Previous Challenge Entry (Level 1 – Beginner)
Topic: Missionary (10/19/06)
TITLE: "I Quit"
By Karen Polk
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“Joe, you’ve got to let me quit!” I declared as I walked into the office of my campus pastor, whom I worked for. “I’ve got to go back and there’s no time to waste. The people are so eager to hear! I must not pass up the opportunity while their hearts are open to the gospel. Please, Joe, you must understand.”
With the usual gentleness in his voice, Joe shared his understanding of my heart’s desire. He expressed his delight at my enthusiasm to return to the country I had just come from. However, my decision to quit college could not be based on the emotional feelings that were raging in my heart at the present moment. With wisdom from my pastor, it was decided that I should spend time in prayer and seek God’s further direction for my life. In the meantime, college would probably be the best thing. This, for the moment, was more Joe’s decision than mine. He was probably right.
After mindlessly finishing the tasks Joe had for me to do in his office that morning, I left to return to my dorm room. As I walked across campus that misty day, my mind drifted back to that first time when I was so sure of God’s calling for me to take a summer mission’s trip. The evangelist at church one Sunday had shared his own missions stories. My heart raced at the possibility of being a missionary and sharing the gospel. I couldn’t believe I was thinking such a thing. Me, of all people! I was always known as the shy one, the quiet one who spoke only when called upon. Me, go on a missions trip? What was I thinking? And yet, the minute the altar call was given that Sunday, I was the first to dash to the front. It was as if I couldn’t get there fast enough.
From that moment on, it all seemed to happen so fast! The excessive amount of paperwork, the support letters and money, the excitement in the air as I shared with all I knew that I was actually doing this, me, little ole’ me who hardly could talk to others in public, was now talking so much about this trip that the smile on my face seemed to be almost permanent. The comments from others on the glow that shone about me only did more to excite my heart. I could hardly hold back from running across campus to my classes that Spring as I looked forward to the arrival date of departing to the country I had been assigned, Curacao, a small island off the coast of Venezuela .
After arriving and receiving a very warm welcome from the locals in the church there, the next three weeks had become a whirlwind it seemed of evangelistic outreaches in many different forms. However, I shall never forget the second day a small group of us drove into one of the villages that we had gone to the day before. As we arrived, we saw yet another sight that amazed us! The people had come to us! News of the Americans in their village the day before had spread like wildfire and they wanted more of what we had to share. I had never seen anything like this before. My heart leaped with joy at being a part of this ministry. Many of those precious people came to accept the Lord Jesus into their heart that day.
By the end of our three week stay on that island, two hundred fifty people had accepted Christ and many of them baptized in the town river. So many had been involved in witchcraft and were now set free! Oh, the joy that overflowed in our hearts!
It was so hard to have to say goodbye to the friends we had made there.
The raindrops I felt on my face brought me back to reality. I quickened my pace as I neared my dorm. I had exams to study for. My heart yearned to put in a call to the missions board instead. But I knew Joe was right. I needed to pray and seek God’s direction. In the meantime, this campus could be my mission field. I had lots to share. There was no time to waste. The students around me needed Christ too. Yes, I was going back on the mission field, right in my “own backyard!”
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