During my college years, God really began to arrest my heart in an increasing and unexpected way. I joined an internship to minister to youth on the south side of Chicago during the summer of my freshman year. This experience ignited the passion of God within me to overflowing. For the first time in my life, I felt home, and I found a place to belong. I returned to the internship to minister each summer throughout my college years. In fact, I began taking the bus weekly to continue the Kid’s Club ministry throughout the school year, as well. It was always the highlight of my week. I had never felt such exhilaration and a sense of purpose and fulfillment before.
Prayer became a central part of this ministry, and I would experience an awakening when I prayed where Holy Spirit would take over, weeping and interceding through me on behalf of the children. I felt that I could empathize with so many of the young people within the ministry, having experienced so much brokenness in my own childhood. As a result, I moved into the same neighborhood where I had ministered for several years, attended the local church, and found a teaching job on the south side, as well. My hunger for God increased, and I began to get up early each day to study His Word and pray. One morning after reading from the book of Matthew, the Holy Spirit spoke to me clearly: “Just as I anointed Jesus and sent Him into the wilderness, I have anointed you for a work and I am sending you to be prepared.”
Shortly after this, a church member told me about a missionary, Mother Workman, who had started an orphanage in Haiti. Immediately, I knew that I was going to Haiti, and I even sensed that my childhood dream would come true, and God would move me there as a full-time missionary. I met Mother Workman at a local conference and travelled to spend a month at the mission in Haiti that summer. I have found that rarely do things turn out as I expect them. I literally wept for a week straight once I arrived in Haiti. Although there was certainly dire poverty all around me, I did not weep and cry out to God for this. Rather, the spiritual bankruptcy and demonic oppression is what caused me to weep until I could weep no more.
Mother Workman arrived at the mission a few days later, and I joined her for the 5 a.m. prayer every morning in the church. Meanwhile, God was moving in my life in a way that words cannot describe. This move of God reached a climax one watchful night as God kept me up all night and spoke inexpressible things prophetically to me concerning His will for my life. I paced and paced all night listening and talking to God. That night, I was overwhelmed by the magnitude of His presence, voice, and words, to say the least. The next morning, I arrived in the courtyard early before anyone had arrived for prayer. I looked up into the heavens and felt the power of darkness descend in such a real way that I cried out earnestly, “Lord Jesus come quickly!” Unexpectedly and so sternly, He responded in my spirit, “What if I had returned before you came to know me?” His words jerked me to the core. “Will you be longsuffering and have mercy on these just as I have suffered long and had mercy on you?” After this encounter with God, I entered the church for prayer and took my place next to Mother Workman.
As we began to pray, I felt a spiritual struggle that was so real that it became physical in nature. My flesh wanted to cling to Mother Workman and commit to serve her even as Elisha had served Elijah. Yet, God spoke clearly to me saying, “No! Not her, but Me!” I knew in that moment that I had a choice to cling to flesh or to completely surrender to God and answer His call and will for my life. As a result, I purposefully stepped away from Mother Workman into the aisle of the church and fell to the ground screaming and weeping in surrender at the top of my lungs. I was crying “Yes!” to God with every ounce of my strength from the depths of my soul. Finally, I arose from the ground completely weakened and sat back on the pew. Mother Workman got up to minister to the people and explained to them that what they had witnessed was not demonic, but I was travailing in prayer. She went on to share that we all need to travail in prayer and the importance of seeking God for revival. After the prayer, Mother Workman reached out to me saying, “Sweetie, don’t stop letting the Lord use you.”
There was so much that I didn’t understand. Regardless, I obeyed God and responded with a wholehearted “yes” to His call. Yet, in ignorance, I misapplied His words to the mission in Haiti, not realizing that this mission was just a part of my own apostolic process of becoming and the fulfillment of the assignment that is still before me even to this day. You see, God’s unchanging hand is present in all of our lives, using the good, bad, and indifferent to prepare us to answer His call to fulfill our God-given Kingdom assignment on the Earth. Central to each of our unique assignments is the apostolic process of becoming the very essence of who God created us to be in Him. Who has God created you to be in Him? What is your God-given Kingdom assignment? I pray that you will not only SEE God’s unchanging hand in your life, but that you will also surrender to His transformational work in your life.
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