Go therefore....to South Africa!
“Therefore, go and make disciples of all the nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father and the Son and the Holy Spirit. Teach these new disciples to obey all the commands I have given you. And be sure of this: I am with you always, even to the end of the age.” Matthew 28:19-20
The Great Commission. It’s the last thing that Jesus commanded of His disciples in the Book of Matthew. It wasn’t a suggestion, and it wasn't a recommendation. It was a simple command to “Go.” But how? But where? But when? These are the questions I asked myself about two years ago, sitting in the Outreach Office at Calvary Chapel. After coming home from my second short term trip to South Africa for a course in sports ministry, I knew the Lord was calling me back, but this time it was different. He was calling me to lay aside everything that I knew as “comfortable.” He was calling me to let go of my legalistic, controlling, and impulsive kind of lifestyle so I could hold on to Him instead.
But how? But where? But when?
My life from that point on went from a safe and selfish one to a life of reckless abandonment real quick, and it started with Patmos. I applied and got accepted to Patmos for the first time in 2010, but at the very last minute, the Lord told me to wait. Wait for what? It made no sense… until 2014 when I was called to attend Patmos as preparation for my new calling and journey back to South Africa as a long term missionary. Before God could actually send me, He had to change me, shape me, and grow me. It would be nearly impossible to love someone else freely and openly with grace, if I couldn't even allow the Lord love me Himself. So He stripped me of my desire to earn and deserve, and He began the process of setting me free by His Word and giving me a newidentity. It was hard. It still is hard, but God is so faithful. He never breaks a promise, He never gives up on pursuing us, and He never leaves us to do life on our own.
As I sit in the Heathrow Airport in London on my way to South Africa for an 11 month journey of coaching and discipling the youth through soccer, I am reminded of how the Lord asked me to wait…multiple times. To wait to be healed, to wait for my visa, and to wait for direction. Was it according to my plan or preferred timing? Nope, not even close, but it was greater than anything I could have asked for or imagined on my own. During this “waiting season” had the opportunity to lead a women’s bible study at a halfway house. It softened my heart and opened my eyes to the Lord’s role as my loving Father.
...it was greater than anything I could have asked for or imagined on my own.
My visa arrived the day of my departure, and after a month of being in and out of the hospital for surgeries, I was cleared by my doctors to leave the country. He's sending me to coach a sport that I love with one of my closest friends, and He is counting me worthy to be His hands and feet. That’s grace, and thats something that awes me about Him each day.
Follow Sam on her journey of faith by visiting her blog at OneHeart2Worlds.com