Every time I feel the Spirit

My brother-in-law knows how to manipulate me to make a decision. My sister and I are agonizingly slow at making up our minds, he has cleverly learned to introduce ideas to us with plenty of lead time so that we not only come around, but do so with the conviction of having thought of it ourselves.

Thus it is the more significant that for the second time in nearly 10 years, I made a snap decision without my brother-in-law's help (with relatively little uncertainty, though much trepidation) to do something uncharacteristic – that is, drop everything and go overseas.

When I saw an appeal for participants to join MB Mission’s ACTION France team, something in me rose up and said, “let’s do it!”

Those foreign forays represent two of a small handful of instances when I felt an immediate and clear sense of the Spirit’s prompting. So I’m going to France. For 5 weeks (July 5–August 9). On a French-language summer discipleship program in conjunction with Alsatian Mennonite churches.

As I prepare to go, I am reminded of a conversation I had with one mission worker I was  interviewing. He said he values prayer so highly that he would tell his supporters he didn’t care much whether or not they gave him money; what he really desired was their prayers. His entire family of multigenerational mission workers wove their conviction of the comfort, encouragement and catalyst of prayer into their conversations with me.

Their example prompts me to consider that preparation – physical, emotional, and financial – must also be spiritual, and that I must not go alone.

The program is 100% in French, a language in which I am nowhere near 100% fluent. I’m in a different demographic than most of the other participants (who will more closely resemble the young student short-termer type), so I’ll be expected to take leadership and model maturity. (And they want me to drive a car!) Frankly, I’m not philosophically convinced of the value of everything we’re going to be asked to do. Finally, there’s community – that value I espouse so highly while living alone and directing my affairs with almost total autonomy – which will surround me with five weeks of blessings and trials. Yes, there will be challenges.

So I ask for your prayers that I may turn to the Source of grace and love to find the strength to scale obstacle after setback after discomfort after mistake – and that’s just orientation week!

I ask for your prayers that I might open my heart and mind enough to learn about God, people and myself as I’m plunged into a new context with new people and a new culture.

I ask for your prayers that I might also be a blessing to those I encounter, and a mirror to reflect the glory back to God.

It's going to be a summer of learning!


Sylvia said…
Wow, Karla! Good for you. We'll be praying for you as you embark on a summer of adventure - spiritually, emotionally and physically.
kar0ling said…
Merci, Sylvia! :)

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