How does God direct TeachBeyond members to their field of service? Here is what Kristiina Day experienced.
It was a quiet moment when this all started. I was around 12 years old, sitting on my bed, reading a book. A thought crossed my mind. It was as if someone whispered to me, “Would you do it? Would you move to another country and be a missionary?” I thought about this. I imagined living in a place with dirt for a floor, strange bugs crawling around (I HATE spiders!), and food to eat that I don’t like (I was a very picky eater as a child). After a little thought, I said, “Lord, if you ask me to do that, I will do it.” And I continued reading my book, giving this life altering moment no more attention.
Fast forward several years to my sophomore year of high school. I had begun my second semester of French, and decided to switch to Spanish when the class was done. I had recently gone to Mexico with my youth group, and desperately wanted to be able to speak with the people there the next time I went. My French teacher was quite upset when she found out I would not continue to learn French, and pulled me aside one day to ask me why I switched. Instead of explaining about my trips with my youth group, I blurted out, “I want to be a missionary when I grow up, and in order to do this I need to speak Spanish.” I was shocked at my own words. NEVER had they ever left my lips. I’d always said I wanted to be a teacher. Why was I saying a missionary? My French teacher tried to explain that there were many missionaries in Africa where French was spoken. Perhaps I could go there. I again thought of Mexico, but my tongue got the better of me again and said, “Where I am going, I need to speak Spanish.”
Later, in college, after years of searching for a church of my own, I found a small one that quickly became like home. One day they announced three upcoming short term trips, one of them being to Spain. I thought it was strange to go to Europe. Why send missionaries there? I learned about the deep spiritual darkness there from those who had been. My church showed an informational video about postmodernism that opened my eyes to the obstacles that people have before they can accept a Jesus who loves them more than they can understand.
I did not go that summer, but in college opted to take a class on the history and culture of Spain as part of my Spanish minor. Even though I was at a public university, that class opened my eyes to this tiny country I had hardly given a second thought to. In my mind, it was like Spain never really had a chance to know Jesus. One day in class, I felt the voice of the Lord saying very strongly, “You are going here next summer.” I was dead broke and a trip to Europe seemed like a pipe dream, but I said, “Ok, Lord, if You want this, I will go.”
This blog is a small testament to what happened next. That short 10 day trip changed my life. I have since been to Spain 4 more times, including a 10 month stay to teach English. Every time I return, I feel like I am coming back to my other home. Every time I have moments where I sense the Lord telling me to pray for a particular person, or a place. I have even gotten the opportunity to share with a Spaniard what Jesus means to me, a precious gift from a people so deeply wounded by the church.
I have told the Lord I will go wherever He wants me. I do not know how long I will be in Spain, and tell people I will stay until He tells me otherwise. But the more I look back on what He’s prepared me for, the more I see Spain written all over my life so far. Right from that quiet moment as a young girl, reading a book, telling the Lord, “Here I am Lord….send me.”
“He has made everything beautiful in its time. He has also set eternity in the human heart; yet no one can fathom what God has done from beginning to end” Ecclesiastes 3:11.