A Tale of Vision and Direction
A recycled post from my former blog - written in Ontario, Canada
I've always loved stories. A while ago I felt provoked to improve habitually remembering (by celebrating and telling the stories of what God is doing in my life). Here goes. I was once one who would declare that I had no passions and that I had no vision for my future. Although I enjoyed studying, I cruised through high school without knowing the direction I wanted my life to face. Now, although I still have many unknowns, I do know that I would love to work for the prevention of human trafficking. If you will, I'd like to tell the tale of how I got from A to B.
When I was eighteen I went on a week-long missions trip to Romania with a small team from my school. One evening my team were hosted by a group of Christian women as they invited us into their flat and cooked dinner for our team. We played games and the evening felt light-hearted. We we told, though, that some of these women grew up neglected by Romanian orphanages and as young teenage girls were forced by their circumstanced towards prostitution as a means of survival. The women sang a song for us as the evening ended, singing rawly and beautifully in Romanian. The room was thick at that moment, some of my team crying quietly as we listened.
That short trip confirmed to me something I'd already assumed: that I'm built to travel this globe. Going to Romania five years ago, I've volunteered for two different world missions organisations since. They've taken me to nine countries, none of which I chose myself but instead was placed on teams with pre-decided destinations. The work we've done has been out of my hands too, planned for me and my teams by our different leaders. Despite my years since high school feeling sporadic and diverse, I think God has been at work to weave a greater theme. Each volunteering trip I've gone on, my team has ended up exposed to organisations and businesses that work to free women from prostitution. My travels have taken me to red light districts in India, Thailand and Mongolia. We've stumbled across and prayed over un-advertised sex-selling areas, over strip clubs and over brothels. I've worked on building projects to expand businesses offering a dignifying alternative job to women who work on the streets. I've worked in production lines alongside women who now have the dignifying job of making jewellery or sewing handbags. I helped paint a cafe which now employs ladyboys to give an escape from their jobs at the go-go bars. I've handed out coffee to girls working the corners in the bitter cold.
It blows my mind that God has steered my years towards having a theme and a purpose. Honestly, I'm still in awe of God when I think about it. If I'd strived to plan the opportunities I've had, I think I'd have reached a lot of closed doors. It gets better though. That song the Romanian women beautifully sang to me and some friends, I heard it again in India being sung in Hindi. I heard it again in Thailand being sung in Thai. I heard it again in Mongolia being sung in Mongolian. I'm a cryer and I cried every time. All this to say, I think God patiently and deliberately used the past few years to show me the area which He wants me to serve in. Because it's how He has made me, working for the prevention of injustice is where I feel most captivated, most relevant and most alive. It is such a joy to work for God, the Maker, it really is.