Can it really be four years ago that I sold almost everything I own, quit my job, and moved to Costa Rica simply because God moved on my heart to do so? I wanted to be obedient, but I was baffled that God chose Costa Rica to launch me out into the mission field. For the two years prior, all I had talked about was the Middle East. I even trained one summer with an organization (SWI) that goes into places like Pakistan. I studied Islam and the persecuted church and areas where persecution of Christians was very prevalent. I was determined to find and go to any and all areas where Christ is not allowed nor wanted.
In my childlike faith, I wanted (and honestly still do) to just pick a spot in the middle of the world, set up a home and then just house, feed and love every single orphaned, abandoned, hungry child on the globe. However, that was not what He had in mind for me, and so when He sent me to Costa Rica, I told him I would just take all the little ones in Central America! So it is not surprising that it did not take me long to discover an unreached, untouched area that was full of exploited and hurting young kids. As I sat listening to a pastor share all he had discovered in a certain town and how desperately in need these children were, my heart broke. Although I told the pastor I would pray and would not commit to anything, deep down I knew I would be back. I came home and prayed, and it was not long before I knew that I was to go back and see how I could help and where. I also knew then that I was not going home. I called my mom one night on Skype crying from what all I had learned of these children and crying because I knew I would not be moving home in December. She cried with me but we were both smiling through our tears because we knew this was God. This was the birthing of LFI and the journey of how a girl from Kentucky moved to Costa Rica.
Like most girls, I grew up with Cinderella stories, but I also grew up with stories like David and Goliath, Moses parting the Red Sea, and missionaries (i.e. Jim Elliot). At a young age, I was ruined for this world. Many of us aspire to make a difference, our culture speaks of reaching for the stars, becoming anything you want as long as you believe in yourself. We flock to the theaters to see good triumph evil, rags rise to riches, and success defy defeat. Why? Because the one who designed us, who spoke us into existence, in whose nature we were created; defined those heroic tales. God triumphed evil with His Son, Jesus, and everyday He triumphs when you step out and be His hands and feet. Everyday success defies defeat when you allow Him to shine through your weaknesses so He can shame foolishness. For every counterfeit, there is a genuine. The Bible is not fiction nor fantasy. It is a living God telling stories through the lives of everyday men and women who allowed God to use them. The day I made Jesus Lord of my life, that became my culture. My heart began to beat with thoughts of how big God was, how through Him all things are possible, and how the world was so hurt and broken. I knew, I too, wanted to let God take the pen and write His story, His version, His way. Every test, every trial, every mountaintop and valley has taught me something and pushed me to grow in God.