In 43 days, I’m leaving the USA once again to spend the rest of the summer in Colombia.
(*insert emoji of monkey covering his eyes*)
When I served in the Dominican Republic in 2013, God taught me a lot of things. I could literally write a book with the good and the bad (and the really bad) things I learned about short-term missions during my time there. I became cynical. I questioned a lot about Americans and the American church and whether mission trips were even a good thing. The Lord taught me more than I ever expected in that time, and I vividly remember one night, during the last week I was there, the Lord speaking to me through prayer about these things. It was difficult to explain then, and it’s still difficult to explain now, but He was saying to me that night that I was done. Done with short-term missions, done with these comfortable, almost easy trips that I had done so many times now. I could feel Him calling me into something bigger, but I wasn’t sure what. So I came home, and if we fast forward a year and a half (you can read about that here), that’s where this story picks back up:
A couple months ago, I met someone who unintentionally reminded me of the Lord’s call on my life to serve Him and His people. I finally scheduled a meeting with Dustin, Hebron’s missions pastor, to talk about options and next steps. Dustin is one of the most inspiring and awesome people I have ever had the privilege of knowing, and it brings me joy that he spends so much of his time investing in others in order to advance the Kingdom of God — investing in ME, making time for me and helping me figure things out. So on a Tuesday morning, Dustin and I sat in his office and talked through options for me. One of my greatest concerns in going anywhere was that I don’t want to go somewhere where someone is finding a job for me to do — I want to go because someone like me is needed. So Dustin mentioned a missionary he works with who is working in local schools in a few different communities, teaching English in the Bible, working to plant churches and raise up leaders to be able to lead these communities to know, love, and serve our Lord. Colombia. What did I think of going to Colombia?
Funnily, for several years, I’ve been dying to go to Colombia, and I had no real reason why. Dustin prayed with me in his office that day, told me he would talk to the pastor in Colombia, and encouraged me to continue to pray about it. Thirty minutes later, I received this text message: “I just talked to Pastor Aby. He stands astonished and amazed by God once again. He said they have been praying for someone just like you to help with the discipleship and to help in the local schools they are doing ministry with. God is so good.”
God IS SO GOOD. So after prayer, figuring out logistical information, etc., my plane ticket is booked and on June 8th, I will be on my way to two months serving the Lord in Colombia. After that? Who knows. I just know I never want to take lightly Jesus’ command to go and make disciples of all nations. As David Platt said during Secret Church on Friday night, “The inevitable reality is that the beauty of the gospel creates a burden for mission.” Christ died so that we may LIVE and I can’t wait to share that good news in Colombia and beyond.
(If you’re interested in learning how you can support me financially in going to Colombia, shoot me a message or a text! I am so appreciative of both prayer and financial support for this trip)