I grew up in Carbondale Assembly of God church. I didn’t live there, but at times it felt like it, as we were there every time the doors were open, plus for many years my mother was the secretary. Our church seemed to produce a lot of pastors, evangelist, and missionaries. From time to time a missionary would speak at one of the services and talk about what they were doing in “Timbuktu”.
As I listened to these men I decided I never wanted to be a missionary, so at the age of ten I made a deal with God. I told God if he wanted I would be a pastor, or even an evangelist, but please don’t ever ask me to be a missionary, and for sure, never tell me to go to Africa. The way I saw it this was a great deal for God. He could pick either of the remaining two.
Let me tell you something about God you may not know, or have never realized; God is a gentleman. He never forces his way, never knocks the door down to barge in, but rather as is stated in Rev. 3:20 he stands at the door and knocks. So God has never asked me to be a missionary, and he has never told me to go to Africa.
When I was approached about being a team member on a serving trip to Ndola, Zambia I did what every good Christian does, I replied, “I’ll pray about it.” The next day while in a local grocery store I was looking for some lunchmeat, I started crying. I started thinking about what someone in a village in Africa would have to do if they wanted lunchmeat made out of a chicken breast. In that moment my heart changed, I begin to have a burden for people in Africa, and not because they can’t run to the corner grocery store to buy lunchmeat, but rather for their souls, and in some cases the generational poverty they live with.
After getting home from the store that night, I got on my knees and asked, “God, can I go to Africa?” Later I imagined in the moment I asked God that question he laughed, and said, “What took you so long?” God is so good to us. He has a way of taking his desires for our lives and working them into our hearts, and then he sits back and waits for us to catch up to accomplishing his plan, for our lives, for our world. Later. I gotta