For most of my life, I have felt like missions have been a part of me. They are in my DNA. Just like the proverbial stick of rock, if you cut me down the middle ‘missions’ would be inscribed all the way through. Having talked to many others who have the same heart and same call, there is one common thread to our stories. There was a day, a time, an hour when something changed. There was a call which each one of us heard, and each one of us answered.
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!”
I was an eight-year-old who had been at a campaigner camp in Millisle in Northern Ireland. I got up to a lot of mischief that week and loved every minute of it, but it wasn’t all fun and games. The speakers for the week were Wesley and Molly Bell who had been missionaries most of their lives. They spoke about Nehemiah, and I can remember being gripped by Nehemiah’s call, his obedience and the cost of rebuilding the wall. It seems strange to me that I can remember something so clearly that happened almost forty years ago!
Molly sat down on a little wall under a group of trees and I sat down beside her. I had a ‘secret’ to tell her; I confessed that I thought God was asking me to be a missionary when I grew up. That lovely lady encouraged me and prayed with me. At the time I’m fairly sure I thought I would be a missionary in Africa. In fact, I think that for a while I thought that was the only place where missionaries went. While others grow up dreaming about other careers I grew up with missions in my heart. I had no idea what that would mean for me or for my family, I just knew that God had called, and I had said: “Here am I. Send me”.