The Adventure of Altar Living


Amanda Hoogkamp, Missionary, Bolivia

Adventure of Altar Living

“It's a dangerous business, Frodo, going out your door. You step onto the road, and if you don't keep your feet, there's no knowing where you might be swept off to.”  ~ J. R. R Tolkien, The Fellowship of the Ring

This quote reminds me of what it means to put your life on God’s altar. There is no knowing what God is going to use or when; He often takes a piece of my life and uses it in ways that I never could have dreamed of. 

One of these instances was during my first two years in Bolivia. I felt God calling me to Bolivia to work with the El Alfarero (The Potter) University Student Center as a counselor. However, I could not start counseling right away because I needed to understand the language and culture better, so I volunteered wherever I could. 

I began working in the café that served the students; making coffees and smoothies and serving food was my day-to-day living. It was an adventure. I had never worked in anything like that before. (I didn’t even like coffee at the time; although, that is a different story now!)

Then they asked if I could help in the onsite library that was used by students, counselors, and the public. Sure, I thought; I love books. As I started working, I realized that maybe God had a different plan. You see, I not only love books but also libraries. My family has a personal library in our house, and my mom had worked in a library for many years. I used to go in and help her with cataloging and shelving. It turned out that I knew more about running a library than most of those who were working in the one at El Alfarero.  

By the second year, I was working on updating the library and dealing with issues that had been there since the library first opened. God took my life experiences—ones I never thought would be used on the field—and swept them up into His plans. I had placed my life and experiences on His altar, and He took off what He wanted to use. 

What does God want you to place on His altar? Are you allowing yourself to be swept off into His great adventure?