Saturday, November 22, 2014

"My people" and the changed heart

My week-long conference ended last night, but too late to drive home. This morning, I was up before dawn, loading the car, saying my goodbyes. I had to fight back tears at leaving people I've so quickly grown to love. It's hard to believe a week could knit strangers together in such a profound way. We ate together, studied together, did homework together, and did chores together. By the end of the course, we had built a community together, as well.

The amazing thing is that we had also grown to trust each other on a deep level. Much to my surprise, I, who was dead-set against going to do mission work in one of the most dangerous places on earth, voluntarily attended information meetings on a mission deployment and requested an application. 

I meant to go to Nigeria. As I have prayed for needs there, they have become "my people", the kidnapped schoolgirls have become "my girls". I have wept countless tears over the troubles in that precious country. I intended to go to them, and still hope to, but there is a dawning realization that God just might have another plan. It turns out that my fellow students are also "my people". In a very odd turn of events, I don't want "my people" to be deployed without me. 

God is clearly doing an amazing work in this war zone, where the harvest is great and the laborers are few. Those few laborers are scooping up a harvest of souls that is astounding and, truthfully, too good to miss. This particular harvest is one we cannot afford to leave in the fields, and, much to my surprise, I find myself saying, like Isaiah before me, "Here am I, Lord, send me." 

The possibility of actual deployment is months away, and I will be seeking to know God's will. If I go, I will be certain I am supposed to go. What's amazing is how God can change a heart in such a short time. Before I went, I worried about why I might need to bring a helmet. Now, I'm wondering when I can earn a helmet of my own. 

Perhaps you, too, could do with a little heart-change. Does God have a bit of harvest with which you could help? Why not join with me in agreeing with Isaiah? "If there's a need, Lord, send me."