Deanna dreamed of the day she would become Mrs. to the Rev. Jeffery Radisson. Plans were made right down to the last detail, she had covered every base. They would live in the suburbs, and two children would make them a perfect family. A week before the big day arrived, like sticking a pin in a balloon, her bubble burst. Her detailed plans shattered like glass.
“Deanna I have something I need to tell you.” Jeff put his arm around her.
Deanna cuddled next to Jeff hanging on to his every word.
“God is calling me to be a missionary.”
“Jeff! What are you talking about? That’s not what we planned.”
“I have prayed, pleaded with God, I don’t want to disappoint you, but I must answer His call.”
“I don’t know what to say. I had no idea you were even thinking about doing this. I don’t see myself living in a foreign country somewhere.”
“Deanna, we will work side by side bringing the gospel to the lost, this is the life God is calling us to.”
“It means we can’t do all we planned. How long would we have to stay? Surely, we can’t have our children there?”
“I don’t have the answers. Will you pray about it?”
“Yes. But, please take me home.” Deanna pulled her sweater around her.
Tears washed down her cheeks as she saw her dreams evaporate. Deanna prayed, when she felt His prompting to go, she pleaded with Him. “This isn’t the way it’s supposed to be.” For the first times in her life she doubted God, her soul felt empty. “Why would you do this to us? I don’t understand Your ways.” The fact remained, she was in love with Jeff.
“Jeff, it’s me. I’ve made a decision. In the words of Ruth, ‘where you go, I will go.’ I don’t understand His ways. I can’t say I feel elated about this, but I will go.”
“I love you so much.” His relief was tethered with concern.
Their big day arrived, exactly as Deanna planned, she look like a princess in her flowing gown. The “I do’s” were exchanged, and the celebration lasted into the evening. The band played as the bride and groom said their farewells.
“Sweetheart, don’t cry.” Jeff tried to comfort her.
“I can’t believe we’re waiting to board a plane taking us away from our family and friends.”
“Everything will be okay, He’ll send His Angels to prepare our way.”
“I love God with all my heart. He didn’t call me directly to go to a mission field, but He did call me to be your wife. I’m feeling a little sad, a little lost right now. I need a little time to become accustom to His design.”
The boarding call came. Deanna and Jeff found their seats, at the back of the plane.
After boarding a second smaller plane, which seamed none too safe, they finally arrived at their destination.
“All I want right now is a hot shower.” Deanna said.
The man threw the bags on top of the dilapidated old bus. The ride was bumpy, hot and long. Stepping off the bus they were surrounded by makeshift huts. Greeted with joyfulness by the missionaries, Mark and Georgia Evans, who were relieved to see the much needed help arrive. Confusion and shock was clearly exposed on the faces of Deanna and Jeff.
“Come on we will give you the grand tour.” Georgia showed them around the place they would now call home.
That night nestled in their hut, little did they realize this would be home for the next twelve years.
“Hi sweetheart, Mark showed me around today. I never imagined the reality of seeing conditions like these, people hungry and sick. It’s heartbreaking. How did your day go?”
“I spent it at the orphanage. Jeff, their little faces. They’re hungry, with clothes ragged and dirty. But those bright smiles, they wrapped tight, right around my heart. I want them to never feel hunger again. I want to teach them about Jesus. Why would God send me, I feel so unworthy?”
The tears came as she thanked God for the privilege of helping these precious children.
“The need is great, and we answered yes to His call”
“I thought of the words found in the twenty-third Psalms, a couple of times today.” Deanna opened her bible and read aloud.
“He restores my soul;
He leads me in the paths of righteousness
For His name sake.” Psalms 23:3 NKJV
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