If you ever had a dream come true, you likely know the exact day and time it happened. It’s logged in your memory, impossible to forget.
A dream of mine came true last Tuesday, January 9, 2018 at 5:03pm. That is when I saw the email. Technically the email had been sent the night before and therefore my dream came true at that point, but I didn’t see it until the aforementioned moment above. So it was 5:03pm on a Tuesday evening when the dream became reality.
I had been accepted.
I should probably start at the beginning. I’ve wanted to share this for over 5 months, but felt it was best to hold back until it was confirmed. The last thing I wanted to do was explain to everyone if I didn’t get approved.
In July, I went on a short term mission trip (12 days) to the Czech Republic. I have been passionate about missions for a little more than a decade. Before the Czech Republic, I was part of 5 previous short term missions.
I first dipped my toe in the missions pool when I was 16; I joined a youth group from a church I didn’t attend on a trip to Pennsylvania, where we spent a week painting and repairing houses for those who couldn’t afford to do it themselves.
The next mission trip I participated in wasn’t until I was 26 years, when I went to Romania for 2 weeks to work with orphans. After that experience, I knew it was something I wanted to do for the rest of my life.
I continued to do short term mission trips, but in the back of my mind, and deep in my heart, I imagined the day when I would be a full time missionary.
I had no idea what that would like, nor did I know where I wanted to go.
Until July 2017.
Nearing the end of the team’s time in Czech Republic, I started to realize that I didn’t want the mission to end. I wasn’t ready to return to Canada. And as I sat on a bench in the mountains of this beautiful country, God whispered to me, “Don’t worry. You’re coming back.”
His voice was so clear that I was tempted to turn around to see if someone was standing behind me.
In the Czech Republic, we were working with a family who have been missionaries there for over 20 years. That night I looked up the organization they are partnered with, TEAM, to see what opportunities there were.
I prayed for a while that night as God’s message spun around my mind. By the next morning, I not only felt God telling me I’d be returning, but I realized the next time I would be there, I would be staying for a long time.
Returning to Canada, I had no doubt in my mind. However, before moving forward, I talked to my parents, as well as the executive pastor (my boss) and the senior pastor at my church/work. Their support and encouragement affirmed the message God had given me.
A few days later, on the TEAM website, I put in a request for application.
The application process was long and intense. They were forms to fill out, Biblical and belief questions to answer, references needed, a medical exam, blood work, an X-Ray, a 5 hour assessment test, and interviews to go through. I was warned the application process takes most people 6 months to a year to complete.
I did it in 4.5 months.
My direction was clear. I knew what I wanted. I knew where I was supposed to go.
Then came the waiting.
And on Tuesday, January 9, 2018 at 5:03pm, I got my answer. I was officially appointed as a TEAM missionary.
I was still at work when I saw the email. My co-worker was just exiting her office to leave for the day, and I ran up to her, tears already falling, and shoved my phone her face.
“Look! I got accepted!”
She held me as I cried and laughed.
Next I interrupted a meeting between the senior pastor and his assistant, who is my closest friend at work. Still crying, I shared my exciting news.
Then I bolted out of the office for my sister’s house, where my parents were watching my niece and nephew. I alternated between laughing and crying throughout the 10 minute drive.
When I burst through the door, and both my parents came into view, I again shared my news. More laughter and tears ensued, along with hugs.
As I approach the week mark of having been accepted, I think the news is only now settling in. The first few days were emotional and overwhelming.
Now it feels real.
I have been appointed as a missionary, a dream I’ve had for more than 10 years.
I am officially moving to the Czech Republic at some point in the future.
God is good.
Of course the journey has only begun, and a lot needs to happen before I step on a plane. But I am so ready for what lies ahead – all of the emotions, all of the challenges, all of the joys, all of the struggles.
I know this is what I am supposed to do.
I know this is where God wants me.
I will keep writing about this experience as things move forward. I hope you’ll keep reading.
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