(Featured Image Credit: Joni and Friends)
So first off, what is an STM? An STM is a Short Term Missionary. My 2 older sisters and I have applied to do a Joni and Friends Family Retreat this summer. My sisters did it last year and said they didn’t want to leave. It was apparently very spiritually uplifting and emotionally encouraging.
Ever since I read the Kisses From Katie book by Katie Davis, I have wanted to do some sort of missionary work. But since traveling to Uganda to teach little children about Jesus has not been a choice for me, I laid the idea of mission work aside for the time being.
When my sisters and mom tried to convince me to go with them this year, I was very adamant that I was NOT going. Praying out loud, sharing your faith over the phone, going away for a week to be separated from your sisters and placed with a disabled child and waking up at the crack of dawn for worship service with strangers?! All of that is just waaaaaaaay out of my comfort zone. My defense: I pray to God every day and it’s just between Him and I; I hand out tracks at the store…sometimes. I don’t need to tell my salvation story with a stranger on the phone; I don’t like traveling and I don’t want separated from my sisters when I’m hours away from my small hometown; I have trouble enough getting up for school in the morning, let alone during summer vaca when I trying to catch up on some sleep! This is an absurd idea!
But then my mom brought this Bible verse to my attention:
But whosoever shall deny me before men, him will I also deny before my Father which is in heaven. ~ Mathew 10:33, KJV
If I can’t step outside my comfort zone and serve God for 5 days, If I can’t talk to God out loud in front of others, If I can’t sacrifice some time, money, and comfort for the Lord, what kind of Christian am I?
Well, I continued to think about the retreat and although I hadn’t made up my mind and I didn’t tell anyone, I had a feeling I was gonna do this retreat. I prayed about it and finally felt God was leading me to be a STM.
I have filled out the application, done the background check, and sent in my references. Now I am waiting to schedule a phone interview and praying all the while that my application is accepted. If not, then the Lord has other plans for me and this isn’t a part of them right now.
(Credit for Photos Below: Joni and Friends)
Joni and Friends is such an amazing organization that focuses mainly on helping the disabled. Joni Eareckson Tada, the founder, is disabled herself and has been in a wheelchair for 50 some years. Just recently, Joni and her husband Ken have discovered that Joni has cancer…..again. But she is still trusting God and fighting past the devil’s attempts to stop her.
If any of you have been looking into mission work, or maybe you have disability in your family and would like to go as one of the families attending the retreat, you need to check into a Joni and Friends retreat near you. They have them in numerous locations around the U.S.
Your Sister In Christ, Anne
P.S. I will keep you all updated.