I can still remember watching the ‘Fasten Your Seat Belt’ sign come on. As the plane began to descend through the clouds, never would I forget my first glimpse of the Andes Mountains. As the wheels of the plane hit the runway, my stomach was filled with butterflies as we landed at the tiny airport in Quito, Ecuador. As a summer missionary, I experienced so many ‘firsts.’ Riding on a train to the coastal city of Guayaquil, seeing bananas, bamboo and coconuts grow along the road were new to me. Living in another culture opened my eyes to so many things I had taken for granted while living in the States. No longer could I communicate with those I passed on the street. I had never seen anyone really wash their clothes in the same river they bathed in. And the roads were so treacherous, you prayed as you rode along that you wouldn’t veer off into the deep ravines. The smells and sounds of the marketplace reminded me daily I was not in America. I soon learned how hospitable the Indians were. Invited over for dinner, I watched a little boy catch their pet guinea pig (which had been running around inside the mud hut) and proceed to roast him over an open fire. You guessed it, that’s what we had for dinner.
Summer passed by quickly and soon I was back on the merry-go-round of life again. Yet deep inside my soul, a fire had begun to burn. It was something I couldn’t explain. It was my first experience of hearing God’s call. There are days in all of our lives which take us by surprise. No voice shouts from heaven, no writing suddenly appears in the sky. Most often, it is in looking back that we realize the way our lives were impacted. I now understand. Challenged by God’s call on my life, I knew I could never again settle down to the comfortable, the mediocre and boring. I knew I couldn’t go back – even if I wanted to. I had begun to understand that we are never more ourselves than when we are fully stretched in answer His call.
Have you answered His call?