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We Said Yes!

We Said Yes!

“There is no greater discovery than seeing God as the author of your destiny,” Christian apologist Ravi Zacharias once said.

I have known this for most of my adult life, but over the past year God has opened my husband’s and my own eyes wide to the knowledge of His plans. And as it often happens, His plans aren’t what we had in mind for our lives.

My husband, Doug, has worked as a teacher for 27 years. He is the planner in our marriage and will admit that he had an idea how the rest of his life would go: teaching, retirement, travel, etc. My focus has been on raising our three boys and other day-to-day activities. However, through a series of events surrounding short-term mission trips, we discovered God has been turning our lives around to get us onto His path. All we needed to do was say yes.

A helping hand is appreciated.

It all began in 2004. We had been married for six years, and while I had an interest in missions and missionaries, Doug had made it clear he had no desire to take a short-term trip. One Sunday morning at church, though, God convicted Doug with the youth pastor’s reminder: we don’t need to wait for a neon sign to tell us to “go into all the world.” God has given us this message many times in the Bible. Later in the service, when it was announced the church would be sending a work team to Kenya the following summer, Doug said yes. In fact, he signed us both up without consulting me! While I did have an interest in missions, here’s my confession—I hate to fly. I had flown once on a short flight to Florida, and I said I would never do it again. I could not even imagine the amount of flying it would take to get to Kenya! Faced with the realization that I needed to choose between my fears and obeying God, I chose to say yes.

Learning even takes place in the kitchen.

These were the first steps onto God’s path. Our Kenya trip was an amazing experience. God simultaneously took us out of our comfort zone and made us feel comfortable in what we were doing. The trip as a whole was shockingly eye-opening as I realized our living conditions are quite pampered compared to the rest of the world. But what truly moved me was the realization that no matter how different we might appear or how different our backgrounds might be, we are connected a brothers and sisters in Christ.

During that first trip, God placed a desire on my heart to take our children on a similar trip. At the time, they were only 4 years old and 16 months. Over the next eight years, that burden stayed on my heart. I believed it would truly benefit my boys to experience cross-cultural missions and change their worldview as they grew. I felt it would make them better people. In 2013, I had the blessing to take Noah, who was 12, to the Africa Gospel Church Baby Centre in Kenya. He was the youngest member on the short-term team, and he did great! He worked alongside grownups and showed compassion toward the little ones. The two of us grew much closer on that trip.

Play Time

Since our 2005 trip to Kenya, Doug felt God telling him it wasn’t yet his time to go. Then, one Sunday in 2015, he picked up a church bulletin and saw the need for male dorm leaders on a work team to the American Indian Field (Arizona) that summer. The idea was a little unappealing to him (we had a busy summer ahead!), but Doug knew God was asking him to go. His answer of yes was another step down God’s path.

While in Arizona, God used a young boy at camp to plant a seed in Doug’s heart. After being home from the trip for a few weeks, he suggested our entire family go back the following summer. This was an easy yes for me, and we applied to WGM’s volunteer program. We served for a month and had a great time getting to know the missionaries and the Native people.

Once we were back home in Ohio, we both wrestled with the possibility that God might be calling our family to full-time missions work. God had placed a passion on Doug’s heart for Native American youth. Through prayer, godly counsel, another trip out West, and changing circumstances, we knew this is what God was asking us to do. We said yes.

Hanging with friends

We were accepted as missionary disciples in 2017. Since that time, I would like to say our family is functioning in perfect harmony, and the boys are thrilled at the idea of leaving friends, family, and their schools to move across the country, but that’s not the case. Saying yes has brought spiritual warfare we weren’t expecting, but we know the devil would like to see us fail.

How reassuring to know that God is with us, and through the cross, victory has already been won! We thank God for what He is teaching us as we travel along His path. The people we have met and churches we have visited have been a blessing. We are excited about the future and believe that God knows the plans He has for us, as He tells us in Jeremiah 29:11-12 (NIV): “For I know the plans I have for you, declares the Lord, plans to prosper you and not to harm you, plans to give you hope and a future. Then you will call on me and come and pray to me, and I will listen to you.”

Joining in the fun

Action Step

ACT: What might God be asking you to do today? Do you feel a tug on your heart to step outside your comfort zone? You can trust Him! It might be different than what you have planned, but it will be so much better! Just say yes.

Becky Darfus currently lives in Ohio with her husband, Doug, and their three boys. Their family blog can be found at www.TheDarfusFamily.org.

The Call (Fall/Winter 2018)

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