The year is 1988. Rhonda and I are sitting in church on the last day of a mission’s conference. We know what is coming next as we have attended several previous conferences.
I begin to squirm. The Holy Spirit is all over me. The battle is waging in my head. Doubts are surfacing. The enemy is pulling out all the stops. It’s a full frontal attack. I begin questioning that still small voice. I am wondering whether or not I can actually go through with the action to which Rhonda and I had both agreed.
The final moments of the conference are winding down. I am hoping Pastor Bob won’t say
what I knew he would say. It will be a nice easy way out for me. He just won’t say it and then we won’t have to do it. My squirming heightens.
Then….he says it! He invites all those who are feeling led by the Holy Spirit to go into full-time mission work to come forward. People begin to get out of their seats. I remain seated. I see more people go forward. Rhonda nudges me. It’s as if I am glued to my seat, frozen in place. Saying you are going into full-time missions and actually having to get up out of your seat in full view of your whole church are two entirely different things.
Slowly one of my knees begins to move and then the other. I find myself standing with Rhonda by my side as we slowly make our way to the altar. Tears well up as I begin to fully grasp the enormity of the situation. I am committing in my heart to sacrifice the security of the life I know for the unknown.
I know where the Lord is calling us to serve; full-time in the jails and prisons of what I think is only to be Washington State. In that moment of hesitation I hear my brain
shout a prayer, “Please Lord, anywhere but Siberia!” You see, I don’t like the cold. I don’t like the snow. Winter is my least favorite season. My favorite temperature is 82 degrees.
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