'Overseas mission wasn't even on my radar. I was comfortable!'
Lara’s story | Daring to heed God’s call when it’s not what you want
“One day, my husband said to me, ‘I think we’re being called to serve in the Muslim world.’ It was completely out of the blue for me.”
“I said, ‘I haven’t had that same revelation.’ I needed to think and pray. We had three small children and we were living ‘the dream’ – renovating our house and involved in our local church. I said I needed time to think about it. My husband was only recently re-committed as a Christian. He’d had a major turn-around in his life, through reading the Bible, and he suddenly became passionately committed to serving in a place where the Bible wasn’t easily accessible. But it took longer for me.
“Overseas mission wasn’t even on my radar. I was comfortable! And I didn’t know any Muslims. I couldn’t imagine living in a Muslim country. So I talked with a friend and she said, ‘You won’t hear from God unless you’re soaked in the Word.’ So I did that. I immersed myself in the Bible for the next 18 months. I read through the Gospels and Hebrews. I prayed and prayed.
“One of the things that stood out for me was the story of Sarah [in the book of Genesis]. She went with Abraham, even though she didn’t know where they were going, and they lived in a tent. And the same with Peter – he stepped off the boat, in Matthew 14, even though he must have been worried. But he tried to keep his eyes on Jesus. And in some ways, I felt like the life I was living was my ‘safe boat.’ How could I leave it? But I wanted to have the same sort of faith as Sarah or Peter. I wanted to fix my eyes on Jesus.
“Then one day, I read Acts 20:24, ‘However, I consider my life worth nothing to me; my only aim is to finish the race and complete the task the Lord Jesus has given me – the task of testifying to the good news of God’s grace.’ That’s when I changed. I realised that the ‘good life’ we were living was only good because Jesus had made it good. He had turned our lives around and given us everything we had … so we needed to choose the way we could use that good life, for him.
“We wanted to testify to his grace, wherever he led us. I had to be willing to go. I had to value him – and his grace – more than my safe, comfortable place.
“Five years later, we went and lived among the people in the Muslim world …”