I just found out this afternoon that I am going to France August 10th - 20th with Alan and Heidi Winter of Frontline Missions! (I went with them and the Landmark Team to Honduras in April). For those of you who haven't heard my stories lately, here's a brief recap of what's been going on:
A little history...
When I was 12, the Lord called me to full-time ministry. He didn't give me any real direction, and I just assumed it would be music ministry, so I began working in that direction. When I was 17, the Lord put France in my heart. (I remember, like it was yesterday, standing in Notre Dame and having my heart crushed for the people of France). A few weeks later, I went on my first mission trip with Frontline Missions to Belize. Since then, I've been learning to listen to the Lord and seek His direction for my life. I've had the opportunity to be stretched as a musician and as a worship leader. The Lord has shown me pieces of the future ministry He has for me, and has blessed me by giving me present areas of ministry, but until recently, I've felt no strong direction as to which way I should go.
In October of last year, I started talking with Heidi Winter of Frontline Missions about working with them on a more permanent basis. I'm trying to be very patient and listen to the Lord, but I’m very excited about the prospect of working with Frontline. Alan and Heidi are the parents of one of my dearest friends and two of the most amazing people I know. The Lord has often poured out His favor on their ministry in amazing ways because they are willing to pour their lives out for Him. The trip to Honduras in April was the first trip I've taken with them since my own high school trip. I wasn't sure what to expect and I nearly backed out! The Lord had other plans though! While in Honduras, the flame for ministry and missions was fanned and began burning brighter within me.
Once home, I had a hard time sitting still and not diving completely into missions. I wasn't sure about missions to Latin America, but I have a deep love for France. At our meeting in October, Heidi mentioned France as a possible next step for Frontline. My heart about jumped through my chest when she said that. While in Honduras, God was stirring up my heart in fresh ways. I was wrestling with Him over two particular questions: 1. Really, God? Missions? Is that what You have for me? and 2. Will I continue in this journey alone? (I'm ok being alone if that's what God has for me, but I have deep seated desires for family and marriage...I just wanted to know if that was still in His plan for me somewhere). The week after I came home from Honduras, I visited a church that's a bit more charismatic than I'm generally used to. That morning, as I was getting ready, I told God that it'd be ok if He sent someone with the gift of prophecy across my path to speak a word regarding those questions. I was half joking in asking that because I had no real expectation that it could happen in a place where I knew no one. Lesson Learned - be careful what you ask from the Lord! That morning, the guest speaker was the president of World Indigenous Missions. He shared about his experience as a missionary and with the Lord and during the course of his sermon, the Lord confirmed France in my heart. I knew, in whatever capacity He allowed, I would one day help share His good news to the people of France. However, the big surprise came at the end of the service. A man stood up and shared that he had a word from the Lord. He said that there were 5 people in the congregation the Lord was specifically calling to International Missions....Two Couples and 1 Single, NOT YET MARRIED, person (emphasis mine). You could have knocked me over with a feather. I couldn't breathe! I believe that was God's way of answering both of those questions for me in an unexpected way!
After that church service, I came home and called Heidi. I told her what happened and that if they were really going to France, I was all in! Today, the beginning of that dream has come true....I'm going to France! I'm so excited, I can barely contain myself! I can't wait to see what the Lord's going to do.
I have very few details right now, so I'm a little unsure how to ask you to pray. But, there are some things I know you can pray for:
1. Pray that I will focus on continuing to learn the language. I took French in high school, but haven't really spoken it since then. I've been studying since April, but I need to ramp up my efforts and practice more.
2. Pray that God will go before us and prepare the hearts of the people. This is the first trip for Frontline and may be the beginning of teams going to France. It's all new, and I don't really know what to expect.
3. Pray that God will prepare us for the work He has for us there and that we will be open to hear and obedient to do what He says.
4. Pray for my health. I will be having some more tests done this week as I have been extremely tired for the last several months. Pray that we can get that straightened out.
Thank you so much for your prayer support! As I know more, I'll let you know. I'm excited about what God's going to do!
When I stand before God at the end of my life, I would hope that I would not have a single bit of talent left, and could say, "I used everything you gave me". - Erma Bombeck