I found a letter in a pile last week.
We have lots of letters in lots of piles to tell you the truth. But this one was one that would change my life.
Only I didn't know it at the time.
On February 27,1988 some of us youth group kids gathered at the Norquist's house in the basement. The Norquist's basement was sort of sacred ground for our church. Many things found their starting point at that home.
This particular evening Randy Alcorn was sharing. He talked about being a missionary in whatever context the Lord calls you. He told stories about people who served sacrificially at home and abroad. Several things stand out to me from that time but none of them more than this.
Randy asked us, "If you would be willing to go if the Lord sends you to another country, then I'd like you to write your name on this list and we will ask the elders to pray for you regularly."
My thought was how could I say I wasn't willing if God sent me? Of course I would. But He wasn't going to send me. I'm not so good with new or unfamiliar things. My mom says she once had to carry me out of the shoe store because I refused to walk in the new shoes she'd bought me. I drive the same way all the time because it's the way I know. I can eat the same thing every day! It's familiar. But, I wrote my name on that paper fairly confident that I wouldn't be one of the ones being sent.
Two weeks later Randy had sent the letter I mentioned.
It starts off, "Dear Kristi, Hi! I'm sending this letter to all the people who said, "Yes, I want my church leaders' prayer and assistance as I consider whether God would have me serve Him in another country." He goes on to suggest some books we could read and also tell about a trip his family was taking to visit missionaries our church supported. I think my favorite line was, " "Maybe ten years from now we'll be visiting you on the mission field!"
Just a few weeks later I had met Josh and turned in my application to attend Multnomah Bible College.
10 years later Josh and I had served in England and at that time we were in Germany leading youth groups for military kids. We already had two children and were on the verge of our move to Slovenia just 2 years later!
I love being a missionary and feel so blessed by the life we've lead, though I never would have guessed it! And I love being from Good Shepherd! I love that I grew up in a safe and nurturing home church as I kept taking small steps along the path that the Lord was lighting for me. I'm grateful for wise leadership that knew how to strengthen and encourage growth.