When Anna and I first started discerning full-time missions over 2 years ago, we were blessed to meet a very holy couple. Erik and Bridget Martin were a newlywed couple who started their marriage off as a missionary couple with Life Teen Missions. Erik had already been a Life Teen missionary for 5 years when he and Bridget got married, and Bridget was a missionary as well, with Family Mission Company for many years. It was beautiful how the Lord brought these two together.
I remember my first visit to our Life Teen mission base in northeast Georgia. Eric and Bridget were the first Life Teen missionaries that we sat and prayed with as we heard their story on how they came to missions. At the end of our conversation, I remember saying to myself that I wasn’t crazy. If this newlywed couple could start their marriage off as a missionary family then so could Anna and I. After leaving the Martin’s house that evening, I was convinced that the Lord was calling Anna and I to mission life. My worries were relieved.
Recently I had the bittersweet privilege of saying goodbye to this now family of four who has been so instrumental in my faith journey especially as a Life Teen missionary family. But I also rejoiced as I was confident that the Lord was calling them to step out in faith, to leave behind the comfort, the home, and the family that Life Teen Missions has been to them; to be comfortable with being uncomfortable as they now become missionaries with Family Missions Company. The Martins have been called by the Lord to move to Louisiana for formation only to be sent out a few months later to a foreign land, maybe somewhere in Asia, possibly India, maybe Mexico, or a jungle in Central America. Wherever they go, I trust and believe that they will be in God’s will. I rejoice because I have been right there with them, praying on where the Lord was calling their family to next. On the day they left, I was able to lay hands on them and send them out the way the first Christians would send each other out: with prayer (Acts 13:3).
It was not easy for the Martins to leave, and it wasn’t easy to say goodbye. However, it was God’s will. I invite you to pray daily and invite others to pray with and for you about where the Lord might be calling you. It might be as simple as being part of a ministry at your parish, or maybe leaving everything behind and becoming a missionary. Whatever it is, do not be afraid to be uncomfortable, or to leave behind those you love. The truth is, no one loves you more than God, and the safest place to be is in His will. With this year’s theme for Life Teen being “Fearless,” I challenge you to be fearless in your prayer and say “Here I am Lord, where to next?”