Russia. In just one week’s time, my feet will leave this continent yet again, and go to a place new, unknown, and unseen. My head is whirling with the nearness of it all, unable to comprehend just how soon this trip is approaching – and still more unable to comprehend how God could use me to do His work in a foreign country.
Me – that eleven-year old girl who refused to believe she’d ever want to do missions work. After receiving a scolding from an older sister who told me to pray about it at least, my response? “All right, I’ll pray about it, but I still won’t want to do it!” And even if I had the tiniest bit of interest, it would only be in European countries that drew my romantic fancy – places like France or Italy or Greece. Not Russia. Definitely not Russia. I didn’t know anything about Russia, except that they had a strange-looking alphabet. And it was really cold up there. This was the country God was preparing me to visit in the summer of 2011 … a country into which I would go and teach English of all things!
The excitement is there, don’t get me wrong. Adventure lies around the corner, just waiting to be revealed with the toss of the curtain termed “tomorrow.” I can’t wait to meet new friends, see new sights, breathe in new aromas, taste new foods, and record precious new memories. But yes, I’m also nervous and a bit apprehensive. Who am I to go into a foreign country and teach them English? What do I know about imparting my native tongue to others whose native tongue is so incredibly foreign to me? What do I know about sharing the Gospel with those who need to hear it? How could my stuttering tongue accurately portray the fullness & richness of the gift given to me?
But that’s the thing … God miraculously uses ordinary people like you and I to do His work. He doesn’t call the equipped … He equips the called. All we have to do is be faithful to His call. Don’t ignore His nudgings or push aside His promptings. Every situation He puts us in stretches our faith and draws us closer to Him … every single thing we’re unsure of, we have to trust Him more for. He knows our fears and weaknesses, and gently reminds us that that is where His strength is most perfectly found. I’m afraid of leaving behind all that I’m in charge of … I’m afraid of not having everything prepared. I’m afraid of not loving enough or giving enough … I’m afraid I won’t meet up to standards. But thanks be to God that He doesn’t expect me to be perfect – because His Son already met that perfect standard. So here I stand today merely as a flawed ambassador, just being faithful in the small things, ready to strike out and be bold about my faith because He’s asked me to. And I can’t say no to my Papa, who has given me every beautiful thing in life.
He’s got a Russian sunset prepared just for me … a mystery & secret only able to be revealed in a land across the sea. May my ears be open to His whisper as I’m whisked away on the adventure of a lifetime.