Monday, June 17, 2013

Confirmation of Inadquacy

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!

1 comment:

bkwormgirl44 said...

Thank you for sharing this. It reminds me of my own struggle with inadequacy going into leading a RYM team...and I needed that reminder today...

I learned about five years ago at the end of my last Czech trip that its ALL about OBEDIENCE. That's how we find ourselves in the middle of God's will. Just simply obey God. Do what he says, when he says to do it, immediately. I still struggle with this DAILY...but I know the truth and it makes me get there faster :). Doing RYM was one of the hardest, best, most incredible things I have ever done.

By the way, I think we in the US get CAUGHT UP in thinking that there is a higher standard for youth ministry here. I learned this truth through RYM as well. Its the same everywhere...teens want to be loved, they want to be known and they want their questions answered. Its pretty simple really. Does that mean I don't get caught up in making it look Does that mean I don't find myself trying to keep up with the Jones' in my job...nope. Does that mean I don't drool over the pyrotechnics, acrobatics and illusions some youth groups are able to pull off...nope. But, when I remember it really comes down to sitting next to a girl and OBEDIENTLY saying the words that God is placing on my heart to them...and finding out as her eyes tear up and she turns to hug me that those were exactly the words she needed...sometimes firm, sometimes soft, sometimes words of remembering, sometimes words that just make her laugh.

Or seeing the silly grin of joy on the face of a kid who is playing a stupid little kids game...because even as a teenager they still love little kids games (take musical chairs, duck duck goose and red light green light for example). Or giving them a goal to meet and if they meet it giving their leaders a pie in the face...seems like that is still a great motivator world wide.

But, just comes down to the simple fact that its all about OBEDIENCE...and it doesn't have to be with could be in the business world, on the streets of Chicago, in my own back yard, in an alley in Prague, Czech Republic or on my living room couch next to my everything...OBEDIENCE lands us in the blessings of God...and that is EXACTLY when we hear that 'this is where I am supposed to be' voice.

Thank you for reminding me of this. I know I need that reminder...lots right I begin the trek into an intense season.

Blessings! Amy Pavlo...