“Spirit lead me where my trust is without borders… Let me walk upon the waters… Wherever You would call me!” We scream it at the top of our lungs and maybe even dare to raise our hands when the music picks up and we’re feeling extra confident. For me, when I sing this song I think of myself as a missionary, sitting in the dirt, talking and laughing with a village mama. When my mind goes here, every other part of me wants to join my mind in that place, with that person, whoever she is.
Sitting in the dirt is my comfort zone.
I have always wanted to be in the nations. I remember having a conversation with my mom a couple years ago, wondering why she thought my desire to be a missionary was “just a phase.” To my surprise, not everyone wanted to spend their life in a mud hut drinking water from the nearby river.
When I think about a situation that actually requires dependency on the Spirit and trust in a God who is never going to let me down, I think of white suburbia. The two groups of people that intimidate me most are rich white businessmen dressed in suits and stunning sorority girls that have their lives put together and buy clothes at stores other than Mountain Thrift. I don’t know what it is, but these are the people that make me feel wildly inadequate and insecure.
This summer, I was planning on doing something extravagant. I signed up for a mission trip to Papua New Guinea, one of my favorite nations. I was stoked to be in the country I spent so much in time in last year, the country where God confirmed relentlessly that it was my destiny to bring His Good News to the ends of the earth for the rest of my life. I would finally be doing overseas ministry with my best friend and sister. It was a dream come true!
After one of the team meetings, I was sitting in my car and God subtly whispered that it wasn’t time for me to go back. I thought I misheard – God adores Papua New Guinea! I know I am called to be a missionary! He tells me in His Word to GO, and make disciples. This just doesn’t make sense.
But I knew it was Him.
He assured me that I would be back, but not now. In my spontaneous and green-lighted nature, I was off to researching the next possible trip. I signed up to go to Nepal a few weeks later, where I would be a photojournalist for a team going into one of the darkest nations in the world. I could not think of a more ideal place to shine the light of Christ. Furthermore, this was me stepping into what God has shared with me about introducing Jesus to people in the most spiritually oppressive places of the world.
Until God said it wasn’t my time yet.
What the heck, God! I cannot wrap my mind around Him sometimes. It’s a good thing I don’t have to. I decided to sit back for a while and sit with Jesus until He illuminated the next step, as He always does.
I sat in this place of wondering for quite some time. Friends and family applauded Lauren, my sister and leader of the trip to Papua New Guinea, for being so willing to abandon her summer and go share the Gospel with another nation. And rightfully so, that girl is awesome and so obedient to her Father. Then the question came, “Sarah, what are you doing this summer?” I have no idea. Awkward pause. “Oh, I’m sure you’ll figure something out!” Nice.
I wanted to go to another country. God wanted me to go to a country club.
Honestly, the thought of staying in America made me feel inferior. But I realized, I wouldn’t feel so inadequate if I was convinced that every single person needs the Gospel just as much as the next. I wouldn’t feel inadequate working at a country club this summer if I didn’t think it was a position inferior to hopping on a plane and spending my days in an impoverished village. I wouldn’t feel inadequate if I didn’t think the lost and lonely overseas were more valuable than the lost and lonely in my hometown.
Something needed to change in my thinking.
As I have been crying out for God to take me where my trust is without borders, I have actually been crying out for God to call me into privileged suburbia where most drive BMW’s and most are blind to their need for God. He is calling me to the very place that makes me roll my eyes with a lack of compassion and blindness myself. See, it is really easy to share the Gospel with a starving child who would never judge you. For me, it is one of the hardest things to share the Gospel with a man wearing a suit making over 6 figures a year with the perfect car, perfect house, and everything he physically needs. Why is this?
God has been stirring me up with these questions and thoughts over the past year, and I feel like the truth of the equal value of His children is finally beginning to solidify in my thinking. I know He wants to make this concrete though, and that’s why so many doors opened up to the job I have this summer. I will be working at an extremely classy country club as a poolside waitress – serving rich white businessmen and working alongside a staff of sorority girls. The perfect mission field, according to God.
Everyone is starving, whether they live in an impoverished nation or not, whether their bellies are bloated or not. People are starving for truth and love – which I happen to carry because of the Holy Spirit inside of me. Who am I to say who gets to receive it or not? Why would I choose for God which body He makes a temple? God deeply desires all men to be saved, not just the impoverished. The reality is, everyone without their Savior is dying, whether they have money or food or not. Everyone needs the Bread of Life.