A glimpse at my past: Christianity, Charismatic Churches, Missionary Work and God's Calling; Part 3
Evangelical Christianity is all about the mission field. There are millions of people on the face of the globe. According to the Evangelicals, only a select group of people will be saved by grace. The rest of the people---most of the people---will go to hell. Salvation is about the True Way: Jesus Christ. It is not about good behavior, lovingness, or any other attribute that people admire. It is about belief in the Messiah. It is about personal relationship with the Messiah.
I have always been an overachiever. Missionaries would visit KPC regularly. I was enthralled with their stories. They were dedicated to God. They experienced the supernatural on a profound level. They were exciting. And they facilitated God's deliverance by spreading God's Word and educating about God's lifestyle.
I became enthralled with the idea of being a missionary. [I hated and never understood---although I accepted it as God's will---the concept of hell for people who simply did not know Jesus as Lord] My missionary development would take three years of Bible study (an hour a day at least), weekly worship, daily prayer and dedication to the charismatic lifestyle, but I finally entered the missionary zone.
At the time, a mentoring friend and I were participating in a Bible study called Experiencing God in Your Workplace. That study shaped and molded my daily perspectives. I was working as a retail manager. I began implementing that study at my job. I saw God's hand everywhere. But I was frustrated with my vocation. I had a Bachelor's degree in Art Education. I wanted to be a teacher not a manager!
At one point, I injured myself and work got even more frustrating. I hated it. I was in pain and I was sick of the schedule. A friend had given me a flyer to join an organization called Interchristo. I was in love with my spirituality. I wanted to do missions so bad I could taste it. I didn't know how I could do that with the amount of debt I had. I prayed about that every day. And when I incurred my back injury, I took that flyer from my friend off of my dresser and I submitted it to Interchristo. I began receiving monthly newsletters with advertisements of job positions. But for the most part, the jobs were not good matches and all of them required me to relocate. I continued to feel the frustration of not doing what I had any type of passion for.
Voila! The last newsletter arrived and it had the perfect job position for me in it. It was for an Art Teacher, 6th-12th grades. The catch? It was in Hong Kong. I knew nothing about Asia!!! I had always fantasized about the Middle East or Europe. I was stunned thinking about the Far East. I began hashing the idea out by sharing the opportunity with others and by writing the school in Kowloon. Then three people in a row said, "Are you sure you want to do that with the Communists taking back over next summer?" I freaked out and threw everything connected with that job away. I even deleted the contact information from my computer. [This is unusual behavior on my part because I am a pack rat]
A couple months later, a friend asked me about Stateside art teaching jobs. Specifically, she asked if I got an interview, would I take it?
The key factor in this, is that I went into retail management because I never got an interview for a teaching position in the state of Virginia. Two years had passed. I basically had given up. I answered my friend by saying, "I was in Christmas Season in retail. I had been witnessing for Christ for the vast majority of my management position. I said I would take an interview after Christmas and the January inventory but not until then."
Within the next couple weeks, I received a phone call from the Virginia Beach School System. They wanted me for an interview for an art teacher. I was baffled!!! I told the hiring manager, "That I so appreciated his offer but I would be occupied until the middle of January."
He said OK and we hung up. I was dumbfounded!!!
"Really?" I thought. "OK, God."
Christmas Season and Inventory came and went. Then another phone call came. I received two art teaching interviews. I went to both of them. I learned from both of them but a job offer was not given to me. I settled into my Bible study and my management position. Months passed. My spirit was at peace.
And suddenly, six months after I threw everything away regarding the Kowloon position, I heard from the headmaster at ICS. The EMAIL [six months later] said, "Won't you reconsider the art position at ICS?"
I said, "OK, God, if you want me there, open the door." God did.