The campfire crackled. Our weary bodies rested on the hard logs. Our hearts centered on the goodness of our Lord.
Being that it was the last night of our week long mission trip to Tijuana, Mexico, we had all grown quite comfortable around each other and in our surroundings. Singing the last lines of Great Are You Lord, we relished this time.
You give life, You are love
You bring light to the darkness
You give hope, You restore
Every heart that is broken
Great are You, Lord
Not A Vacation
One of the Pastors on the trip began giving us some last minute encouragement. He enthusiastically recapped testimony after testimony from our week. But then he said something that halted in my heart and mind and refused to leave. “Ask the Lord what He wants you to do with this mission trip. If nothing in your life changes after your time here, then it was just a trip.”
I knew that days after returning from our mission trip, my family and I were taking a family vacation. We would make memories, enjoy our time together, relax, eat good food, laugh, and play…all the wonderful things that make a family vacation. But, would that vacation change how I live my life? Would it further God’s kingdom?
The Pastor’s question remained in my heart and mind until the next morning. I prayed, “God, do you want me to be a missionary? Do you want me to come back here? Do you want my whole family to come back here?” I felt uncomfortable but unable to shake the thought that God was doing something with the Pastor’s question, what will you do differently now that you went on this trip?
God led my mind to what my life back home consisted of. It was summer time so we weren’t officially homeschooling. But, I was continuing my in-home tutoring business through the summer. I had 4 students that came to my house for tutoring, help with academic subjects, once a week. I also knew that God was growing my business and I would soon be tutoring 3 more students.
Let Your Light Shine
The students come to my house individually, and I have seen the opportunity for influence with these students. Many of the students are girls and love to stay and play with my girls after they finish all of their work. They often ask about the Bible verses we have in our home. They have also inquired about the cross on our front door.
But, have they noticed anything different about our hearts?
1 Peter 2:9, says, But you are a chosen race, a royal priesthood, a holy nation, a people for his own possession, that you may proclaim the excellencies of him who called you out of darkness into his marvelous light.
Are these precious souls seeing our light? When they leave school and enter into our home are they noticing His excellence?
God worked relentlessly in my heart. He showed me what was most significant about my time in Mexico: PRAYER. Finally, I heard him. He said add prayer into your tutoring sessions.
But, Lord, how will I do that? I have been tutoring some of these kids for a year…add this in now? Will the parents go for this? What if they think I’m weird?
The Lord brought to mind His power which I witnessed multiple times each day during the past week. This power was greater than all of my uncertainties.
I needed to act on God’s calling immediately. The momentum of hearing God’s voice and obeying was flowing smoothly in Mexico, better keep it going. Before even boarding the plane for home, I decided to send a message to each of the families I tutor giving them a brief explanation of God working in my heart on this trip and what I would like to change about our tutoring sessions. Over the next couple of days, the replies came, “absolutely”, “that sounds perfect”, “sure”, “yes, we are okay with that”.
Not one question and not one objection. God had gone before me. Not one student who enters my house does so by happenstance. Each student is a divine assignment from God. If I refuse to share my faith, the thing that is more important to me than anything else; more important than homework, spelling words, multiplication facts, or reading fluency, than I am refusing the appointment God set up for me.
So, we pray. We pray about math tests, sick friends, a grandparent with dementia, drama between friends at school, colds to be healed, learning to happen, rooms to be cleaned. One time we even prayed about a dog learning to ice skate. (It’s quite a story!)
I decided that whatever these children wanted to pray about, we would pray. I pray they will learn about the peace that comes when we place our lives in God’s care. I also pray they learn their value, that God cares to hear their voice and to answer their prayers.
Luke 12: 6-7 says, Are not five sparrows sold for two pennies? Yet not one of them is forgotten by God. Indeed, the very hairs of your head are all numbered. Don’t be afraid; you are worth more than many sparrows.
God cares about their worry about an upcoming test. And, I imagine Him delighting to hear His precious one praying about a dog learning to ice skate.