Its my turn now to share what the Lord has done in my own life this past year. Here is a brief summary of the past 5 years of my life (has it really been that long?).
I can trace it back to 6th grade. I went to school, Covenant Christian Middle School, with three of the Granberry children; I heard weekly about the ups and downs of the Rez. The stories sometimes made me laugh and at other times they made me feel like crying. But from the very beginning, I was excited about the Lord's work on the Rez and was hearing, over the course of three years, about the spiritual growth that was taking place in such a broken place. Looking back, I know that the Lord ordained all of what took place: He allowed a spot at CCMS to open up for me in 6th grade and knew that the Granberry kids would be my classmates. He used this time to stir in me a desire to visit the Rez for myself, to see firsthand the effects that Sacred Road Ministries was having over there.
I know for a fact that from 7th to 9th grade I asked often for Exile Pres. to take a team and serve for a week on the Rez. However, I wasn't aware of the fact that the trip sign ups fill up extremely quickly, and each year we didn't get started on the process fast enough.
Again, I see the Lord's hand in all of this. His timing is impeccable. At the beginning of 9th grade, my dad and I were graciously invited to join with my uncle's church, Resurrection Presbyterian in Puyallup to go for a week in July to serve the Yakama natives! I was so excited! And I still am. I am so excited that we went last summer. I haven't taken down any of the pictures from the trip that I put up in my room, and I'm not planning to.
I came back from the trip to my sophomore year of high school. Life is busy, I can guarantee you that. I'm not living the same life that I was before the trip. Three-year-olds have shaped me into who I am today. Three-year-olds helped me see that our world is truly fallen, but "How then will they call on him in whom they have not believed? And how are they to believe in him of whom they have never heard? And how are they to hear without someone preaching?" (Romans 10:14-15). These Yakama people and these kids are impoverished, abused, hurting, and broken. The kids on the Rez helped me see that I have a role in this too. I have a part to play: "How are they to preach unless they are sent?" (Romans 10:15). These people can't help themselves without the help of Christ. I can name at least ten kids right now that have unbelievable home situations. Who is going to help them? Who is going to show them that there is hope? That someone actually loves them? Is God really telling me that I'm the one who can be His advocate? I'm the one that will comfort weeping children at church and hold their hand? I'm fifteen; I'm a high school student with no experience in this area of life whatsoever. I'm not going to lie: I've tried to deny all of this, I've tried to push this whole idea under the rug and make myself believe that this job is for someone else; someone more prepared, or more experienced, or even just someone older. I've tried to tell myself that it's okay for me to go on living my life in suburbia at a Christian school with everything I want. But "then I heard the voice of the Lord saying, 'Whom shall I send? And who will go for us?' And I said, 'Here am I. Send me'" (Isaiah 6:8).
This whole adventure that the Lord has us on is amazing. I never would have thought that we would be doing this, that I would be a "missionary's kid." I wouldn't have ever believed you if you would have told me that I would leave Cedar Park after just two years. I never would have thought that I would be telling people that I am moving to "an Indian Reservation" or that I would even be writing this blog post. It's pretty crazy, and I don't blame anyone for thinking so, because I think it to myself all the time. But now that we're doing it, now that we're taking the first steps as missionaries, I wouldn't have it any other way.