Missions wasn’t on my radar until I decided to go on a summer mission trip to Russia with Chi Alpha. After our first team meeting, I got a call that the trip to Russia was canceled, but there was an opening for me on the trip to Thailand. I didn’t know anything about Thailand and I wasn’t at all excited about the possibility, but I prayed about it, got excited, and signed up. I invested myself on the 2-week trip to Thailand that summer and cried when it was time to leave!
When I returned to America, I stressed out wondering if God wanted me to serve in missions or not. A friend shared how God knew where I’d best be used and how I could trust Him with it, so I let it go. Over time, I found myself thinking about giving a year to missions and how if I did, it would be at a certain time in the future. Basically I was planning without committing. One day I realized that all I had to do was say “yes.” It was that simple! So I did. I would give some time to missions.
Later it was time to sign up for next summer’s mission trips. I prayed about where to go and Thailand was the only trip I cried about, so I signed up for Thailand. Once I got to Thailand, I realized I hadn’t opened myself up to the Lord to go absolutely anywhere in the world to serve, so that’s what I did. That made the decision of “where” more difficult. The entire world was an option! I had the desire to return to Thailand, but I was afraid of doing something that I wanted and not what God wanted. I had only ever been to Thailand. However, I realized that I didn’t have to go different places and get all the “no’s” to get the one “yes” for location. I thought I should go where there was the greatest need — perhaps where there were no Churches or missionaries whatsoever. However, God reminded me that one lost person is just as valuable as another, regardless of location. God cares about the individual, not just the numbers.
I asked God if He minded if I returned to Thailand and He shared with me how He didn’t mind. I asked if there was somewhere He would prefer that I go, somewhere I could better be used. I heard in my mind, “Go unto all the nations.” Thailand is one of the nations, so my returning to Thailand was within the will of God. God didn’t give me the command to return, but He affirmed that I could do so.
It would have be easier for me if God gave me a command like a soldier. I wouldn’t have to choose; I could simply obey. However, God treated me more like a friend and let me choose His heart. It means more if a friend doesn’t command me to love them, but rather lets me choose to love them. God shared some of His heart with me for Thailand and left the rest to me. I learned that God doesn’t always tell me directly what to do, but He loves me, trusts me, and sometimes wants me to make my own choices in Him. So my choice was to return to Thailand and serve as a missionary associate for 2 years.