I will never forget that moment. It was unlike any other I had experienced before and unlike any I have experienced since.
It started out like any other day. I worked on my PACE's all morning. It was a Wednesday so that meant chapel was in the afternoon. It wasn't a typical chapel. We had a guest speaker.
How do I describe Pastor Benjamin?
That's the only word. The lines on his face showed that he had been through it, but the amount of joy that radiated from him I had not seen before. As he told us his stories, his joy never left. He spoke about meetings where he had faced people who were demon possessed. Joy was still there. He was full of the joy of the Lord.
As he spoke, something changed inside of me. I began to develop a love and burden for the people he was speaking about. I wanted to hear everything he had to say and more. I wanted to go to India right then and there.
I remember going home and telling my parents I wanted to go to India. I was only fourteen at the time so I can understand the hesitancy in how they responded. They were careful not to discourage me, but I could tell they thought it was something that I wasn't going to stick with forever.
In a sense, they were right. A lot of things happened over the next few years that caused me to suppress that moment I had felt singled out by God. I tried to forget that I was created for a specific purpose. I wanted to focus on here and now and not the future.
About two years ago, I was searching for the next step in my school career. I was stressed and scared. I had a dream about that moment. The very first moment I had ever felt called. I realized the reason I was stressed and scared was because I was not on track with the plan that existed for my life. So I did what I needed to do. I set my parents down, said I was changing my major again, and told them what my plan was.
Last fall, I had the amazing opportunity to meet Pastor Benjamin's son and daughter-in-law. I got to share with them the story of that moment. They run a school and orphanage. I was able to pour my heart out to them. I spoke to them about my burden and love for their people. It was an awesome time of fellowship and building relationships. I also got to eat some amazing food that none has compared to since. (Side note: I know them through my step-grandparents. What the enemy plans for destruction (my parents divorce), God uses for His glory and His purpose.)
I have a feeling my future is not going to look exactly how I expected it to look when I was young. The idea of the two-story house and white picket fence really isn't for me. I know that how I am accustomed to living is going to be challenged. There is no earthly way I could be one hundred percent prepared for what I am going to face. My stereotypical white girl tendencies and obsessions are things I'm going to have to learn to live without. The American ideas of success and achievement may not be what I achieve. It is going to take a lot of adjustment, but that is ok with me. I have the joy of the Lord to sustain me. I do not want to be conformed to the ideas the world has. I want to be focused on heavenly things.
Right before Jesus ascended back to Heaven, the Bible tells us in Matthew 28:19-20 that He said,
"Go therefore and make disciples of all nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit, teaching them to observe all that I have commanded you. And behold, I am with you always to the end of the age."
This is something that we are all supposed to do. You may be called to set foot on foreign soil. You may be called to witness to your neighbor down the street. You are called to share the love of Christ.