As I look back on our trip, I find myself positive that God was in each situation. I am amazed at how the trip was from beginning to end. I know there were many who were praying for us before and during our trip. I think I will start with what was experienced before and eventually get to our trip.
I had read about missionaries all growing up and often wondered why they were willing to go through the things they did. I thought about what they had experienced as missionaries and wished there would come a time when I could experience something similar. It’s an amazing thing to serve the Lord on a mission field where the people have never heard the gospel or they have never been taught. This is something I have always been interested in doing but never really thought it would happen. One thing I had read about and heard from missionaries was that taking a mission trip or going to the mission field overseas brings an overwhelming reaction from the evil one and his minions. The Lord allows this so the missionary will be dependent solely on the Lord and not on his own strength.
I hadn’t really thought about this in awhile because the trip seemed so far away. In November and December, I ended up being stressed over so many little things and responded to situations in ways that were definitely not pleasing to the Lord. He used this in my life to remind me that He should always be my best friend first. This has always been a hard lesson for me because I am a people pleaser. I seek to get encouragement and help from friends before I go to the Lord. Anyway, the Lord reminded me that He should always be first.
I began spending more time in prayer, more time in studying the Word of God, and more time in seeking to be more like the Lord Jesus Christ. I knew the prayer time would be hard because I tend to give up if I’m praying and things start getting hard. There has always been a point I would go and then give up because I felt it was becoming too hard. I knew this was a difficult area for me and I knew I needed prayer. I also knew that the evil one’s minions oppress those who are going as missionaries. A lot of people think that being a missionary is an easy task…but it isn’t, if the missionary is doing as he/she is supposed to do. People in the west do not have the demonic oppression that is experienced throughout most of the world. It is a fearful thing to go to another country knowing that Satan has a stronghold in that country. Yes, the Lord is mightier than Satan but if a person is not praying always as he or she should then it becomes a matter of living a defeated life. Yet, I have to ask…isn’t that what we experience so often here in the western world? We are living a defeated life instead of a victorious Christian life. We don’t pray, we don’t read the Bible (if we do read then it’s only to fulfill our duty) we don’t overcome sin within our lives and we basically live as an unbeliever. This is NOT pleasing to the Lord.
I didn’t want to go to Liberia and find myself in that position so I began asking people to pray for me… Some of the responses I received were very interesting. Some said they would pray for me (but it was only said half-heartedly), some told me that I really had nothing to worry about as long as I was studying the Word of God, and some really did pray for me and even asked how I was doing.
The time before going was a pretty difficult time for me. There were times that I would be in the middle of praying and suddenly have a deep depression come over me. Horrible thoughts and feelings would wash over me at the strangest times. Once I ended up in a rage, which left me pretty shaken. I had to spend awhile seeking the Lord in prayer. I look back and I know it was due to going to Liberia that these things were happening. I realize how real the evil one is and how much he and his minions want each believer to live a defeated life so he can continue on in his quest of taking as many as he can to hell with him.
I am so thankful that the Lord is stronger than the evil one and only allows within our lives what is best to prune, shape, and mould us to the image of the Lord Jesus Christ. Praise God for He alone is worthy! What a blessing to be able to turn to the Lord and know that it is not we that keep ourselves but the Lord alone! Every situation is directed by the Lord and we know He is in control no matter what happens!
As these things continued, I began to wonder what was in store for us in Liberia. I knew even more clearly than before that only the Lord could help me through…