My eyes shot open at 5am like I was zapped with a taser. I didn’t know what time it was but I knew I was late, I could just feel it. I wasn’t able to fully sleep all night because I was afraid of this exact thing happening. My alarm was supposed to go off 30 minutes earlier and my ride would be arriving any minute. This definitely wasn’t the way I wanted to start this journey. Five minutes later my phone buzzed, “I’m here” he said. I wiped the sleep out of my eye, grabbed my bags and ran out the door.
Half way to Miami International airport, we hit standstill traffic…at 5:30am. “Are you kidding me?” I said to myself. There was no way I was going to miss this flight; I was ready to get out and walk if I had to. Almost an hour later we pushed through the traffic and made it to the terminal. I’m dropped off at the departures and my heart is beating out of my chest as I wait to check in. I rushed to my gate and I make it just as the flight is boarding. I throw my carry-on in the compartment, lock my belt and sink into my seat as I embark on my 23-hour trip to the other side of the world, all by my lonesome.
How I Got Here
I had just hit 30 and I knew it was time to do something with my life. I didn’t know what it was, but I was tired of living safe and predictably. I realized that I wasn’t living much of a story and it was time to change something.
When I was invited to join a couple of complete strangers on a trip to Southeast Asia to train church indigenous church planters, I said to myself, “Well that would definitely be a change.”
I had serendipitously connected with one of the guy through Twitter who was teaching an online church planting course. I was quite interested in the process of planting a church and so when he invited me to join his weekly webinar, I jumped at the chance.
After a few months of study and discussion, he told me of some friends of his who take trips around the world to train church planters. He said if I wanted to see the process first hand, I was welcome to go with them. One phone call later, I was booking my ticket to Bangkok, Thailand.
Why It Was Worth The Risk
Most people probably thought I was absolutely insane to fly alone around the world to a third-world country, to then meet up with someone I’ve never met. Before I turned 30, I would have agreed with that line of thinking.
What I’ve learned is that until you take a risk, you will never learn what real faith looks like.
If I didn’t take this risk, I would have never had a chance to visit 3 beautiful countries (Thailand, Myanmar, Laos) in Southeast Asia. I would have never seen indigenous men and women spending time to learn how to plant churches in their own villages, towns and cities. I would never have had my entire perspective on foreign missions blown out of the water.
By stepping out in faith (preceded by MUCH prayer), I learned that I AM a risk-taker. I realized that I could overcome my fear of the unknown and trust that God is absolutely present in the things I don’t have in my control.
My first missions experience was absolutely life changing for many reasons. Aside from what God did in my heart in those countries, I learned that I always have a choice. I can either play it safe and grow marginally or worse, stay stagnant. Or I can trust Him when He speaks and step into the unknown. I learned that I would never trust God if I was always in control.
When I was able to trust God and let go of control, I experienced a brand new type of freedom in my life. And I would do it again because it was SO worth the risk.
What’s the craziest risk you’ve ever taken?