I never planned on staying a second year in the mission field. I promised all my loved ones—and myself—I was only halting life for a year. However, it is almost impossible to turn a deaf ear when you can truly hear God calling.
I never expected to see or experience some of the things that have happened during this time, but God, in His infinite grace, placed me where I could clearly see His purpose. There have been days when the work at school, and even meetings with our adventurous Pathfinders, seem so ordinary that I tend to overlook the progress made. Yet, looking back over this last term, I can see how each day has played its part in leading to a bigger picture.
Having a Pathfinder club at the school used to be something about which we only dreamed. Yet this school year culminated with a beautiful investiture ceremony for 20 Pathfinders, attended by Cambodia Adventist Mission’s Youth Director, Pastor Vannak Noeum. This ministry has blessed more than 30 young people in just seven months, which is why Virginia (an AFM short-term missionary from Brazil) and I decided to return.
God has strengthened my entire life while I have been in the field. While using me as a tool for His service, He has worked on spiritual character traits of mine that I did not even know needed help. Humility, trust and forgiveness are some of the many things God has started to cultivate in me. I can only imagine what He will do this coming term, but I am so grateful that He will.
To anyone considering taking a year of their lives to be a missionary, I say, “Do it.” In the end, you will not regret that you did. There will always be obstacles or someone unhappy with your decision, but don’t ignore God’s calling—it is the Holy Spirit whispering that He has a purpose for your life and blessings for those still unreached.