I’m glad you asked. Germany was the last place I wanted to go. Been there. Done that. I grew up right next door in Austria, which is why I speak fluent German. I thought if I were going to the mission field, it should at least be somewhere new. I wasn’t fond of the culture (although now I’ve come to appreciate it). Didn’t like the food which consists of kraut, potatoes, and lots of pig (I prefer tex-mex). And it’s COLD over here!
So, God, please send me to the islands where I can wear linen and sandals everywhere, live on coconuts and bananas and ride horseback on the beach. Yeah, a beach ministry would have fit me MUCH better. Drive a VW bus, dress like a hippie/cowgirl. That would be me.
Have you ever heard anyone say that if God sends you somewhere, you’ll love it??? Ehh, wrong! At least not necessarily, or at first, or even after a few years (like it was with me; now it feels like home). My heart was constantly pulling me towards Italy, where we started in 1999, and Greece. But I was being called to the North.
THERE’S A DIFFERENCE BETWEEN BEING CALLED AND YOUR HEART PULLING YOU. My heart was set on something to which I was not called, at least not at that time. Here’s a more day-to-day example: You’ve got your heart set on going to an event that will be wonderful & life-changing, but you just know inside that you are supposed to go somewhere else at that time, possibly even for reasons you can’t find.
I have days where my heart pulls me toward America. I love the quality of food, the soap and candle scents, the houses, the cars, and Mississippi because I can swim most of the year in water that doesn’t freeze your buttocks off! But, simultaneously, I couldn’t leave Europe right now, because it calls me night and day. Europe calls my name and shouts “We need you here!” My heart hears the same cry from people in other places in the world (I’d get on an airplane and fly to Thailand tomorrow if I could). But it’s not calling me right now.
So, to not bore you with further paragraphs of trying to explain something without going around in circles…. I’ll shut up. Now you know why I’m in Germany. I’m glad I heard the CALL and answered. Pioneering the way we do isn’t easy by any means, but the rush you get from seeing the fruit of your labor is incomparible.