Summer of 2011, that’s when my life was changed. As an adoptive parent, I frequented adoption group gatherings. It was there that I met a fellow adoptive parent that had an entire wardrobe of fundraising t-shirts and always wore the infamous paper bead necklaces. Her Facebook feed was full of videos and photos of her in Africa loving on children. I was intrigued. She was a Visiting Orphans team leader.
I traveled on my first mission trip to Uganda with her. I never thought someone like me could go on a mission trip. I seriously thought mission trips were reserved for bible students and “those” crazy Christians that gave everything away and lived in a bush. I didn’t realize that someone like me, a mom of young kids who had NO memory verses in my vocabulary, could go on a mission trip. I was intimidated at first. I thought all of my team members would be early versions of Mother Theresa. Ha...it’s funny to think back on. It was that summer, while walking in the red Ugandan dirt, that I felt the Spirit of God telling me, “this is it...this is your home.”
What do you mean “this is my home?” My husband is in the military and I have small kids. I didn’t know what the big, full picture looked like, but I began the steps toward following that calling. I attended Visiting Orphans Leadership Training and led my first team in the summer of 2012. All the pieces of my life started to make sense.
In my mid-thirties, I began to see the blurry puzzle start to form a picture. I realized that everything, EVERYTHING led me to THIS! Being a teacher, working for a non-profit, owning a business, learning about off grid living, being an adoptive parent...they all prepared me for my current ministry...leading Visiting Orphan teams!
Without a shadow of doubt, I know that leading teams to Uganda is EXACTLY where He wants me. Getting people there, and to experience life change is what I was put here to do. Ministering to my team before, during and after a trip is my passion. “What’s next?” is something I often ask my team members. “How is God using this experience in you?”
I smile when my team members get it, when God begins to work in their hearts. I praise Him when they too hear a call on their lives. There is always something next, and for everyone it’s different. But being obedient in that is what is key. Going is the first step. Getting people there...that is my calling!