Ok, you know when someone tells you a joke or you just live a situation so funny or so scared and when you try to tell others what happened is not the same? Even if you try your best and put all the emotions possible you can’t make them feel like you felt at that time? Well, I have had a bunch of these moments in life but one in particular happened in January this year and I needed to share it officially.
You know God loves us so much don’t you? And you also know that “love” involves changes right? When you let his love do, something is surely going to change. I know that even if I use my best English with fancy words (what is not gonna happen =S ) I would never be able to express what God has changed inside me since my last vacation. I had been asking God to shake my life; (if you have ever asked that prepare yourself!) Working at the church, going to college and working as an English teacher seemed not to be enough to me. Well, I asked!
January 2010 – I was ready to go on vacation to visit a very good friend of mine and her husband in another state. I was pretty excited about the travel but I confess I wasn’t expecting nothing else than a very good time with my friends. Yes, we did have a wonderful time together, we traveled to some nearby cities that I hadn’t been before, we played games and many other things that normal people do when they are on vacation. But our God is terrific and when we think that things cannot get any better He comes to change everything. Something in particular has happened. My life has now a mark. Before January 2010 and After January 2010.
Have you ever heard about missions? Well, so have I, not in a good way unfortunately. I was born in a “Christian” home, (At least we claimed to be Christians) and every time I heard about missionaries they were always very poor, telling us sad stories, always expressing suffering and more, many women were single!! And they were OK with that!!! You know… some girls were born to get married and I am on that list. So, for a 7 year old girl being a missionary was out of my plans at all! Every time we knew that missionaries were visiting town we would separate cheap soaps, shoes whatever size it was and OLD clothes (doesn’t matter if it’s torn or had a stain on it, they were missionaries, they didn’t care). Even thought today I know that being a missionary has nothing to do with what you wear or your social status, I was just a kid and the image I lived my whole life with was the picture of that particular people. That was mission for me! That’s how I learnt missionaries were! Sad, poor and most of the time single. For a little girl that was certainly not the best choice.
In 2005 the Lord gave me the outstanding opportunity to spend two years of my precious life in Belo Horizonte doing bible school which is one of the best things I have done so far, but something wasn’t right and that is that every single time I went to my church during that school period people would insist calling me Missionary Ana (Some of them still do that). That was the end of the world to me. Why on earth would they think I was a missionary? I wasn’t a missionary!!
They could ruin my day with those words simply because of that image of missions I had on my mind! At that time I also had some friends who couldn’t preach anything else but missions! They used to freak me out with that. Wow and when they cried talking about that I used to feel really bad because that wouldn’t touch my heart like theirs. But nothing was wrong. What? I knew I was saved and that God had called me, I also believed that mission was a pretty nice thing to do as such as teaching, ministering at the church and etc… My missionaries’ friends were so extremist (is it the best word to express that?) about missions that I couldn’t hear them saying anymore. I used to hide myself on that verse of Ephesians chapter 4 “And he gave some, apostles; and some, prophets; and some, evangelists; and some, pastors and teachers;” Why talking too much about missions? There are many other things to concern about. I love teaching! I am a teacher! That’s it! We are body’s Christ right? According to Romans 12:4 we are one body with different functions “For as we have many members in one body, and all members have not the same office” I don’t try to convince others to be a teacher so why do they want everybody to be missionaries? That’s not right! Well… Watch out when you think you are sure about something. I thought everybody else could be wrong but ME?? No… I was just fulfilling what was written in the bible!
That’s when God shook me as I asked. Everything started when I met this family! At least part of them… a good part of them. (They have no idea how much they have impacted my life). I had heard about them before from those friends I was going to visit. I confess that was hard to believe when I saw this particular Brazilian/American missionary’s pictures. First I thought that was just a few traveling he had done in Brazil; but then I discovered he was ready to decide where he was going to live permanently!! Yes! Really live!! Something wasn’t right. He wasn’t like those missionaries I talked about in the beginning of it. He seemed happy! Not wearing old torn clothes that were given to him. Something wasn’t matching with what I knew about missions!! There was a knot inside my head! What would make this very good looking guy (with the entire respect my friend) let everything behind to go and live in a tribe? I was facing mission again… But now, something had changed. That was a mystery I wanted to figure out. That could not be possible! That wasn’t “real mission” (at least not for me)!
Finally when I met him I thought “definitely something IS wrong! God!! What is going on inside this man’s heart? I was so impressed and I wanted so badly understand why would he make himself of no reputation, and took upon him the form of a servant? And there I got an answer… I wanted to know, God wanted to speak. This particular family had understood what many of us haven’t yet. We don’t belong here! Life is good, but short! “If ye then be risen with Christ, seek those things which are above, where Christ sitteth on the right hand of God. Set your affection on things above, not on things on the earth.” They got this!! It’s not what they do or say, is what they are! I saw some of the works they do but the intention behind the actions is what paralyzed me!! Their hearts were different… Jesus didn’t use to say many things… He was!! And that was enough to touch people’s heart. He touched mine through that family. Now my heart was different… They simply “don’t care”! They love, they go, they help, they are!!! Simply because they understood what the gospel really is. Surely when the writer of Hebrews wrote about those of whom the world was not worthy they wandered in deserts, and mountains, and dens and caves of the earth, he was talking about people like them! I was confused.. People like this really exist?? Each day I got more and more impressed.
So one of that nights God came and changed my heart. In a supernatural way He touched my life forever!! I found what I was looking for!! The missing piece was finally found! They are real missionaries!!! Not because they aren’t wearing old torn clothes but because of what they are, inside!! That night I understood that missions is what moves God’s heart! He didn’t come back yet to take us because many people have no idea of who Jesus Christ is! Can you imagine you life without Jesus? That would be horrible, wouldn’t it? I know that healing, prosperity, live a good life here in earth and other things like that are important, I know and I still believe that many people who come to Jesus need someone who is going to teach them how to keep going with Jesus but this is not what is going to take them out of hell! Do you know how many people die every day not having at least the change to choose if they want Jesus or not? I don’t either, but I am pretty sure it’s a lot!
As I said in the first paragraph words are not enough to express what God did with me that night. If I just could make everybody feel like I am feeling right now… It’s so simple for Him. Was supernatural! I cried a lot and I was really sorry about how selfish I’ve been and how miserably I have lived my life, but at the same time I was extremely happy because He was changing every little thought and giving me what I was looking for, for many years!! I would never think that by myself. If it hadn’t been for him… I know people are going to think I am crazy and I’ll get many “enemies” saying that I am a crazy extremist person but who cares?? I don’t care!! He has changed my life!!
Now I won’t hesitate helping those who are there while I am still here! I don’t want to stand in front of My Father when that day comes with empty hands. That’s my forever!! It won’t come back! People ARE dying and what have I done? What is really important for me? What moves me? Why do I live? And then? I could write and write and write and write…..
Everything has changed… Forever! – Thank YOU family for being who you are! You are like precious stones to me, those ones which are very difficult to find and when you are lucky blessed to find you want to keep them with you. You’re in my heart! May God protect and bless you a lot wherever you go.