Thursday, January 31, 2008

The Ol' Switcheroo

“Trust in the Lord with all your heart, and do not lean on your own understanding. In all your ways acknowledge Him and he will make your paths straight.” ~Proverbs 3:5-6

“The steps of a man are established by the Lord, and He delights in his way.” ~Psalm 37:23

Yiddish Proverb: "Man plans, God laughs."

In the movie, “Evan Almighty,” Evan tries to politely explain to “God” that he is a very important, powerful congressman and building an ark is not exactly within his plans. "God" (played by Morgan Freeman) crinkles up his face and all but busts out laughing. “Your plans? Your plans??” If Morgan had been drinking a soda, Steve Carell would’ve gotten a shower.

A perfectly acted cliché, yes.

When I was sixteen, I knew exactly what I wanted to be when I grew up: a biomedical engineer. I was going to design artificial hearts and prosthetics. (It helped that my boyfriend introduced me to the field and wanted to do the same thing, but, regardless, the career goal long outlasted the relationship.) While I did study engineering in college (including a minor in bioengineering), that dream never came to fruition. Instead, God called me to serve as a missionary. I never did engineering again.

As missions has mulled in my mind all these years, I figured if I ever went overseas it would be either to South America or Africa. I don’t really know why – maybe it was a God-given bent; perhaps I just liked the idea of them. Either way, I always said that I never really felt any pull toward Asia and the Pacific, so, when we were planning to go to Cameroon, it all fit my neat little picture of what missions would be.

Shortly after we returned from the training in Orlando, we got to know JD and Traci. They were new to our church, and were also in the application phase with Wycliffe. They were planning to go to Papua New Guinea where they were going to work in translation.

Two years later when my husband came home talking about Member Care, it came attached to a location: Papua New Guinea. Of course they need MC directors and workers in many other places as well, but the sheer numbers of Wycliffe personnel in PNG necessitate a MC presence that is currently only minimally staffed. They’ve needed more MC people for months, if not years, to assist the approximately 450 personnel (from almost twenty countries) assigned to the area. As we have progressed through this process, the idea of going to PNG (which, for those unsure, is in the Asia-Pacific region, or more specifically, Melanesia) has really grown on me.

Within a week after we received our re-acceptance in November ‘07, we also got a letter from JD and Traci. To paraphrase, “We hope our supporters will understand, but recently we’ve been feeling like God is redirecting us. JD never felt any draw to Africa, but now we feel that God may be leading us away from PNG and we are investigating the possibility of going to Africa. Their next letter announced that it was official: they are going to Cameroon!

Only God does stuff like that.


  1. Yes, yes, yes. I'm tellin' you - He really does have a good sense of humor and irony! It's kind of fun, once you get over the anxiety that accompanies having no idea what's coming. =)


We are missionaries serving God and the task of Bible translation by serving the missionary community in Papua New Guinea through Personnel Administration and MK Education. We thank you for your prayers!

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