I was home alone with five small children for ten days. I encouraged him to go. He needed to go. I knew it would change his life forever.
It was his first trip to the Amazon Region of Brazil and his first experience doing jungle medicine.
It was early in the morning and my husband was getting ready for work. He had been home from Brazil for a few days and hadn’t told me much about what he experienced while doing medical mission work in the villages along the Amazon River. He was still processing and I figured he would eek out bits and pieces of his trip when he was ready.
He was in a hurry this particular morning. I was soaking peacefully in a hot bath filled with bubbles. He kissed me good-bye and on his way out the door asked, “What would you think about being missionaries in the Amazon jungle?”
I felt like a “Would you like to be a missionary in the jungle with five small children, homeschool those children in a hut, while I save all the people with medical needs” bomb had been dropped on me.
In some strange way I knew it was coming… he had taken too long to tell me about his experiences. He was changed all right. Not exactly the way I had been expecting. Certainly not in the way I had been praying.
And how could he just walk out the door and go to work? My entire day was spent in emotional turmoil. What about the kids college fund? Music lessons? Team sports? Braces? Then there’s my health, and so many other things…
By the time he got home, I was calmer. I did give him an earful about dropping the missionary bomb on me on the way out the door.
“Don’t you ever do that to me again!” He chuckled, “Okay.”
More importantly, as the evening progressed and we talked more, it became painfully obvious to me where my heart was, closed as tight as a steel drum. I was barely willing to listen to my husband and his “what if” thinking. There was no way I was willing to live in the jungle to share the Gospel with the spiritually lost.
The hard truth was, I wasn’t willing to listen to God either. This fact rocked my spiritual world. I had given my life to Christ. I thought I was committed to His will. In this area, foreign missions, my answer to God was no. I felt like He was testing my heart, and I had failed the test.
As it turned out, my husband, the adventurous soul that he was and is, was not really interested in full-time lifelong foreign missions. What interested him was short-term, third world country, medical missions. As it worked out, he has traveled to several countries over the years serving God by sharing the love of Christ by helping the poor, the needy, and the sick. He also shared the Good News of the Gospel.
It is so true:
“How beautiful are the feet of the messengers who bring good news!”
My part in all of this was to keep things calm and in order on the home front so that he was free to do what he loved and what God had called him to do.
I have learned that God’s assignment for me is nothing I need to fear. He will equip me to do whatever He wills and He will allow me to use my spiritual gifts to serve Him by serving others.
Please feel free to share with a friend or two!