Has the Lord ever placed a desire on your heart or made known to you that he was calling you to something great, but it took months or even years to come to fruition? Maybe the Lord was trying to purify your desires, maybe the timing wasn’t right, or maybe the Lord felt that you needed more formation, an intense rhythm of prayer, and community.
So about a year ago, I went on my first foreign mission trip to Haiti. While there, we did your typical mission trip things: built stuff, painted stuff, tore stuff down only to rebuild it again. It was fun, but on this trip the Lord placed a desire on my heart that I wanted nothing to do with. God was calling me and my then fiance to full-time missions and to Haiti.
Let me tell you some facts about myself: I hate the heat! Haiti is at least 90 degrees all the time. I hate bugs. Just the other day I saw a salamander climbing on my wall eating bugs. And I really don’t like rodents, but I guess since Haiti doesn’t have squirrels, rats are the next best thing (these things climb trees).
Like I said, full-time missions was the last thing on my mind. However, when you give the Lord just a little to work with, He can do a whole lot with it. God began to chisel away my heart of stone and give me a heart of flesh.
So, the Lord put me at a place where I was willing to be a full-time missionary in Haiti. I anxiously waited until doors opened, and I got in touch with Life Teen’s mission director, Chris Benzinger. I told him I wanted to go to Haiti and I wanted him to send me there as soon as possible. However, I quickly learned that it wasn’t that easy. The Lord was inviting me to a year of formation, a life in community, and an intense rhythm of prayer. And maybe then it would be possible to go to Haiti. Chris told my fiance and I that we would need to live at Life Teen’s Camp Covecrest for a year of formation and to pray about what the Lord was calling us and Life Teen to regarding Haiti.
After a year of prayer and living into the missionary spirituality of Life Teen Missions, through a series of events, the Lord opened all the doors at the right time. Just over a week ago, Life Teen sent out a team of missionaries, including myself, my wife, and our 3-month-old son to Haiti to start Life Teen’s first mission base in a developing country. Please pray for us as we adjust and learn how to be missionary in a culture where Christ is a topic only within the four walls of the church and nowhere else.
God is faithful.