Standing at the back of a summer missions conference, the speaker asked for everyone who would be going on a mission trip to come on stage. My college friend, Amy, standing next to me said, “Let’s go!” Surprised that she would think that I was interested or even had the money to leave my home country was written all over my face. I said, “You signed up and are going, not me. I will wait here while you go up there.” After several begging attempts, I reluctantly let her drag me onto the stage. I stood in front of 100 students thinking, “Why am I up here? Where is this country? I don’t have $1500 to pay for this trip. I haven’t even been asked to join the trip. What is happening?”
My brother and I were raised by a beautiful, hardworking mother who gave up a lot to ensure we had what we needed. Twenty dollars was a lot of money to us, much less $1500, for my 18-year-old brain to comprehend.
My friend encouraged me to join the fundraising efforts with the team to secure the funding I needed. If it was that easy to raise money, then why didn’t we have more missionaries in the field? Oh, well, I thought, let’s try it.
Six months later I had several paper cuts, sticky envelope paste taste in my mouth from sending support letters, several layers of sunburns from the cash washes, and $100. All I could do now was pray and hope for the rest.
One week before I boarded the plane I found myself at home visiting friends and family. My youth pastor came to see me and hear about this exciting new opportunity. I graciously shared that I would not be going because I needed $1400. He said, “Well, let me take care of the rest.” What!!?? Do you know any youth pastors who have $1400 laying around to give to a college student? Not likely. He wasn't suggesting that the church cover the costs either. This was coming from his own pocket or should I say, “God’s pocket.” You see, he went out the next day, sold his truck for $1500, and gave me $1400.
Even now as I’m writing this seems crazy, unlikely, and way too generous. Usually, when it looks like this, God’s hand is right in the middle of it all. God orchestrated my friend dragging me to the front stage, my youth pastor selling his truck to fund the trip, and even the $100 in fundraising efforts.
I had never been on a plane before, never left the USA, and never experienced a miracle like this before. Upon returning to the USA, as soon as the wheels of the plane hit US soil, I felt the Lord say to me, “Khristina, this is only the beginning.”
This is where my journey to the nations began. Sixty countries on five continents later, I’m thankful for my friend who had the courage to push me out of my comfort zone and my youth pastor who took a step of faith with me.
This is the last post for Beautiful Journey of Grace as we start a new journey to places that no man or woman has ever gone before now.
If you're interested in joining the next journey, email me at firstname.lastname@example.org.
If the journey seems too adventurous for you now, be on the lookout for a book in the future.