Today is the seventh anniversary of surrendering to an unanticipated call on my life – that of selling off most everything, packing what was left into the back of the truck and leaving what had become my home… for?
That was the question. I really didn’t know to what or where I was beckoned but I was certain that it was necessary to be obedient to God’s prompting. For anyone who thinks it’s a relatively simple operation to pull up roots and drop your life in the Lord’s hands, turning you at will, His will, to travel where you’ve been invited to minister, the short answer is: it isn’t.
Most missionaries are prepared for a specific task in a particular place by a sponsoring church or agency. That was not the case here. Ten times I’ve been directed to travel across country, both east-west and north-south, to offer service with disadvantaged youth, disabled, elderly, widows and those suffering major illness. All of it as an independent representative of Christ.
It hasn’t been easy or without cost but it has been a blessed undertaking. Never once was it necessary to spend a night in the truck. Every single night for seven years God has given me a roof over my head and sustenance for my body as well as my spirit. Absolutely, some trips have been more challenging than others; accommodations difficult or finances nonexistent but always I have enjoyed provision for every need.
Along the way, I have had the good fortune of working with other missionaries conducting programs in churches, schools, outdoor venues and care facilities. Different congregations of diverse denominations have received me with love and support, even offering me a place to write three books in addition to the three researched novels completed before beginning this sojourn. As I type this brief retrospective, I am grateful to another Baptist church that is supplying space for me to work on the fifth novel in the series of solution-oriented, fact-based books.
Destination No. 1 upon departure in 2010 was North Carolina, looking forward to study time with my longtime Bible teacher and his wife, my dear friend and international missionary. But no sooner had I walked in the door, I was asked if I wanted to go to New York with her for a multi-purpose mission. Not having visited NYC since 1988, I had wondered how I’d get there to do background research for the fourth novel, Blood Barons. Until just that moment the means hadn’t shown itself.
Lesson? Don’t ever let anyone dissuade you that God has a plan for your life, even in the minutest fashion. Time after time over these seven years, this principle has been reinforced to where I think it’s finally sinking in.
Throughout this trek, the trusty mission truck has been kept running smoothly by amazing, generous mechanics on three different coasts (and Amsoil, of course). With more than 260,000 miles on the F-150’s odometer, it continues to carry me from place to place safely.
Sweet, supportive friends have likened this mission to an adventure, and, in more ways than I can count, it has been. But even adventures should come to a close for those of us who are really average folks that happen to embark on an unlikely journey. For this teacher and writer-editor, I suspect that mine is winding to that conclusion.
Perhaps you haven’t yet answered the call placed on your life that arrives as a niggling thought that periodically pops up; an opportunity that is a struggle to accept because it’s completely out of character; or someone who reaches you out-of-the-blue with a need you never thought qualified to fill. Whatever it is, listen. The only qualification to undertake an unexpected mission, whether abroad or in your backyard, is Faith. Can we muster that little seed of Faith God’s given us? I pray that you do. Nothing is more fulfilling than knowing you heard that still, small voice (which is sometimes a shout) and answered the call.
Former newspaper publisher, A. Dru Kristenev, grew up in the publishing industry working every angle of a paper, from ad composition and sales, to personnel management, copy writing, and overseeing all editorial content. During her tenure as a news professional, Kristenev traveled internationally as both a representative of the paper and non-profit organizations.
Since 2007, Kristenev has authored four fact-filled political suspense novels, the Baron Series, and two non-fiction books, all available on Amazon.
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