A fire fighter’s calling (part 1 of 6)

Posted: October 6, 2010 in Testimonies

I realize I am currently in training for some intense battling. The love for missions, helping others in foreign places, has become a driving force in serving my Father. Recent events unfolding have made me take account of God’s orchestrating and growing me to be His disciple. As I look further and further back I see more and more compelling evidence of God’s hand in my life far before I was conscious to it. I have come to realize I am “…God’s workmanship created in Christ Jesus to do good works which God prepared in advance for me to do.”(Eph 2:10) I don’t know what’s completely in store for my future but I do know God is interested in the journey not the goal, my faith and actions as I get there. The following is the realization of what God’s calling me to.

God has given Alyson and I a love for missions through an interesting chain of events that we share in our testimonies, but that story will be saved for another day another blog. I’m going to start with this past spring… plans had been made to attend Family Zone (a trip encouraging children to come) in Cusco, Peru through a group called Extreme Nazarene in April. It was our fourth annual mission trip in answer to God’s call on our lives toward missions. We also had plans to go to Bradenton, Florida in March. We went to Bradenton with a group of  layman from all over the United States  to share our testimonies and minister to our brothers and sisters in Christ to help spur them onto a healthier walk with the Lord. During one of the sessions we were hosting for the church, we wrote a letter from Jesus to ourselves. In my letter He told me: keep surrendering all of me, remember I was nothing without Him, keep serving how I was serving, and that we (Jesus and I) would talk after I got back from Peru.

April came and we went to Peru. While we were participating in a service at a local church, one of the pastors  led all the children in a prayer of accepting Jesus into their heart. I repeated aloud with the children and when I said the line …”and Father show me all you have for me…” I wasn’t ready. All of a sudden I saw flashes of my future running through my mind as if I was watching a video in fast forward. I was overwhelmed and began to cry as I realized God was showing me to start committing more time to missions. The director for Extreme Nazarene happened to make it to Cusco while we were there. I was obedient to God and told Brian Tibbs we would be interested in serving as long-term volunteers supporting young missionaries. He said there wouldn’t be any of those positions available for at least a year, but will be sure to keep in contact. That was fine by us since we still had our house on the market and a lot of preparations would still have to be done.

We got home settled back in and received a call from our realtor the following weekend. After the house being on the market for almost a year, she said we could expect our first offer in a couple of days. We were trusting God because only He could bring the right buyer as: we over built for the neighborhood, the market was declining, only two houses in our area sold in our price range the previous year, three of the seven houses were for sale on our street, there was a convicted murderer living in a rental kitty-corner, and on and on. It was as if God was saying it will be impossible for you to sell your house only I can. We believed it, and went under contract with a sheriff’s deputy and family who happened to live only a couple blocks away and sold their house in one day in a stagnant market. God was faithful. I knew He was speaking to me as He said He would when we got back from Peru; we were listening. We wanted to make ourselves more available to God and possibly have one of us stay home with Wellington so we found a smaller house that had a: smaller mortgage, better location to be more efficient with our time, and potential for higher resale. We found one and went under contract a few weeks later. Shortly after we were under contract with the house we now live in, Brian Tibbs called us with a different mission possibility. It was about being a project director for Extreme Colombia, and it would be happening in the fall of 2010.

“This fall? What?!!!”

We said we’d pray about it. I found my physical self getting excited about the adventure of the unknowns but my spiritual self having difficulty getting excited or really comprehending what it was God wanted me to do. Questions began to consume the free space in my brain… Why is Extreme Nazarene partnering with this church and want my help? I thought God was calling us to support and host young missionaries on the field, not head up a project of such magnitude? Why so soon? What are we going to do with all our stuff? How are we going to raise the funds we need? Why does God want me to give up so much to go help someone who isn’t really in need?

Praise God for His constant abiding and guidance thru my daily quiet times with Him. It allowed me to say yes to Him without complete understanding. In the past few months God has been showing me the importance of faith, giving, obeying, and dying to self, showing me how nothing I have not even my life is my own despite what I may think. Since I journal during my quiet time, I was able to look back and verify His calling AND His supplying. God answered all of these questions specifically, not in the order I wished but in His timing. Let me testify to God’s answering of specific questions. The following are excerpts from my journal, answering the questions that occupied my mind.

First of the Six questions answered.

What are we going to do with all our stuff?

5/20 Matt 19:16-30 Titled: ‘Example of sacrifice and obedience’: “If you want to be perfect go and sell all you possessions and give to the poor, and you will have treasures in heaven. Then come follow me.” v.21 This verse is why I have chosen to sell things at the moving sale and put it towards a well in Haiti. I know you’re not supposed to let your left hand know what the right hand is doing (Matt 6:3)and that when you tell others you gain your reward (Matt 6:2)…but I know that you’re supposed to be shrewd as snakes and gentle as doves (Matt 10:16). So I’m using this as a challenge and example of how not to be selfish and to think of others – using it as a way to impact an overall selfish country. Showing them an example of and obedience to Christ. Once we downsize we will be able to follow Christ more freely “…and everyone who has left houses or brothers or sisters or father or mother or children or fields for my sake will receive 100 times as much and will inherit eternal life.” v.29

Stay posted for answer 2 of 6… don’t worry the blog will be much shorter!

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