I asked several of my missionary friends the following question. I thought it might encourage you and help you if you are wondering about yourself and what God wants you to do.
This question is
How did God confirm to you that you should be a missionary?
This came from Philip Bassham, missionary to Thailand.
I went to Bible college with a desire to be in full-time ministry, but with no solid purpose as to which type of vocational ministry I would end up in. My first desire was to be an evangelist, but each year of college, that desire slowly morphed from traveling around between American churches to planting myself in a needier place far from any church at all.
I couldn’t get away from the thought that as a traveling evangelist, or even as a pastor in the States, regardless of if I was the one preaching or not, the preaching would still happen, but there was a vast world outside of America that had no witness.
So, as I sought the Lord’s will for my life in how I could be most used for Him, it became obvious to me that I should be a missionary.
From the time that I was 15, God had began working in my heart to serve Him in the ministry. A year earlier, I had met a man named Mark Coffey that had just returned from an internship in Peru, South America. Mark began investing into me, and discipling me to serve Jesus. After high school, he (Mark) invited me to Peru where he was now serving as a full time missionary.
My eyes were opened during that trip and I was able to experience the world through the eyes of God! Shortly after returning home to the States, I grew discouraged and ran from God’s call to missions. After several years out of the will of God, I had an opportunity to attend the Our Generation Summit in Pigeon Forge, TN.
It was there that God once again kindled the desire within my heart to serve Him as a foreign missionary! Over the next several years, God began to build me and mold me into a place of surrender that I might be effective at reaching the world with the Gospel of Christ.
Two years ago, I went on a missions trip to South Africa. Once again, God used Mark Coffey, and his cousin, Kevin Hall to open my eyes to the need in that country! While on the trip, I was standing on a hill top, over looking the township of Umlazi in Durban, South Africa. Like Paul in Acts 17, my heart was stirred within me when I saw these people, I saw their alters where they sacrifice in worship to their ancestors. I saw the devotion to their tribal religions; and I was broken.
I cannot say it was one certain event or experience, I believe that God ordained and guided my life in such a way that I would be broken, and that I would be molded for this purpose, to serve Him as a missionary to South Africa.
I went to Bible College with the desire to simply serve the Lord and preach. In my first year of school my missions class was with Dr. Dan Truax, veteran missionary to the Sahara. When I first heard him speak I thought he was crazy for insisting that everyone become a missionary.
As he taught the Biblical truths of needing to reach the world I realised that this was not something to be ignored. Matthew 28:18-20 and Ezekiel 3:18-19 were the verses that had the greatest effect on me for missions. I surrendered to missions and have invested in that work until now.
Confirmation for me came through the Word of God and just doing the work.
There are a lot of things that contributed to us answering the call to go to the mission field. Many circumstances, conversations, thought processes that both Emily and I underwent to bring us to this place of confirmation.
I believe in the end what confirmed it was just the change in our hearts and desires. I believe that as you delight in God, as you acknowledge Him in every way He will guide you and place in your heart a desire to fulfill His will.
Over a period of a few years God directed my heart and Emily’s heart toward church planting. Actually it is something that we had discussed when we were first married. Over the years this desire grew until in the last three years it was pretty much all we talked about.
Then it came to a point that we realized if we were going to follow this passion that God had placed in our hearts then we probably needed to act now. As we stepped out in faith all the doors swung open, and we will continue to press on until the doors shut.