A few days before I left for the Philippines I got a package in the mail. My sweet friend Wendy, who has been on a gazillion mission trips and now is a coordinator for a mission organization in Jamaica had sent a package filled with letters. I cried when I got it. Each one was labeled with a date so that I would have a letter for each day of my trip. They were absolutely priceless to me. Not only was it fun to read each one as I was getting ready for the day ahead, but she also gave a daily assignment to help me process all that I was experiencing. In retrospect, it is incredibly clear that God led Wendy to write me these letters so that as time passed I could see the obvious plans he had for me (ahead of time) in regards to this trip. For the last few weeks I have been going back to one of the letters where she stated how obvious it was that God has called me to this trip. Wendy has invited me on trips before that were a lot closer to home and a lot easier to maneuver than this one. And yet I never went on one until the Philippines trip came up. The travel time, the beginning of school, the amount of time away from home…all of those things should have deterred me, but did not.
This is an excerpt of my letter from our last full day there. I read it last night and it rocked me to my core. I had not read this particular letter since I was in the Philippines….
I know that there have been some things that you have seen that have simply broken your heart. I know that you truly desire to bring someone home with you to Waxhaw. I mean I really know that you feel that way – I strongly felt that way before, which is precisely why R ended up living with us for four years. I tell you that not to inspire you to call the airlines and see if there is an extra seat on your flight, but rather to help you realize a few things. First of all, R didn’t come to live with us until 7 years after I met him. And from the time I met him to the time he came to live with us, we probably went on a dozen other missions trips. Only one of the many, many people in sad situations came to live with us.
Your ministry in the Philippines may or may not be finished – only God can tell you that. But your ministry will extend to each and every day of your life wherever you are in that moment.
Wow, maybe it is just me, but that sure feels like God reaching in and encouraging me!! Even more now than then. I do remember thinking when I read this that there WAS someone I wanted to bring home. And it was impossible. Unadoptable. No chance. I wouldn’t have even dared to pray that God would handle the details and make it possible.
Jesus looked at them and said, “With man this is impossible, but not with God; all things are possible with God.” Mark 10:27 Straight from the mouth of Jesus. Amen.
There was another letter that I feel like goes along with Chad’s “Two Risky Prayers”. In one of the letters as the week was coming to a close she wrote, Second of all, remember that the power of a mission trip is that the biggest life to be changed is yours! You will be returning to the States a different person. Just as God has used all your life experiences to bring you to this point, He is using these nine days to prepare you for what you are going to do for Him throughout the rest of your life. These words make me laugh and cry all at the same time. He is using these nine days to prepare me…for the rest of my life??? I don’t think I realized the impact of the words at the time. But now? I get it now. Again, it feels to me like God wrote me these letters…through Wendy. I am so thankful that she followed God’s leading to write them!