I have been wanting to go on a mission trip for a long time. In the past year, my older son has been asking to go on one, too. The problem has been the timing. Our church offers several mission trips, but they are usually too long for me to miss work. During the past six months or so, I have felt God moving in my life. He has shifted me away from things and shifted me towards things. He’s been telling me that it’s time to go on a mission trip. Ok God, but…
I have found though that when God wants you to do it, He will work it out. So, I expressed interest in going on a mission trip to Mexico. Our church has missionaries that moved there and have teams that go several times a year. There is a longer story with little details, but the end story is, they made the dates of the trip around my schedule. So, my work schedule wasn’t an issue. It’s during spring break… so, my son’s school schedule wasn’t an issue.
We are committed and plane tickets are purchased. Ok… Now, the matter of finances. In case anyone doesn’t know, mission trips usually aren’t free. I made a Facebook post letting people know that we are excited about the opportunity and to pray for our team and our financial situations. About a week later, I received an envelope from a relative whom, honestly, I barely know. Inside that envelope was a check… a check that covered one of our plane tickets! Y’all, I cried. I cried at the generosity of someone I can’t remember meeting… I cried at the awesomeness of God who provided.
I turned in that money and started pinching pennies. During this time, we also welcomed foster children into our home. Things were a little crazy. Car seat purchased, clothes, extra food. In the back of my mind, I was also aware that we may these children when I was to be on the trip. I wasn’t “worried.” God brought them to us and God knew the trip was coming. Not sure how, but I knew it would work out. A week later, it did. The children were moved to a family member. We loved having them, but the goal is always for the children to be with family, if possible.
After that month, I had saved some of my “Dave Ramsey pocket money.” I was going to turn that in the next time I went to church. Then, to my surprise, we got an escrow overage check for our mortgage company. Mind you, this is yet another check that was unexpected and perfectly timed. Between, my cash and this check we were now $12 shy of covering both of our plane tickets! I think God is just showing off at this point. But, He’s not done…
In addition to plane tickets, there are other expenses… lodging, food, gas, interpreter, and I’m sure other stuff will come up. We are now working on saving for all that. A few weeks later, guess what? Another check. This time, we received the money from fostering. This had been our first fostering experience. We knew that we would get a little money as reimbursement for keeping children, but we didn’t know what the rate was. That is certainly not why we foster. Anyway, the check… it wasn’t a large amount, but it was still a little unexpected. And, it is going straight to our trip.
My point in all this is that when God lies on your heart that He wants you to do something… whatever that is… you need to take a step of faith. You might think that there’s no way it will work… you may think of a thousand excuses why it won’t work… but, if God wants you to do it, He WILL work out the details. Most of the time it happens in ways which you never would’ve thought. He does this so that you will know that He did it, not you. So, the next time that you hear that subtle voice… take a step, have a conversation, whatever it entails in your situation to have forward progress. I promise that once you make that small gesture of faith, He will carry you the rest of the way.
“This is what the Lord says – he who made a way through the sea, a path through the mighty waters, who drew out the chariots and horses, the army and reinforcements together, and they lay there never to rise again, extinguished, snuffed out like a wick: ‘Forget the former things; do not dwell on the past. See, I am doing a new thing! Now it springs up; do you not perceive it? I am making a way in the desert and streams in the wasteland.” Isaiah 43:16-19