What would something on the other side of the ocean have to do with a young woman from Tennessee? A lot, apparently. As my life’s direction moved toward missions, I began to see the importance of world events and their affect on my life.
A war in East Asia sent Laotian refugees to Tennessee in the late 70s, changing the makeup of our small town, but opening opportunities to love and minister to the strangers among us.
The first personal computers in the 1980s would change the world of publications and directly affect my work in a West African publishing house in 1986.
The release of the final American hostage, Terry Anderson, in December 1991, would open the way for my husband and I to gain entrance into Lebanon after years of a ban on American travel to that country.
The horrific attacks of 9/11 would forever change the way we lived and moved throughout the Middle East and North Africa during our missionary career.
It is easy to understand why most missionaries are news hogs. I still have the shortwave radio I bought in 1990, before we left for the field. I could listen to the BBC and countless stations around the world as long as I had batteries that worked. A coup here, an election there, the threat of war across the region could change our lives in an instant.
When others recall world events, I think about where we were living at the time and what it meant for our ability to stay safe and continue serving. I still read and listen to the news with a prayerful eye, asking what God will do in and through his church as a result. Will it open up opportunities for service? Will it cause some to move and change direction?
How has history affected your life? Do you see God’s hand in the midst of world events?
You should, because he’s there, sovereign over all — for his purposes and glory.
Grace and peace