A year and a half ago I had a second round interview with International Justice Mission. It was the first time I ever spoke with my current boss on the phone. At the time he was the Director of the IJM Uganda program, now he is the Director of Eastern Europe. I did not know then that he would be transferred and that I would be able to transfer along with him, I thought I was interviewing for a year long internship serving in Uganda… but God had a different plan.
When I accepted the job, I oddly never felt anxious or fearful. There were so many unanswered questions and so many needs to be met, but I was confident that this was what the Lord wanted for my life. I fundraised, and shared what God was doing with IJM in Uganda and the Lord provided. Over and over again the Lord answered prayers, and I had no reason to fear because the entire time that I prepared for my year with IJM, the Lord continually showed up and revealed himself to me by providing exactly what I needed through people in my life.
Through the sweet family who lovingly took care of my best friend (my dog, Goose) for a year. Through chance conversations that led to donations from acquaintances or even strangers. Through my church family that prayed for me, supported me and rallied to help me find storage space when I needed it. Through a law school with professors who care about their students and genuinely want good things for them and their future careers. Through family and friends who prayed for me and for the mission of IJM. Through encouraging words from the people in my life who love me. Through so many different people opening their homes up to me along the way, in D.C. and London and Kampala, Uganda, and Rome and Bucharest, whether it was for one night or for three months. And through friends who monthly donated, even when they do not have overwhelming excess to give from. Praise Jesus for these people.
The Lord provided, I trusted and I went. And what I learned is that trusting is easy when faith is firmly rooted in the truth. But just because I was living a life of trust didn’t mean that I could stop daily coming to Him for grace and peace. Daily reminding myself of all He has done and continues to do is so necessary, because the days or weeks when I forgot to daily go to him for what I needed, I can precisely pinpoint those days as the hardest.
I love being able to trust in the Lord to provide for my needs, especially in this season where I have no ability to provide on my own. Where I make no salary and own very few earthly possessions. I understand why people do this their whole lives, why missionaries leave for a year and never move back-- because I have lived in daily dependence on my savior for the past year and I have never felt closer to him, or seen his face more clearly. In the people on the street, in the supporters who help provide, in the victims and survivors IJM fights for, in the little miracles all around and in the perfectly paved path He planned for me to walk this year. Praise Jesus that He has provided and made known his path. It was such a full and abundant path, that led to so much life, even in my emptiness and lack of ability to provide for myself.
In the humility of accepting a free gift from someone who expects nothing in return, I came face to face with what my savior did on the cross. In the feeling of “I do not deserve what you are giving” and “I could never repay you for what you have done for me”. Living knee deep in my need, with my hands out asking for more, and in the awkwardness of asking, knowing that the Lord put me on this path and trusting that He is ultimately the provider, and the people providing are his hands and feet.
A year from now, I will have graduated law school, taken the bar exam and started a career. I will be making money again, I will be providing for myself and not having to ask others for help. But recently, I have been praying that I do not forget what it feels like to be here right now in Romania. Living in daily reliance on him for provision. I pray that I always remember that even when the money is coming from my own work, and when the roof over my head is paid for by my own salary, that I am not the ultimate provider. No amount of money can provide what Jesus provided for us on the cross. No amount of money can give true peace.
Living in daily reliance on Him is not always easy, but it is worth it. God is good, and I am thankful for his goodness and the kindness and generosity of the people he put in my life this year. Thank you for following along and supporting me as I worked for this incredible organization for a year. It was pure joy to be able to share tiny glimpses of it with you.
If you want to continue to support the work of IJM, the best way to do that is by becoming a freedom partner at ijm.org.
Days Left in the Field: 0