“You’re not coming back to Chile, are you?” Lori Holt asked sometime last December or so, disappointment and even sadness in her voice. I don’t know why she said this. Possibly because I was very noncommittal and I’d talked to Jason as if I were going elsewhere. Whatever her reasons, she apparently thought I wasn’t.
“I don’t know,” I said, kind of laughing. And that was the truth. I had no idea.
Early on, I really wasn’t sure. I was trying to follow the Lord’s leading and see where He wanted me to go. But somewhere around December and January, something changed. I don’t know if that was the point that my family in Chile became real to me and I felt as if I were one of them, or what it was. But I just knew. I knew there was no way I wasn’t coming back to Chile full-time.
In seeking the Lord’s guidance, I had it narrowed down to Bolivia, Paraguay, and Chile. I eventually got it down to Paraguay and Chile, but by the time I went to Paraguay, even though I went through the motions and learned much about the country, I already knew. Deep down, I just knew.
It’s kind of a crazy thing. I surrendered to preach the gospel and knew God wanted me in full-time missions in 2011, but I went all this time without really knowing where I would end up, only knowing that it would be to a Spanish-speaking nation.
I was always curious how I was supposed to pick a country. How was I supposed to know?
Would I see some video of a country that would really touch my heart?
Would I go somewhere and come away with a burden for it?
I was never sure. But now, I know. I finally know that Chile is going to be home for me. And it was nothing mystic or haphazard. It was just the gradual leading of the Lord in my life to this point until I just knew and had His peace in my heart about it.
The Holts, the Sparks, the other missionaries, Mauricio and Lorena, John and Cote, Pancho and Connie, Jorge and Cristina, Mirko and Gisella, Yajairo and Pancha, and on and on and on-These are the people I want to grow old with, to work with until we die or the Lord moves us elsewhere. This is my new family, and I can’t believe God is letting me go through life with such incredible people.
I can’t wait to get back.
So, if you’ll excuse me, I have to go now to do some things to try return to Chile.
Or, as I can now call it…