I have been asked numerous times in the last week, “How did you know you were supposed to leave when you did?” And that question takes me back three years. Really six years. There are times in my life where I sense God pressing upon me something – that I am to move forward, encourage someone, or that something is about to change in my life. Many of those times have happened as I sat in conversation with people and I have a sensation that comes over me as I realize that what is being talked about in the group is something God is speaking to me about directly. And knowing that God was pursuing me about Guatemala was one of those times….
Six years ago we were sitting around the table in the evening and brainstorming about the possibility of a hospital. Duane had been given a direct word from God about moving forward and constructing a hospital to serve the people. And we were talking about the possibility and how that could happen. We had to have more staff, without question. And doctors. And into my mind popped the idea that it would happen. God gave me the idea of a possibility and I remember talking about how there would be a rotating group of doctors that would come down that were all connected. And through them we would have the possibility of staffing the hospital. We talked about the possibility of this and how rare it would be for doctors to be part of a practice like this. But the thought stuck with me. I remember processing through this with confidence that it was a real possibility and how God was moving. And as the summer came to a close and I headed back to the states, I can remember praying through how it would all work to build a hospital and the still small voice of God telling me that when we proceeded forward with the hospital project, that would be the same time I would need to be there permanently. Yet that time was not here yet.
And so the thought was shelved. Pushed to the back of my mind. Every now and then I would think about it as I communicated with those in Guatemala and returned. But there was the same talk every summer. Until the DOCS for Hope ( http://www.docsforhope.org/our-story.html ) group found us. Through a random connection. I can remember when Leslie called to tell me about this group. I can remember exactly where I stood. The thoughts that ran through my mind. What I was wearing. And my response. Those are the moments that I think God engrains within us to remind later when we ask, “What made you do this?” It was a confirmation moment. I didn’t immediately pack my bags and leave. Four months passed. But the decision was a lot quicker to make because of the conversation that happened three years before. It was more of a call towards obedience than it was of what I wanted to do. God kept on asking, “Are you willing to obey me?” I loved my job. I loved teaching. I had a comfortable life. I loved my community. But the taste of disobedience gives a bitter taste to life and so…. I pressed on towards the call. Towards obedience. And I thank God for his grace. For not having it hit me suddenly. That it was years of living the call that led up to that moment. It wasn’t easy, yet it was worth it.
The table where I sat that evening and had that discussion. Here it is being used for our Friday night worship/ outreach to those within our community. One of my favorite nights of the week.