It was a wonderful time of the year…The most wonderful time of the year, if you ask me, although it has absolutely nothing to do with Christmas or Winter and everything to do with Summer. Any ideas what I’m talking about? YD camp, of course! 🙂
To catch you up on events:
Early in 2012 I received an information brochure and application for Mission Experience from Young Disciple. I read over it and asked my Mom what she thought (She totally thought I should go!) and then placed it in my drawer. I wanted to forget about it because the idea of going overseas was terrifying.
Yet I was constantly nagged by the thought that this was something God wanted me to do. This nagging got unbelievably worse when I went to YD camp last year. I did my best, I could not forget it.
Now for the story…’Twas the most wonderful time of the year:
I arrived at camp on Sunday extremely excited! It was an amazing two weeks (of course!), but all throughout those weeks I was trying very hard to ignore everything shouting at me to surrender to God and apply to go on ME (Mission Experience). I finally did that when, during choir, Mr. Tony asked which of us would like to introduce the song “I Will Go”.
No one else was volunteering–and I certainly wasn’t! But there’s something about wanting to do things to make others happy that is very powerful in driving a person to do things they didn’t want to do. 😉 I nervously raised my hand, agreeing to speak in front of way-too-many-people for me to stay in my comfort zone.
He put my name down for the program Sabbath afternoon and I was stuck. If there is one thing I won’t do, it’s tell you to do something I refuse to do myself. So if I have to remind you of the Great Commission and urge you to go and fulfill the mission Christ has for you, I also have to give in and fulfill my mission.
The thought constantly in my mind for the next couple days was: “How can I introduce the song ‘I Will Go’ without saying ‘I Will Go’?” You would not believe how ridiculously hard I tried to figure that out–from asking Mr. Tony, to asking my unit counselor and even the head girl’s counselor…It was unavoidable.
So that Sabbath afternoon, as I introduced the song for choir, in my heart I told God “I will go.”. As soon as I got home, I filled out the application and sent it in. Long story short, I was accepted and started on the fundraising journey.
In the beginning I was very excited to see what the Lord would do in and through me–the miracles He would work–as I sought to raise the funds needed for the trip. But, as so often happens, I soon became discouraged by the disbelief surrounding me and began to wonder if it was really possible.
A few people had asked me what would happen if I wasn’t able to raise the whole amount that I was supposed to raise and I had to tell them I had no idea. I told my parents this and they advised me that I should call YD and ask them. I didn’t really want to (have I mentioned that I’m terrible at phone calls?), but ended up calling anyway.
I’m so thankful that most–if not all–of YD staff are perfectly willing to have mostly one-sided conversations, if you can’t figure out what to say! I tried to call Mr. Ted, but he wasn’t there so I just called the main office number and ended up talking to Mr. (Will) Evert. Here’s the gist of our extremely encouraging conversation.
I asked Mr. Evert what would happen if I was unsuccessful in my fundraising and he told me that no one had ever been unable to go because of a lack of funds–some raise more than they needed and some less, but either way God provides. I told him that was encouraging and he said “Oh, so you need encouragement too, huh?” We ended up having a rather long conversation during which he shared some awesome things with me. I’d like to share the two which have really stuck in my head ever since.
1. “When we give ourselves wholly to God and in our work follow His directions He makes Himself responsible for its accomplishment. He would not have us conjecture as to the success of our honest endeavors. Not once should we even think of failure! We are to cooperate with One who knows no failure!” –Christ’s Object Lessons, pg. 363
2.”Work hard…Pray hard…Trust hard…And God will answer prayers!” –Mr. Evert
So when we give ourselves completely to God, working faithfully for Him, cooperating with Him through prayer, and trusting in His power, God will answer our prayers–through Him we CANNOT fail!! That’s awesome!
After that I went back to my fundraising with a renewed hope and energy. God provided in so many ways and on Sunday, March 26, I was on my way with an amazing team to experience my very first overseas mission trip. Scary, but amazing…And that’s another story for another day.
Until next time,