Called and Sent
Star Ferdinand, today’s guest blogger and writer of the meditation published in The Upper Room for November 13, reflects on the changes in her life since she sent us her meditation.
Much has happened since I wrote today’s devotional. Then, I was a full-time employee in Texas. Now, I am retired. I did not originally plan my retirement to happen the way it did or when it did. In the summer of 2008, I thought “early” retirement meant retiring when I was 60 years old. In the next few months, God took me from “I want to retire, move to Honduras, and write” to “Here I am, Lord; send me.” Not just to write, but to do whatever God wanted me to do, wherever God wanted me to go.
By July 2009, I knew I was going to Honduras and could retire 18 months sooner than I had previously thought. That was still 5 years away. In March 2010, I felt an increasing urgency to get to Honduras as soon as possible. I knew I couldn’t wait five more years. That’s when the planning began in earnest, planning for retirement at age 55.
It seemed like it took “forever” for June 1, 2011 to arrive. When the day finally came, I retired from corporate life. Eight days later, I was flying to Tegucigalpa. To say I was excited would be a serious understatement. I was eager to see what God would do in the months and years ahead.
After nine wonderful weeks catching up with old friends, making new friends, shoveling sand for cement-making, visiting hospital patients, delivering food and clothing, helping set up a computer lab with old equipment, and equipping my two-room apartment, I got on another plane. This time, I flew to San Jose, Costa Rica, to attend the Spanish Language Institute. Although I knew a few Spanish words before I went to Tegucigalpa, I knew it would be a long time before I could engage in daily conversations unless I went to a language school. I have now been at the Institute for almost three months and have four months of study remaining.
I will return to Honduras near the end of May to re-engage in ministry with the people of Honduras. I don’t know how long God wants me to be in Honduras. I expect to be there for the rest of my life, but if God chooses to move me elsewhere, that’s fine with me. Why? Because God has called me to go and point others to Jesus, who is the only One who has the words of eternal life (John 6:68). God has given every disciple of Jesus the “ministry of reconciliation” (2 Corinthians 5: 18). Only Jesus can cause the reconciliation to happen, but every disciple can help to share those words of eternal life and introduce people to Jesus Christ.
I don’t know to whom God has called you as Christ’s ambassador (2 Corinthians 5:20) in the ministry of reconciliation, but if God has reconciled you to Himself through the Son, then you are called. -- maybe to minister to someone in the room next door or across the street or at work or in a poor neighborhood across town or in another part of the country or in a different country. Wherever it is, go. Go wherever Jesus leads. He will preserve you and strengthen you amid any hardships through which he takes you.
I invite you to follow me on my missionary journey through my website at www.starferdinand.com.