Good Enough Reason for Me- Eliza Craymer, Short-Term Volunteer

I am from a small town right outside of Richmond, Virginia and I never had a heart for missions abroad until my sophomore year of college. I felt the Lord loudly telling me to go to Africa. I felt like there were bold hints and in your face directions everywhere I turned.  I was able to go on my first trip in 2012 where my heart fell in love with a continent and people far more deeply than I thought it would.  After returning to the States and quickly jumping back into the routine of life, I began to fill my days with worrying about graduating and lining up a job for the year after.  The Lord blessed me by bringing me back to Richmond after college and providing for me a full-time job as a dance teacher.  Throughout the year, I began to quietly feel a nudging from the Lord that He had something better for me. There were no loud clear signs this time, but a quiet whisper that I brushed off time and time again.  I finally gave in and started to pray about where He wanted me.  Doors were opened quickly and I was able to spend a month in Labakhetsiwe Toddler Home eating, playing, singing, sleeping and breathing with toddlers whose stories were full of heartache and unfair experiences.  As the month continued I was not only able to know the children by name and face, but also by personality, giggle, or even their cry.  The heartache and unfairness of each child’s story began to dissolve into healing and restoration.

Throughout the month, Jesus started to heal me as well and allowed me to catch a glimpse at how He looks at each of His children.  The Lord used each child to teach me more about Himself and His personality. “Let the little children come to me, and do not hinder them, for the kingdom of God belongs to such as these. Truly I tell you, anyone who will not receive the kingdom of God like a little child will never enter it.” Luke 18:17. While there, I began to feel a realization that my God could be calling me into long-term missions.  I automatically freaked out and did what I do best, which is over analyze.  I began to think through every scenario and desperately pleaded with the Lord that maybe I heard Him wrong.

The thing is He doesn’t make mistakes. He doesn’t have to over analyze and freak out. He knows what is best for us and when He calls us to do something outside our comfort zone He provides us a peace that brings comfort and assurance that He will always be by our side. Being called to a new place, new people, and new life is challenging and scary, but life with Jesus is challenging and scary and always worth it.  After fervently praying about God’s calling to long-term missions, I began to trust that Jesus is sovereign, good and above all else His plan and timing are perfect.  Praying has become like breathing for me and right now I am supposed to be right here in Richmond.  But there is an itch in my soul that desires the adventure, challenge, and scary life with Jesus and I know He is preparing me for when He sends me.  Above all else, I learned to trust and say “yes”. No matter the change in life, scenery, people, technology, housing, friendships, distance, etc. the reason I will go when and if He chooses to send me is because I was called; and that’s a good enough reason for me.

Be strong and courageous. Do not be afraid or terrified because of them, for the Lord your God goes with you; he will never leave you nor forsake you.”

Deuteronomy 31:6

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