Below is a recent update from Trent serving in the Philippines. Continue to pray for the students serving this summer. As the summer draws to an end, pray that students will apply what they have learned through their experiences this summer. May the people they served, their families, their schools and the students individually be forever changed by God’s work in their lives this summer.
I know I haven’t updated the blog recently and for that I apologize. I want to share some of the occurrences here in the Philippines, but for the moment I’m going to share something God is saying to me. I feel it’s a great time to share so you can pray with me and keep me accountable to praying and seeking God’s will in this calling. Here it is—
On March 30 I wrote this in my journal—”I believe I am more called to the people here in the U.S. It won’t be easy by any stretch, maybe even harder with my own people. God has the power and God has a plan, let’s do it.”
Ever since I wrote this, and before, I have been praying like crazy about where I should follow God after college. Should I follow in my parents footsteps and go international? I always thought I would because that was my childhood. I almost felt as if I was opposing God if I didn’t go overseas. I felt as if I was opposing my parents. I quickly learned this to be false from both. I knew my parents wouldn’t oppose my decision to stay or go as long as I was seeking after God, and actually, my parents began to teach me through their decisions that staying was okay, it was necessary and in just as high demand. Actually, this was God teaching me through my parents, so that’s how I got my response from both.
Why did I believe going overseas was my only option? I guess I felt as if staying in the comforts of America was a cop out. That I wasn’t putting my life on the line for God. I wasn’t dropping into villages in the Amazon or seeking the large numbers of Muslims in the Middle East then I wasn’t doing anything significant for God. I’m serious, this was the thought I fumbled around with in my mind. It may seem outrageous, but if you think, yes you, you might have had the same thought. We have to go to far places, eat strange animals and learn a new language to be on mission with God. Wrong.
God said this to me—”how about you let me make the decision and I tell you where I want you?” And I said, “okay, that sounds perfect to me.” So, what is God’s decision for me? Well, I believe he has called me, as I mentioned on March 30, to work with my own people in America and to work with internationals coming into our country. Where in America? I have no idea and that detail isn’t important right now. All that I know is that God is making His call clear. That “to the ends of the earth” includes America, my home, and the people are just as deserving of the Gospel and there must be workers at home as well.
God broke through to me when we read a devotional here in the Philippines as a group. It was about our role in world evangelism and I love how it categorized and described the calling I feel. It’s called “welcoming.” For those peoples coming to America from other countries, they need to hear the Gospel and no one can share with them if everyone has left home and gone elsewhere, right? So, it made sense to me. “Welcoming” is as much a needed task as “going” is. Those internationals coming here, well, they can learn what Christ did for them, be changed forever, and return home to share. And not only is “welcoming” limited to just internationals, but we can “welcome” our own people already living America into the Kingdom of God.
So, it all came together. God put it all on my plate and asked if I wanted a bite. I’m grabbing my fork right now, and placing my napkin in my lap because it could get messy at times, but it’s gonna be the tastiest plate because God served it to me. (maybe I went overboard with the analogy)
Anyway, let me offer a passage that has comforted me in this decision. “The share of the man who stayed with the supplies is to be the same as that of him who went down to the battle. All will share alike.” 1 Samuel 30:24-5
I like this passage because it comes from a story about David and how his men are arguing about who should receive the treasures of plundering a city. And David settles the argument by saying those words, that both are important and needed. Those at home and those abroad. However, I offer a quick word of caution. For those who stay and don’t work as if they were abroad, who revel in the comforts of home and never reach out to love those in need spiritually and physically, your judgment is coming. “I know your deeds, that you are neither cold nor hot, I wish you were either one or the other! So, because you are lukewarm—I am about to spit you out of my mouth.” Revelation 3:15-16
Make sure you are called by God wherever you go. I’m sure God has called me to remain in America for now, so that’s what I will do.