Restless to Serve
Sometimes, God is “lightning strike” kind of direct. Other times, it’s a mere sense, a restlessness in your day to day. It’s no different when God calls you to serve globally. You might hear the direct, booming voice of God telling you where to go and what to do once you get there (like God telling Jonah to go to Nineveh). But more often than not, you hear a still, quiet whisper prompting you to do something.
This process of listening and following God’s lead is familiar to Denise, a short-term volunteer in Eastern Europe. In the 80’s, Denise served as a registered nurse in Haiti for six years with Global Partners. More recently, she served as a volunteer in multiple capacities in Sierra Leone, including helping at Kamakwie Wesleyan Hospital through the height of the Pandemic. And yet, once again, she found herself at a crossroads.
Denise returned from Sierra Leone and felt restless. Sharing this with her mentor, they agreed to pray together. In this season of prayer, her mentor suggested connecting with the GP team in Eastern Europe, a field supported by their local church. Once Denise connected with field leadership and reengaged with Mobilization, it was apparent that she was the perfect fit to go and serve during one of the busiest summers the team had on record. The team was about to double in size and had a packed schedule of summer camps and short-term teams on the horizon — all while managing care for four missionary kids (MKs) under four.
Once the decision was made, pieces began to click into place.
Denise testifies that once she gave God and this opportunity her “yes,” God was faithful to make a way for her financially, relationally and in ministry. While there, she provided care and support to the MKs, while new long-term teammates became acclimated and the field hosted short-term teams and camps.
This summer is Denise’s third summer in Eastern Europe, and each year her role has adapted to the ever-changing needs on the field. While she initially went to the field to care for MKs, her responsibilities have expanded to include mentoring NEXT Interns, leading workshops and building local friendships. She spends 2-3 months at a time on field and returns to the states where she serves on staff at a local Wesleyan church the rest of the year.
Be ready to obey, Denise encourages; “He will guide you, He will provide for all your needs, He will make your path straight (even when the path doesn’t look like you thought it might)… just remember to stay flexible.” These lessons have continued to guide her as she responds to God’s leading in her life.
One teammate remarks of Denise’s contribution that “she is not simply a support to our team in the summer, but a true teammate. She prays with us, cooks, hosts and invests seeds in the lives of locals that we hear about all year long. Then, she goes back to America and continues to communicate to partners what God is doing in Eastern Europe. She helps the North American church know how to pray for our work and best support us, even when she’s not on the field.”
People speak into your life every day. You hear thousands of messages from every direction. Some of these messages are easy to ignore – they aren’t from people you care about, or they aren’t relevant to you right now. But there are a few voices from trusted people that carry a lot of weight in your life. When they speak, you listen. These trusted people might include mentors, family members, pastors, teachers, coaches, or friends. What are these people saying? Are they challenging you to consider global service? Are they pointing out gifts, skills, and passions in your life that God could use in cross cultural settings? Are they telling you to “go” – serve through an internship, experience a different culture, explore a new city?
The first voice you listen for is always God’s voice. The next voices you turn to are those from trusted individuals who can affirm God’s call in your life. Denise appreciates that her local church values the global mission so much so that when she asked about serving again in Eastern Europe her Pastor responded, “of course!” This support and encouragement was immensely important to Denise’s in her discernment process; and this is true for anyone exploring a call to global service. The support of those around you can confirm God’s leading and ultimately sustain you for the long-haul.
When you feel a restlessness towards global service, it can be hard to know how God is actually calling to you to respond. For Denise, inviting others into her process helped her get the clarity she needed and resulted in a connection that continues to provide a meaningful place of ongoing service. Global Partners is thankful for Denise’s willingness to hear and obey God’s calling and for a trusted mentor and church body willing to listen and discern with her!
PS – Does this story resonate with you? Global Partners has a no pressure process to help you explore God’s leading and equip you to joyfully and confidently live out the Great Commission. Don’t hesitate to start a conversation with someone from our Mobilization team today!