Thandi Gumbi and Christine Lindell Detweiler were co-workers for a kids’ club at Breakthru Church International in Pietermaritzburg, South Africa. Photo by Ryan Miller.
Being a missionary kid and growing up on the mission field contributed to my sense of call. My family lived in Ghana during years of famine, so when we returned to the United States, the Lord gave me an interest in working with malnourished and starving children.
That’s how I decided that I would study nutrition and then go back overseas. I had a keen sense, at that point, that it wasn’t just about physical food. It was also about the spiritual aspect. People need Jesus as much as they need food. As Phil, my husband, and I tried to discern where God would have us go, we didn’t have that sense of call to a country or a particular people group. We really made the decision about where to go by where we were needed.
There isn’t anything dramatic about our sense of call, not like Paul getting hit by a bolt of lightning and turning blind. For me, it’s about stepping out in obedience with what I hear God calling me to do. I don’t have to be so worried about wondering, “Am I in the right place, doing the right thing?” I believe that God uses us wherever we’re at, so stressing too much about places and activities is counterproductive sometimes.
A call is important in sustaining people through hard times on the mission field, though. If it wasn’t for some sense of call, we wouldn’t have continued for 21 years!
|| Christine and Phil Lindell Detweiler have moved to Minneapolis, Minn., after serving 21 years with Mennonite Mission Network|