This is part three of a multi-post series, part one is here and part two is here.
Over winter break as a sophomore in college, me and my roommate decided to take winter break classes. So we hung out in an empty dorm complex together for two weeks of mini-classes. I started reading the short version of Hudson Taylor's biography. He was the first missionary to inner China. He dressed like the Chinese people--even with the long ponytail. He also sacrificed much--wives and children in addition to physical items. God was stirring my heart through reading Taylor's life and of his love for the Chinese people.
I knew I needed to go to China.
However, there were two organizations I could go with. One I knew I could go to China, but the other I would check a box that said "send me anywhere you feel led you to send me" (which meant I could be serving in downtown Dallas--NOT A BAD thing at all, in fact I was doing that already every week.) Point is I knew to be obedient I needed to go to China--so which organization do I choose? (A) I know will send me to China or (B) can send me anywhere they wanted me to go.
I choose B. Why? Because every time I prayed, God was telling me to go with B. It was another difficult decision. It is always difficult to choose to trust a God I cannot see who doesn't write answers next to my questions for me in my journal. :)
I think it was also difficult because I was sure God was telling me go to China and he was also telling me go with B. However, what if B sent me to Mexico? Did that mean they weren't listening to God? Did it mean I was hearing God wrong? My heart was not at rest even though I was being obedient. My human-ness was still making me nervous and fearful.
Yet, when the assignment listing came from B, guess where Amanda was headed? That's right: China. God was in control. I should have trusted Him and been at peace. (It was a wonderful two months in China. Again, many life changing events occurred. Maybe I can write about that at another time.)
Now, Amanda had decided China is where she should spend her life, not Taiwan. She even talked to people who help place others in Asia. A "high-up" from one organization told her, "if you can handle China, then China is where you should be. The need in China is great."
So, I had a surprise when I was walking to chapel one day in February or March of the following year (junior year in college). The thought popped into my head: "Amanda, I want you in Taiwan this summer." Oh my, the intensity of that desire was SO STRONG. I HAD to go back to Taiwan! So, all of chapel I planned and plotted and thought about how to get myself back to Taiwan. I left with no plan. I had no idea how I was going to do it.
So, after chapel I went to the BSM (Baptist Student Ministries) council lunch. The BSM director pulled me aside and said, "Amanda, during chapel I was meeting with a pastor and his wife from Taiwan. They want to have a summer camp at their church this summer. They are looking for students from DBU to go and help them. During our conversation, I thought of you; would you be willing to go to Taiwan this summer?" OF COURSE I WOULD!
WHAT?!?! You've got to be kidding me!! How does God do that!?! At the same time that I start to desire to go to Taiwan, my BSM director is talking to someone about summer missions in Taiwan, and I come to his mind! Wow!
Why on earth do I still worry about stuff? Why do I still plot and plan? Why is it still a struggle to choose B when I know that is what God has told me to do? He is God of everything. And I still doubt. Oh, Father, please forgive me.
The next post will talk about how my summer trip turned into a year long taiwan adventure. The first pic above is of me with a friend in China and the second one is of me on the Great Wall in 1998.