I had left my laptop in my carry-on bag in the security line (which you are not supposed to do), so I was politely brought to the side to have it quickly examined.
The security officer was a young woman, and she explained the process and quickly moved a security wand over my laptop. She continued to look through my bag and smiled. “Going abroad?”
“Yeah,” I said. Before I could ask how she knew, she held up my plug adaptor for foreign countries. I smiled back and nodded.
“It’s a nifty tool.”
“Looks like it. Where are you off to?”
“Cool. I wish I could go abroad.”
Her statement was whimsical, almost sad. But, I didn’t answer her. Her wondering caused a thought, and it finally hit me after all this time.
I never had her desire.
I never wanted to go abroad.
She gave me back my bag and wished me luck on my trip. I thanked her and went on my way, the cogs in my head now furiously turning as I walked.
You see, when I was younger, I was intimidated by the thought of travel. I dreaded leaving my street, let alone my country. Going to PA for college, even though quite a bit later, surprised a lot of people as well, myself included. But I soldiered it and went off on my own, missing good old Indiana as I did.
As a kid, I never once imagined leaving the country. I just never wanted to. I am a generally careful and cautious person, and traveling often puts that into jeopardy.
Yet here I am, for third year in a row going off on a mission trip. This time to both Europe and the Middle East.
I remember listening to others talk about RP Missions in high school. My brother even went off to Australia for one. And for some reason, I found myself visiting their website pretty often during the final years of high school.
I would browse over the trips they had available. I looked at the local ones, but Germany kept sticking out for some reason.
“Huh, that would be crazy,” I would mumble to myself.
But after a year at Geneva College, a certain leader of RP Missions encouraged me in the idea. And even made me leader of it.
Talk about intimidating. A young person, not having been out of the country, and not having ever flown on a plane, nor had gone on a single RP Missions trip before, leading a trip to Europe. I think twelve year old me probably would have dropped dead at the idea. But college me? College me could feel something greater at work. I was drawn to the mission work in Germany, and I could ignore that urge no longer.
I never wanted to go abroad, but God apparently did not care about that particular qualification.
The Holy Spirit worked hard in my life to get me to, somehow, take a big step out of my comfort zone. I made a lot of mistakes on that trip. I made a lot of mistakes on the trip after that. But it was never about me. There was work to be done.
I will most likely continue to make mistakes concerning being a leader and missionary, but God’s working is evident.
What does this all lead to? Well, you’ve got me. Like any excellent author, the puzzle pieces are all there and essential, but the picture is yet to be revealed. We are called, however, to trust in the one who is writing our story, and if you get a nudge in one direction, don’t ignore it. It may just be the step in the right direction that you need.
5 Trust in the Lord with all your heart,
and do not lean on your own understanding.
6 In all your ways acknowledge him,
and he will make straight your paths.
Two of the team members have arrived safely to Landstuhl, Germany. The others arrive tomorrow, so you can pray for consistent safety in travel. Once they are here and somewhat rested, we will be discussing further plans for the trip as a whole. This includes organizing the VBS material for Trinity Reformed Church’s Switzerland family camp next week.
Also, keep the other RP Missions teams in your prayers as well. I have several goods friends also currently traveling, doing kingdom work all over the world.
If you want more information on RP Missions, visit rpmissions.org.
If you want to continue to support me financially for these trips, visit http://rpmissions.org/donate.