Did you know that John and I were never ‘called’ to Africa?
In fact, I had never even been to Africa before our family stepped off the plane in February 2006 to live in South Africa on a permanent basis.
Some people say that one must be ‘called’ to do this.
Others say people receive a ‘calling’ that determines their life purpose.
Still more say unless you are ‘called,’ one shouldn’t do this or that.
Well what do you think they would say if I told them that I was never called to South Africa?
Take a look at Paul’s words to the Thessalonian church…
With this in mind, we constantly pray for you, that our God may make you worthy of his calling, and that by his power he may bring to fruition your every desire for goodness and your every deed prompted by faith. We pray this so that the name of our Lord Jesus may be glorified in you, and you in him, according to the grace of our God and the Lord Jesus Christ. 2 Thessalonians 1:11-12
Paul is saying that our calling is to become like Christ. The relationships we begin, the jobs we take, the activities that we engage, and even the music, books and electronic devices that we devote our time to all should focus on one purpose; to conform and grow in the likeness, with the attitude, and according to the behavior of our Lord Jesus Christ.
The calling of Christ is on our lives in everything we do. The question for us then is when we are presented with a new opportunity or endeavor, we must ask, “Will this help me in my aim of growing into the likeness of my Lord Jesus?”
This is why our family came to Africa.
We believed that stepping onto South African soil seven and a half years ago and beginning our life here in a new way, would allow us the opportunity to grow in Christ. Our work here is centered upon knowing our Savior more. Sometimes the work itself is incredibly gratifying and rewarding. Other times it is incredibly confusing and unproductive. And some times we fail; miserably. Yet in the midst of it all, our desire is that our God, our LORD and Father, and His Son, the Lord Jesus Christ may be honored and glorified in us and through us. How does that happen? Only by the grace of God and His Son Jesus.
If the Lord is glorified through the decisions we make and the actions we take, it is by His grace.
Were we called to Africa?
We were called to follow our Savior. Wherever He leads us, we will go. Hopefully, over time we grow more into the likeness of our Lord Jesus Christ. It’s a lifelong aim and process. This is our calling.