Something has always stirred deep down inside of me anytime anyone talked about ministry in far-flung regions of the world. There would always be this longing to be counted “qualified enough” to go – or to be asked to go – but somehow there was always this subconscious conviction that only a certain kind of person was “called” to go to those places and I most certainly would not be “one of those people”. So the fact that our entire family will be traveling to Bangladesh and Myanmar (or Burma, whichever you prefer) this summer is beyond anything I could ever have imagined!
We go, knowing that only a Great God could have worked it out the way this has worked out. It’s a long story and I won’t bore you with all the details, but I would like to say that God and the way He works is awesome!
Along about a year and a half ago, God really impressed on me this thing (dream, conviction, whatever you want to call it) to take a family trip in which we would spend time in another context – not a vacation, but a trip with eternity in mind. I shared this vision with my significant other and was met with somewhat less enthusiasm. You see, we had already been talking for several years about taking an extensive trip to the American West and this was probably the summer for that to happen. Every once in a while we’d talk about it again, and yes I was being a bit reluctant, but finally I distinctly heard God saying that I needed to just give up what I felt fairly strongly about (a trip to somewhere, maybe Asia) and to plan the trip West.
As I unclenched my fist and said “Yes”, the most amazing thing happened. I was totally at peace with going West and was excited to begin mapping out the trip and figuring out exactly what was “not to be missed”. While all of this was going on, God was stirring in the heart of the other half of this equation and when I expressed the need to get started on our plans, he said “You know, I’ve been thinking that maybe we should do that other kind of trip instead.” I was dumb-founded!
“Where are you thinking we might go?” At this point I wasn’t about to try to sway the direction of this – this was all God’s deal. Craig had already been looking at websites and named several countries – mostly in Latin America – and we looked at some together, but nothing really jumped out. We unconsciously shelved it for a while and really didn’t pursue it much further. I kept praying that God would show us exactly where He wanted us to go and for this trip to be totally about what He wanted.
Fast-forward maybe two months or so, and we find ourselves at a conference where there is a presentation given about a children’s home in Myanmar that could be visited. After the session I find Craig at the table where they have info about this place, and I become alarmed. I ask him what he’s doing and the person behind the table is saying, “Yes, all you need to do is apply for a visa and you’re good to go.” We go home and the next day we’re looking at flights and knowing that if we go to Myanmar it’s only a given that we will also visit our friends in Bangladesh.
Suffice it to say that there has been excitement, and apprehension, and scrambling to find tickets, and shuffling of schedules on both sides of the world, but it is indeed coming together. Plans are to fly into Bangladesh and spend a few days there, then head to Myanmar along with our friends (Mr. and Mrs. Miller). We will spend about a week in Myanmar visiting a children’s home in the city of Rangoon. We will then head back to Bangladesh for a week before heading home just in time for the beginning of the school year.
So that’s how it happens that our family is going on an adventure this summer – because God wants us there. And don’t believe the lie that only certain people are called – we are all called! The where and the how looks different for everyone – the what is the same for all! Where is God calling you to?