Taking the Next Step

Tags: Canada, Macedonia, Story
What’s Missions All About?

Growing up, I loved hearing stories from missionaries but didn’t feel a specific “call” upon my life. In college I decided to do a one year mission trip to Ireland – to see what missions was about and to learn how to lean on God. As a teen my mindset was that a 2 week mission trip would be more like a vacation than work - it wouldn’t force me out of my comfort zone, so going for a year I would really need to learn how to trust God in new situations, circumstances and relationships. After that year, I came away with a great appreciation for missions seeing the everyday life of helping plant a church. It took hours, days and years to build relationships, work through church issues, all while working in an environment where people might respond badly, even cursing you and calling you a cult! I also came away from this trip knowing 2 things for certain – I would NOT become a missionary, and if I did, I would not work in Europe!

Becoming a Missionary

Sherri worked in Rwanda setting up an orphanage. The experience challenged her faith and helped her sort out her priorities.

After returning to Canada, I finished my bachelor’s in Social Work, and since there were no jobs in Calgary at the time, I looked elsewhere for employment. The Christian organization Samaritan’s Purse responded and offered me a position in Rwanda setting up an orphanage (1994). With no experience, away I went on a week’s notice for 7 months – and again I learned a lot about God and about the world we live in! Having come right after the genocide there, I saw life’s harshness all way too close and personal. I learned that the phrase “God is good” has nothing to do with “life being good”. Could I trust a God that would allow the suffering that is in the world? There I heard true Christians tell me their stories of horror and then testify to God’s faithfulness, which is not the same as being saved from pain. It challenged my faith - did I really trust God no matter what? It also helped me sort out my priorities – a comfortable life is not a promise from God and shouldn’t be my goal. When I returned to Canada I realized that I wanted to go somewhere long term so I could learn the language(which had been a frustration for me in Rwanda) in order for me to use my God-given gift of being relational! I also realized that I needed Bible college training and continued working in order to pay for this next step.

God Moves in Another Direction

Sherri is now a missionary in Macedonia.

I continued with Samaritan’s Purse for 6 months, planning to go back to Africa with them, but God planned for me to meet people from Ohio who offered to pay my way through seminary as I interned at a church in that state! At first I told them no since I didn’t want to study right away or move. God worked the timing, circumstances and details so that all I could do was make the obvious move! While there, I met a life-long friend who ended up working in Macedonia with me in 1999! I am still working in Macedonia today and as for God’s call on my life…it was gradual – He gave me what I needed for the next steps as I was ready. All I did was take the next step and keep praying for God’s leading.

Discover Ministry Opportunities.

Learn About SEND Ministry in Macedonia.

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