April 23, 2012

I Didn't Grow up a MK, PK or go to Bible College

Mission work is my calling.  What it will look like in the next five or ten years, I have no idea.  But I do know that I am where I am supposed to be right now!  It feels good, and it scares the crap out of me at the same time!  I don't have missionary blood.  I'm not a sixth generation missionary.  I didn't grow up on the soil of a mission field.  I didn't even know that there were such things as short term mission trips until just a few years ago.  

Let me give you a brief history.  I grew up a Navy Brat, my father was in the Navy for 22 years.  We traveled quite a bit.  We were Lutheran, and attended various churches mainly on holidays until I was in high school.  I was taught the Lords Prayer at an early age, participated in advent and lent.  I attended Catholic school, and was confirmed Catholic.  The next year I was confirmed Lutheran.  But it was more of just going thru the motions.  I never felt like it was me that was making the decisions and there was no real relationship.

Shortly after Brandon and I met, we started attending a new church together.  We rededicated our lives together and got baptized at the beach.  We were young, but on fire for God.  After being in our pastors small group for a few years, we began leading small groups in our home.  Brandon and I have held various leadership roles in the churches we have belonged to.  

I did not grow up a Missionary Kid (MK).  I was not a Pastor's Kid (PK).  Nor had I ever heard of these terms until just a few years ago.  I have no formal "religous" training and I have not attended Bible College or Seminary.  But I have something greater…a fire in my heart, Jesus.  He has given me everything I need.  He has used my history, my circumstances, and my abilities and passions to grow me into what He wanted me to be…a servant to Him.  

My road to leading short mission teams has been a long one.  Since the Purpose Driven Life book, I have been praying and seeking my calling, my role.  And every new venture, I thought was it.  Parenting. Teaching.  Non-Profit work.  Owning a Business.  I have crazy passions for poverty, orphans and self sustainable living.  We are passionate about living on less than we make.   All of these are no accident…they all prepared me to be the person that I am today.  I needed to know how to parent and to teach.  I needed to know how a non-profit runs.  I needed to know how to run a business.  God has put this crazy desire to live off grid in me for a reason.  He guided us to adoption by no accident.  He put this absurd idea of living off less than you make in us because He knew that we would have to one day.  

I left for Uganda, my very first mission trip, just 11 months ago.  In just three months I will be leading my first mission trip, back to Uganda.  At times I feel very well equipped, knowing that I am doing what He led me to.  Other times I feel underqualified.  I don't have the acolades that others have had.  But I turn back to him, for wisdom and guidance.  While I don't know what it will look like in five or ten years, I do know that right now I am in the right place!

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