I heard the voice of the LORD saying, “Whom shall I send? And who will go for us?” And I said, “Here I am. Send Me!”
– Isaiah 6:8
“Rwanda 2017, I’m offering you a trip to Africa.” I knew this was an answer to my heart cry of “Jesus send me!” Let me share with you how God has prepared my heart for sharing Jesus with others and an opportunity He has given me.
I’m Shae. I gave my heart to Jesus and asked Him to use me however He wants to show His love to the world. When I was about twelve I began to really listen to stories of missionaries telling people about Jesus all around the world, and I was inspired by all the ways God was using them to speak His truth.
Last year, while in a waiting room at a doctor’s office, I noticed a woman sitting near me. She had a recently amputated leg and seemed very sad and heavy hearted. I felt like God wanted me to tell her He loved her, but I wasn’t sure what to say or how to say it. I am very quiet, I struggle with shyness and overthinking. I am working on being more outgoing and confident talking to people, but it’s hard.
I wrestled with so many thoughts. Was God speaking to me or was it just me? Do I say something or just pray quietly? Was that enough? I began to pray for her and for clarity on what God wanted me to do. As I was praying, she turned to me and started making small talk. We chatted a bit and then sat in silence for a few minutes. I knew God wanted me to speak to her, but I couldn’t find the words. I felt so nervous. What if I said something wrong or made a mistake?
Words from Scripture began pouring through my mind, cutting through all of my thoughts.
1 Peter 3:15 – Always be ready to give an answer for you faith, but do so with gentleness and respect. (My paraphrasing).
Followed by words Matthew 19:10 – Don’t worry about what to say, for it will not be you speaking, but your Father speaking through you. (paraphrasing)
I felt peace. I asked God to not let it be my word she would hear but His. That it wouldn’t be she would see but His love reaching out to her.
More thoughts came to mind. I remember a missions conference I attended and on of the key points stressed. If you can’t walk across a coffee shop and tell someone about Jesus, how can you go across the world and do it? You need to be a missionary wherever you are.
“It is useless to think we can make a difference for Christ in some remote corner of the world if we can’t do it in our own neighborhoods, schools, and workplaces.”
– Brother Andrew, founder of Open Doors.
Then I remembered a quote I had read that said, “What would happen if we saw everyone around us as facing an eternity in hell? Would we be less afraid to tell them about Jesus?”
I knew then I couldn’t be silent, so I turned to her and said something like, “I feel like God wants me to tell you that he loves you and can give you rest and healing, he can bring you more than physical healing.” Tears welled in her eyes and she told me that she was a Christian, but that she doesn’t go to church most of the time, but she does sometimes. She likes to sing in choir but her church won’t let her if she’s not sober.
Just then my grandma and mom came out from the back and my sisters and I started to gathered our things. The woman started to say goodbye and kept thanking me. I grabbed her hand and told her again that God loved her and that I would be praying for her. She thanked me and said she would pray for me too.
I felt as though God was stretching, pushing me out of my comfort and showing me what happens when I step out in faith and seek his voice and instruction and trust him. I felt so joyful and happy after that, refreshed and so confident in my faith.
The very next day, while I was at a family gathering, my Great-Great Uncle Chris came up to me, my sisters, and mom, and asked my mom which one of her girls wanted to be a missionary. After she told him it was me, he turned to me and said, “Rwanda 2017, I’m offering you a trip to Africa.” I was shocked. I replayed his words in my mind a few times before it clicked in my brain what he was saying. I thanked God for answering my prayers. I was reminded how God hears all of our prayers.
He had no idea how much I have prayed asking God to send me anywhere in the world to share his Gospel.
God answered my prayers!
Come and See Africa (CASA):
My Great-Great Uncle and Aunt started a ministry in Rwanda called Come and See Africa (CASA) in 2005, a few years after the genocide.
The name comes from the story of the Woman at the Well. After her encounter with Jesus, she runs back to her village and says,
“Come, see a man who told me everything I ever did. Could He be the Messiah?”
– John 4:29
Come and See Africa International is a Christian, American, non-profit ministry focused on the students at the National University of Rwanda, to raise up a generation committed to following the Lord. Their main focus is helping their sister organization Come and See Rwanda (CASR), in facilitating international Christian and their churches to carry out meaningful ministry throughout South Rwanda. It also sponsors an annual three-day East Africa Christian Apologetics Conference centered at the University of Rwanda and supports the ongoing campus ministry. They are also working on bringing Christ to the entire region of south Rwanda through conferences, evangelism, and compassion ministry to the poor. Their main mission is to support their sister organization Come and See Rwanda (CASR). CASR works year-round ministering to the students at the National University of Rwanda by providing an intensive discipleship program and by supporting the many Christian student groups with their Compassion Ministry.
My Great-Grandma Jeanne has also traveled to Rwanda with her brothers and taught Bible studies there. I feel honored to travel down the path my family
and many others have gone. A few months ago, Franc, the executive director and secretary of CASR visited from Rwanda. I was invited to shadow Franc and my Great-Great Uncle Frank, who I will be traveling to Africa with, as they shared with many different people and churches about pastor trainings and ministry opportunities in Rwanda. I sat in on the board meeting too. It was so fascinating.
I am going to primarily help with the annual East Africa Christian Apologetics Conference centered at the University of Rwanda and supports the ongoing campus ministry. The idea is to raise up strong Christian leaders among the university students
from the National Universities of Rwanda, Uganda, Burundi, Congo, and Tanzania. The goal of the conference is to better equip the students to stand firm in their faith as they lead ministries in their home countries. They are the future church, business, and political leaders.
I will work with children’s ministry, practicing English with Pastors, compassion ministry in rural villages, also helping with administrative, computer and technological tasks.
THE LIGHTHOUSE MINISTRY CENTER
My Uncle and I are collecting new twin and queen bedding sets – fitted sheets and pillow cases, towel sets – bath, hand, wash cloths, and shower curtains. We are hand carrying them to Rwanda with us. These items will go to The Lighthouse Ministry Center, it houses the Joy of God Bible Institute and a conference center where the Apologetics conference will be held.
The Lighthouse Ministry Center also runs as a business with a 20 room hotel, a top floor restaurant, conference centers, and five street front shops. The goal is to become self – supporting and need no additional international donations to fund it’s ministries.
All of the donations will go to support local needs and ministry opportunities. My travel arrangements and accommodations have already been provided. You can make a tax-deductible donation to CASA online with Paypal at Come and See Africa website www.comeandseeafrica.org
My Mission Trip is October 3 – 16, 2017.
When I return I will share pictures and reflections.
Please pray for me as I follow God’s lead. Pray that I would have guidance, discernment, and that my eyes would be open to those around me and my heart to what God is teaching me. Pray also for those I will be working with and those I will be serving while I’m there that they would see God moving and respond.
Thank you for you prayers and support!
“Therefore, go and make disciples of all nations baptizing in the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit, and teaching them to obey everything I have commanded you. And surely, I will be with you always, to the very end of the age.”
– Matthew 28:19-20
May God bless you,