach them."
At the time, these statements didn’t sound proud to me at all. But, as the months went by God had to stop me in my tracks, re-focus my vision, and say "look at this." God caused me to observe how the people I was serving lived and how they treated me. People, who didn’t know me and knew that my religion wasn’t the same as theirs, were treating me with so much love and kindness! Muslims (the majority of the population; people I didn’t think would treat me that well) called me their friend and invited me into their homes even though my religious affiliation was different than theirs.
So God slowly but surely started to uproot me. I started to re-evaluate my mindset because the kindness, the generosity of these people, and the way they REACHED out to me, at times giving me their last bowl of rice, shook my proud core.
I wondered, "How are they exhibiting these characteristics of Christ if no one has yet taught them?" And the more I interacted with them, the more I started to see change in myself.
They showed me that everything has to do with the way you live! I realized that the way I live, letting Christ live through me, letting His love, His mercy, and His kindness radiate through me is what was and is going to be the greatest example to the world. The people of Guinea, West Africa taught me that. They had REACHED me through their godliness.
So my commission to you?
Get to know them for who they are, develop that bond, and let God do the rest.
Allowing Christ to use us empty vessels to lead people to experience a God-First life is the most fulfilling and humbling experience that everyone needs to encounter at some time in their lives. Because, not only are you allowing Christ to work through you to change others, you’re also allowing Him to change you.
Stop playing tug-of-war, let go, and GO.