Last week we were missionaries and youth leaders for the Iowa Holiness Association Camp Meeting in Oskaloosa, Iowa. When we were first asked to lead the youth services twice a day for an entire week, we were extremely nervous to say the least. We're not pastors and we've never worked with youth—at least not here in the U.S. where the standard is quite a bit higher than with our students at El Sembrador. But we knew God wanted to stretch us and we couldn't deny that, however it turned it out, this opportunity would be an excellent learning experience. But we just couldn't shake the feeling that we were completely inadequate for the job. So it was with great trepidation and fear that we packed our bags and made our way to Iowa.
Discouragement is something every missionary faces when raising financial support. We're coming up on the 3-year anniversary of the beginning of our Home Ministry Assignment (HMA) and we had expected to be back in the field months ago. It is in this type of situation that doubt and confusion set in and we wonder if we're really in the will of God. We question our lack of funding and look for signs that maybe we've misinterpreted the Lord's direction in some way. In short, we think about giving up.
Of course, the week went better than we could ever expected and we were so blessed by our time with the young people God put in our path. On the last evening as I sat in the final chapel listening to the evangelist's last message, a thought flitted through my mind: "This is what you were made to do." A simple sentence. A tiny little spark of encouragement. A undeniable peace in a doubtful and chaotic heart.
When we climbed into the car to head back to the hotel for the night, I shared this little moment with Steve. He looked at me like I'd just told him we'd won the lottery and a grin broke out across his face. Then he explained. As he sat listening to the evangelist's final message, a quiet voice whispered in the back of his mind: "This is where you're supposed to be."
The truth is we are completely inadequate for the job we've been given. But Our God is with us and He has a plan. This week He taught us to stop questioning what we can do for the Lord and start marveling at what He can do through us. Out discouragement has been replaced with excitement at what He will do next. So we press on toward the goal God has given us and we look forward to the day we can celebrate His miraculous provision on the airplane to our adopted home in Honduras!