Melanie, an appointee to the Philippines, shares about her journey to the mission field.
It was in 2012, on my way back from a short-term missions trip, that I first heard God’s call to serve him full time. There were no details about when, where or what – simply “Go back to Vancouver first. You have much to learn.”
In the following years, God used challenging situations at work, church, and home and in relationships to teach me lessons about forgiveness, perseverance and obedience. Each time I sought details regarding God’s call to full-time service, His command was to leave my future to Him. The uncertainty was unsettling, and I sometimes wondered if I had misheard God’s call.
Late in 2016 I found myself working through application forms, getting medical and financial clearances and considering resigning from work in preparation for a three-year term in Manila. It was exciting to finally have a potential timeline and direction for service.
Then an unexpected shock—my sister had a series of brain hemorrhages. One moment I was eating breakfast; the next I was calling an ambulance. Life turned upside down and, although I felt God was still calling me to Manila, plans for missions were put on hold indefinitely.
Truthfully, a delay in getting to the field was not a complete surprise. But these particular circumstances were entirely unanticipated. I had been hopeful that the time of waiting was coming to an end. Instead, uncertainty in all areas of life increased exponentially.
Through all of this my church, family and friends have been crucial, praying for me, keeping me accountable and encouraging me to keep moving forward in faith. They have stood faithfully with me in the midst of shifting challenges.
During these months, I’ve been reminded that getting to the field is not the goal; I am simply to walk with Christ and love others wherever I am. This is not an “in-between” time but is, like the mission field, a time bursting with opportunity for God to work. This is not a delay, if by “delay” I mean I am unable to be somewhere I am supposed to be. Instead, I know that all things are happening according to God’s timeline and purpose.
[This article was originally published on the OMF Canada website.]
Will you pray for the Philippines?
- For candidates and appointees like Melanie as they seek God’s leading to serve Him on the mission field.
- For their family and friends as they journey with and support them even before they leave for the field.
- For more new workers to be sent to the harvest field.