>Chop Sticks, Sopwith Camels and Faith

>Life. Interrupted. Week 2 Day 1

The LORD had said to Abram, “Leave your country, your people and your father’s household and go to the land I will show you.” Genesis 12:1 (NIV)

When I was 19 years old, I packed my bags, hugged my parents at the Kansas City International Airport and traveled 36 hours to the other side of the world to serve as a short-term missionary in Hong Kong. Word of advice: a window seat is not that great. Blue sky and blue water look exactly the same. Choose an aisle seat close to the bathroom. Just sayin’.

While I was there, I had the chance to sit down with a veteran missionary, who was a legend in our church. He very quickly gave his opinion of my summer mission trip, “I don’t understand why you kids have to come check out the mission field to decide whether or not you want to become a missionary. If God has called you, then you should just come. You don’t need to see if you like it first.”

I left his office, hat in hand, ready to finish my “vacation.” Our team saw God do some pretty amazing things in the hearts of our Chinese friends that summer. Apparently, God has a much different opinion of short term missions.

That trip opened my eyes to a lot of things. Sitting here writing, I can’t believe that it was over 25 years ago. But the difference between my trip and Abraham’s was vast. I had a 747. He had a camel (and not even a Sopwith Camel). I had a place to stay, people to take care of me, food to eat, and a clear picture of what would happen. Abraham had little of that.

The biggest difference was that at the end of the summer, I knew that I would fly back home and return to college. Abraham was on a one-way trip.

Did my journey require less faith than Abraham’s? Not necessarily. God gives us the faith to accomplish the things that He puts before us.

What has God put before you? What is He challenging you with today? He will give you the faith and ability to proceed as He directs.


Scripture quotations taken from the Holy Bible, New International Version. Copyright © 1973, 1978, 1984 by International Bible Society. Used by permission of Zondervan. All rights reserved.

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