About three years ago I had begun making preparations for a trip to PNG that would last a year - my anticipation grew with each phone call of preparation until that one day...for some reason I was no longer needed. Disappointed? Yeah, that's an understatement. I built myself up for this, so excited for the opportunity to FINALLY work firsthand with people in remote villages and survey some of the 820 languages accounted for. It just wasn't the time.
Sometime in March, while deciding which schools I would apply to (last minute, of course) I also started looking at the possibility of doing something overseas. I was browsing several organizations' trips for the summer and some that were longer when I came across Wycliffe's Discovery trips, of which included an eight-week trip to Papua New Guinea. From the beginning I was skeptical about my acceptance. Yes, I "technically" met the requirements, but I have no linguistic experience, save independent study of Hawaiian, Hebrew, and Farsi. Well...I got an email from Ryan, the state-side coordinator, informing me that I had been accepted, but the language positions for the PNG trip were full. There were support areas still needing to be filled for PNG, or I could go to Uganda for a trip focusing on literacy. The prereq's for Uganda were far above my experience, so I was steering away from that. I REALLY, REALLY wanted to go to PNG and experience work with languages there. PNG is one of the coolest places on earth - not only are there hundreds of languages, but the microbes there are pretty crazy and all the wildlife, too.
In effort to discern where God was directing me, I began to pray more fervently, making known to Him the desires of my heart. He knows them far better than I do anyway, I just sought Him with humbleness, asking for clarity for the decision I needed to make. He heard me, AND He gave me the desires of my heart! Ryan emailed me stating "the PNG folks worked really hard and opened up a language assignment." I had to read his email a couple times just to make sure I understood what he was saying. The more I considered what must have transpired, the more intimidated I grew.
The cost was more than any other trip I've taken, but considering this was eight weeks long, it wasn't so bad. From the beginning, it was clear to me that I was not to touch any of my own money to pay for this trip. As letters were sent and I grew more confident in hope, money came in. At first a little, then a lot, then a little bit more...came to five days before the deadline and I still needed $800 - I started praying differently, without that confidence I had during the initial stages. My mind started going back to the "failed" trip from years ago, and I started coping with the possibility that I might end up not going to PNG. Long story short, the money came in three days before deadline, and I ended up with $211 over the needed funds. :) My God is amazing, isn't He?!
Why in the world would this have come to pass? I kept saying to myself, "this doesn't just happen." From that first notice of my acceptance into the language position in PNG to huge donations from those who have little to give, I began to learn humbleness on a greater scale. Every step of the way, God has done what ONLY He can do. I've learned to expect bigger things from Him because He is an infinite God, doing "far more abundantly than all that we ask or think, according to the power at work within us."
"To Him be glory in the church and in Christ Jesus throughout all generations, forever and ever. Amen!"