OneDay 2000 – IMB – God is Amazing!

This is actually part 6 in my series on life travels. To catch up, or for this post to really make any sense, you should catch up by reading posts number one, number two, number three, number four and number five.

I worked on the volunteer staff team for Passion Conferences OneDay event in Memphis, TN in May of 2000. There were over 40,000 college students there – outdoors, camping in tents for 3 – 4 days. I already had my November trip planned for Global Missions Fellowship, but was still trying to figure out what God was wanting me to do with my life; but I had a strong feeling He was calling me into full time ministry. I didn’t know what that looked like in the area of missions and I was still trying to figure that whole thing out. Also I LOVED my job and was struggling to leave it for something I was so unsure about. I wasn’t unsure about the feeling that He was calling me, I just didn’t know what that was supposed to look like, and I wasn’t getting any kind of clear direction.

While there working {at OneDay} our leaders told us that this event was for us too. That if we needed to break away and join in on a talk or worship or whatever, to feel free to take part. I’ve really never been a part of something so anointed by God {but crazy at the same time} lol! I remember working on something near the field and hearing Beth Moore speaking about a trip she took to India. Of course it sparked my interest, India wasn’t a really popular place to go, so I stopped what I was doing and walked onto the middle of the field and listened to her.

She described her experience, and I could relate. Then she called out for those people who felt that God was doing something in their lives in the area of mission work. She said that maybe you don’t understand it, but you feel it – then she asked them to stand up. And I immediately started to tear up. It felt as if she was sent there to speak directly to me, and even though this was a college event and I wasn’t a college student. And even though I was there to just work, I had a great team leader that encouraged us to take part. So I stood up.

Then she asked other students to gather around those standing, and to pray over them. I remember standing there as people prayed over me and it was an overwhelming feeling. I realized that I just had to be patient and trust that God knew what He was doing and even if I didn’t understand, then I just needed to follow Him, one step at a time…whatever that was! And even though I didn’t know the entire “story” right then, I realized that I needed to just enjoy the journey to whatever it was He had for me.

After that experience I felt a peace come over me that I hadn’t felt in over a year as I had been struggling with what I was supposed to do with this “calling” I felt God had on my life. And even though it wasn’t panning out to what I thought it would be, I knew I needed to just trust Him and enjoy the journey.

So on this road of enjoying the journey; I decided I should really try this Baptist part of missions again…seeing that I was a Baptist. In my previous experiences with contacting/calling the International Mission Board (IMB), I never got any responses from them about a short term trip. Actually no one ever called me back after several attempts, so that’s why I found these other organizations to go with {I was pretty determined}. But I felt like I should try again, so I did, and again months went by with no return call or email.

Fast Forward…

Over that past year, I had become close friends with another young girl from my church. Her name was Becky. She had spent time in China right before I went on my first trip to India and had been feeling the same thing about God giving her a heart for the world and what that meant in her own life. We had a common bond and had become very close friends. She also worked with me at the OneDay event. While she was there she decided to attend Golden Gate Seminary in California. A lot of her work was in International Studies. She had taken some classes in ethnographic research and had recommended a lot of the materials to me. She knew I was a natural researcher of things and all that stuff would really intrigue me.

I visited her in San Francisco and she told me about some research trips with the school that she was thinking of signing up for the summer. I encouraged her to do it. We laughed and talked about how one day we needed to go on a trip together and how special that would be for both of us. We were kidding about who would give in first – my heart was in India and hers in China – so we decided that it might never happen.

Several months later, I was home {in Mississippi} and was really struggling with what to do next. I was looking for somewhere to serve for the summer. I was feeling kind of low and disconnected, no one in my church seemed to have a heart for the world and Becky was pretty much my only link, and she was away in California.

I was really searching one day asking God to show me the next step in the journey, and my phone rang {I’m not making this up – this is literally how this happened}. I answered it and it was a phone call from an IMB missionary in India. He said he was looking through some information I sent in over a year ago. I originally had been recommended to a different group for different reasons, but he said as he was looking through it, he saw where I’d listed in the line “Things that I Enjoy Doing,” where I naturally liked to research things. So he decided to pick up the phone and call me. He invited me to come do research on a particular unreached people group in Bangalore, India. Because of the nature of the research, I’d need to do it by myself. He said he felt something while reading my info and decided he needed to ask me to do it. I immediately said yes. I got more info from him, dates, etc, and we decided to talk more in the coming days.

I hung up the phone and literally my phone rang a few minutes later. It was my friend Becky calling to tell me that she was going with a team from her school to India that summer to do research on Buddhism in India. The more we talked, we realized that we were working with the SAME missionary, and that we would be there at the SAME time: SAME location…working on separate research…but together! How crazy is THAT!

We both didn’t know the other was talking to him. He didn’t know we knew each other – she was in California and I was in Mississippi. I sent the paperwork and request in a year before. WOW! We felt like this was just a little gift God was giving us.

In the next post I’ll describe an experience I had where I know God had her there with me for a very specific reason!

To be continued…

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