On A Mission(?)


La Fortuna, Areanal Costa Rica

Image by Wha'ppen via Flickr

I may be going to Costa Rica.

Or, I may not.

I’ve mentioned once or twice on here that there’s been a chance that I would be participating in a mission trip to Costa Rica this year. I’ve held off from writing too much about it, waiting until I knew a little bit more before “formally announcing” it.

I thought that post would come today. I got my first contribution for the trip two weeks ago. I turned in my official paperwork on Friday. I was supposed to get the trip information to really begin fundraising yesterday. So today was going to be the blog post announcing that I’m going, and telling how people could give financial support.

This isn’t that post.

It’s been an interesting journey. As I’ve written before, I’ve never had a heart for missions, I’ve never felt like it was something I was gifted or called to do. But much earlier this year, I began to feel like maybe I was supposed to look into it. When I did, I was immediately presented with the opportunity for this trip, and felt like I was supposed to pursue it. And I did. All the while, not knowing exactly what it meant; whether I was really being called to go on a mission trip, or whether I was just being called to get over myself and be willing to go. As time went by, however, I gradually progressed from being willing to go to wanting to go. However, I maintained cautious optimism, expecting that it might not work out.

I guess late last week was the point where I finally let myself believe, hey, this might actually happen. Cool.

The mission trip would be in October, through Asbury Methodist Church in Madison. One of my concerns about missions is that my skill set and giftings really aren’t in the areas that one normally associates with missions. The idea of me trying to help build a church is rather frightening, and, to be perfectly honest, I’m lousy at evangelism. I have never really had a heart for it, and when I take spiritual gifts tests, I score remarkably low. Like, you-couldn’t-score-any-lower low. I’ve long felt bad about it, because evangelism is one of those things that a one-size-fits-all church teaches that everybody should do. It’s only been very lately that I’ve started growing into the idea that, you know, actually, that’s not the way God made me. And He probably knew what He was doing when He made that call.

This trip, however, is about helping a church down there develop and grow its singles ministry. Including but not limited to a divorce support ministry. And, yeah, you know, that sounds a little more “me.”

But yesterday … Well, I didn’t find out that the trip may not be happening. Right now, the possibilities on the table are a slight chance that only two people would go, and a somewhat greater chance that three of us would go and be down there for three days instead of six. And I’m not sure how interested I am in that latter possibility, which means there’s a possibility that it may not happen at all.

Right now, I’m taking it on faith. This entire time, I’ve not been focused on how this story ends, but just on doing what I feel like I’m supposed to do as it proceeds. From the outset, I was open to the possibility that God had plans for this story that didn’t include me going to Costa Rica, and I’m trying to stay open to that possibility even if I now really want to go.

In the meantime, prayer would be appreciated — that it works out as it should, and that I know what I’m supposed to do. (Yeah, yeah, I know the latter is really sufficient — He’s going to work it out the way He wants even if I don’t ask Him to, but it can be reassuring knowing people are praying that, you know?)

And the story continues …

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