This was a letter that I wrote in May 2007 describing how the Lord called me to a mission trip in Zambia...
Those of you who know me….. know the AMAZING things the Lord has been teaching me this semester and have seen the miraculous ways He has changed my life. Looking back on my spiritual journey over the past two years, words cannot describe the astonishing love and peace I have experienced through coming to know Jesus Christ, the author and perfecter of my faith. The past year has been a HUGE time of spiritual growth as I have learned to trust in Him and Him alone. Every time I take a step of faith and fix my eyes on Jesus, I am blown away by the beautiful way He proves His faithfulness to me. Each time I am obedient to His calling I am blessed BEYOND belief and as I draw closer to Him I am being transformed into a more Godly woman everyday.
The Lord has been burdening my heart for Africa since the beginning of the year. Everywhere I would go He would constantly be showing me Africa and the AIDS orphans of Zambia in particular. Being in Aggie Sisters for Christ I got the privilege of hearing multiple testimonies of girls who have traveled to Zambia and their stories would bring tears to my eyes. I can’t explain how strong my desire became after that but that desire would instantly be hindered by doubt and discouragement. All year long I have felt this calling to be a missionary but would immediately push it out of my mind as soon as it would come. “No God…. Surely that is not my calling.” I would tell myself over and over again, consistently ignoring all the clear signs the Lord was giving me. It’s too far, TOO expensive, I am a new believer… how could I possibly make a difference?
Time went by and slowly the deadline for the $3900 for the trip had passed, but not a day would go by that I would not think about Africa. My aspiration to go only grew stronger after that point and the thought of waiting a whole year until I could go was almost unbearable. In April I joined a new Hope Group through my church and when I walked into the house where our group would meet for the rest of the semester I was shocked! The home was filled with African artifacts and pictures from missionary work in Zambia. Two of the girls who lived in the home both went to Zambia through the same missionary company I had been looking into.
Great! I thought to myself… how can I meet in this place every week and not be overwhelmed with regret of my disobedience?
Over the next couple of weeks I began to express my inconceivable longing to go to Africa. Little did I know… that one of the girls worked for the company (Family Legacy Missions) and said that she could make it possible for me to go if I raised the money in two weeks. Even after all this… I still was not convinced, how could that even be possible?
Later that week at church our pastor called for anyone thinking about going on missions to come up to the altar to be prayed over. As if I needed anymore of a clear answer as to whether or not I should go, I went to the front and got on my knees in prayer. “Lord if it be your will please CLEARLY show me if I am to go… and I will!” I prayed this over and over again as I felt multiple hands on my back praying over me. I was immediately broken and as the tears streamed down my face I was able to accept what I already knew all along… I was to go to Africa! After the service a friend of mine (Who had no idea I had a desire to go to Africa) came up to me and told me, “You need to go!” The look on my face must have been priceless, “What are you talking about?” I asked him. He said that throughout the service the Lord had burdened his heart to tell me to go even though he had no idea what this meant.
I was blown away!!! Could this be anymore CLEAR?
I immediately called Family Legacy Missions and told them to sign me up and that I would have the money as soon as I could. (Not having any idea how that was going to happen) When I got home my friend, who had told me to go, called me and asked what it was that God was calling me to do. I told him all about Africa and how I had committed to go but that I was unsure of how I could raise that amount of money in such a short period of time.
Ok…. Here is the really good part!
He then shared with me that his family supports missionaries and that he would love to support my trip. He told me to raise what I could and that they would fund the rest! WOW!!! Within one hour of fully submitting to the Lord’s calling for me, He had already provided the means to go. Before we got off the phone we prayed for the Lord’s provision over the next couple of days. By the time I hung up the phone my room was covered with Kleenex tissues. I then felt a note in my back pocket that one of my friends had given to me at church. I opened it up and began to cry even more as I read the words on the page and as a $100 check for Africa fell into my lap. She told me in the letter that God had laid it on her heart during the service to help me get to Africa. (She knew that I had wanted to go… but had NO CLUE that I had already committed to it) Within one minute of hanging up the phone and praying for the Lord’s provision, God had already put $100 in my pocket. By the end of the night, after sharing the day’s events with my Hope Group, I had raised almost $1000!!! And the rest is history!!
Looking back on the way everything happened I am still in disbelief! The trip is officially booked, the vaccines have been painfully administered, and the passport is in! (After waiting 11 hours in line) All I need now are your prayers! I leave on June 21st and will return July 1st. During this time and the few weeks leading up to the trip I am asking all of my friends and family to pray for me. I need prayers for preparation and prayers that God will use me in unbelievable ways while I’m there. Please pray that my words will not be my own but that the Lord will speak through me to further His kingdom so that He may get all the glory. We will be sharing the message and hope of Jesus Christ with the orphans of Zambia and so prayer is also needed for their salvation. Finally, please pray for my family… they have been extremely supportive throughout this whole process but are very nervous for me to be traveling halfway across the world.
I hope that this testimony is proof of how BIG our God really is! Never underestimate the power that He possesses for He can do mighty things in your life if you just fully submit to His will. Nothing is impossible through Christ and through Him alone all things are attainable. Thank you so much for your love, support, and continuous prayer!
In Him always,
Jessica Lynn Elton
♥ “Be joyful always; pray continually; give thanks in all circumstances, for this is God’s will for you in Christ Jesus.” ~1 Thessalonians 5:16
♥ “Religion that God our Father accepts as pure and faultless is this: to look after orphans and widows in their distress.” ~James 1:27
♥ “Now faith is being sure of what we hope for and certain of what we do not see.”
♥ “Jesus said, ‘Let the little children come to me, and do not hinder them, for the kingdom of heaven belongs to such as these.’” ~Matthew 19:14
|A picture from Africa. One of my girls just got a new pair of shoes and I am praying over her in them!|