I don’t even think I had decided to come to Zambia yet. I was sitting at one of my church’s World Impact Sunday services, and a missionary had come up to the front and said these words: Moving overseas is not a sacrifice. Is it a privilege to serve our Lord. It was simple, not too profound or anything, but those words have stuck with me even now. I went home that day and wrote her words in my journal, and reflected on what she had said and meant. Her and her family were preparing to move to Africa, and in the midst of everything they had sold their belongings, packed up what remained, raised their funds, and were headed to a new home. I remember her explaining that one of her fears was bringing her children into a new country. She mentioned that she had to surrender her fears to the Lord, and trust that even though she didn’t know what their move would bring, God was going before them. It wasn’t a sacrifice, but a privilege.
I think her words have stuck with me because it has been something that I’ve needed to learn and truly understand. Not that I would verbalize it at first, but preparing to come to Zambia, and even being here in Zambia I have many, many, many times thought that moving overseas was quite the sacrifice. For goodness sake, I quit my job, sold my car, moved away from my family, and am living in a place that doesn’t provide all of the comforts of home. Isn’t that a sacrifice? More often then not, I have struggled with a ‘woe is me’ attitude – letting myself believe that coming here has been more of a sacrifice then a privilege.
It’s not a sacrifice. Not at all. To be a part of what God is doing in people’s lives, and to serve along people that love the Lord and would live in a hut with only some rice to eat and yet rejoice in the Lord, has been humbling and eye opening.
Her words of serving the Lord being a privilege not a sacrifice have popped into my head over and over again. I struggle and go back and forth some days between thinking that she was nuts to say that, and very right to say that. I want my focus to be more on how right she was.
God has taught me so much by being here in Zambia. I feel like a completely different person from a year ago – not necessarily better or worse, just very different. He has spoken to me clearer than I have ever experienced before, He has shown me areas of my life that need major refinement, and He’s made grace and forgiveness so much more real to me. But above all, I’ve learned that no matter where you are in the world – if you desire to serve the Lord in any way He wants, you’re exactly where you need to be. To be used by the almighty King is the greatest privilege! So we have to give up some things, or all things along the way – who cares. Does it even compare? This life that He has given us, is not about us. I think when we come to a true realization that everything we have been given is from the Lord, and it can be gone in a second, it becomes much easier to realize that it’s not about us, but all about Him.
Speaking of privilege, it’s moments like these that remind me of how blessed I am to be here. Visits from my favourite little neighbours last weekend filled my heart with so much JOY!