*Warning Long Post* ūüôā

So now that I have a moment to sit down and write, let me share with you what happened last Friday. (and I’m totally not ignoring homework right now. Me? Never.) Over spring break Ecola is sending out four mission trips – to Portland, Haiti, Alaska, and the Philippines. I turned in my application last Wednesday and put Haiti as my first choice. I knew that I wanted to go overseas, I did not feel drawn to the Philippines, and I thought Haiti would be a very neat place to go.

And I do not know if you know this, but I am considering pursuing a career as a disaster response worker. Considering it – I will probably begin to take the steps of research & training in about a year, depending on money.

Going to the country of Haiti, which is still recovering from an earthquake and even now suffers another blow from Hurricane Sandy, would enable me to experience another culture. The type of place I would work in. I would travel overseas for the first time. I would be able to taste that, and from there decide Рis overseas disaster response what I want to do? Has God called me in this direction?

Friday they put the list of mission teams up on the projector, and I sat up and craned my neck… and my name was not on the list for Haiti. It was not on the¬†waitlist for Haiti. It was on the list for Alaska.

It was so cool to see the excitement of others as they sprang out of their chairs in excitement and hugged future teammates. And some people have just been radiant with joy and excitement since, looking forward to their trip overseas. I am happy for them. But I was a little despondent and quiet as we filed out of the classroom and to lunch. When people asked me, I told them that I was on the list for Alaska, but I was first going to try my best to see if I could go to Haiti.

I did not know what to think. I did not know whether to continue to pursue Haiti, or to accept Alaska. I had not even considered that I would¬†not¬†be on the list for Haiti – not really. I do remember when I wrote down Alaska/Philippines (because at that time the school was not sure if we could do just one or both) as my second choice, thinking ‘well maybe God wants me to go to here or here, and has a lesson for me there.’¬†

I had a great time that Friday afternoon. With a group of friends, we walked through town, watched some people blow glass, went into some galleries, had plenty of laughs in front of a funhouse mirror, and had a bubblegum blowing contest. It was awesome.

But when I came back and there were still a few hours until dinner, I found some worship sheet music and retreated to the solitude of the prayer chapel. I tried playing but it had been too long – sounded horrible. I tried just singing without the piano but ick, my out-of-key voice gave myself a headache. So I just leaned my head on my arms and prayed. Annndd after a while… fell asleep. Until dinner.

So that was productive.

But in the end, just listening to myself talking to God, I began to notice a few things. Like maybe my attitude and motives needed to be adjusted.

I have lately become tired of America, of our consumerism, and within the church our lukewarmness or even hypocrisy. Compared to other countries, we are definitely falling behind. And I am not talking about economically, but spiritually. Which was why I knew I wanted to go on any mission overseas. Not America, and definitely not to a Bible camp! On my missions application I wrote that I wanted to go where the greatest need was. But I had my own idea for where that was. We all know the greatest need is overseas, and mission trips that go to America are just lame-o in comparison.

God, our Creator that sees all and knows me intimately, knows not only the outer and inner needs of every person in every country, but knows what I can offer to others. He knows where to place me where I impact lives and be impacted.

(We talked about favoritism in James 2 this morning, and I just realized its connection to what I am saying! Wow, my mind is blown this)

I still plan on going overseas, and seeing other cultures, and I pray that wherever I go I will reflect Jesus and in His strength, speak boldly of Him.

I wanted to go to Haiti because it would be exciting. Because it is a different country, with different people, with neat stuff you could buy at local markets and neat stories to tell when you get home. My motives were rather self-centered.

Not that all of the reasons I wanted to go were bad. It is a good thing to desire confirmation of becoming a disaster response worker. It is a good  thing to desire to help other countries, to have little fear concerning traveling and going where it is not comfortable. And I believe that God will use those aspects of me in the future. But for now, He has been revealing within false perspectives that do not match up with how He sees people and needs. And I am encouraged with how He has already used this Alaska trip to teach and change me!

So, bottom line. I am not going to Haiti. I am going to Alaska. In the near future I hope to go to “the ends of the earth”, but for now I’m focusing on what God has to teach me in “Judea”.

Well that was a lot of talking on my part. Thanks for reading. ūüôā