General CBF / Internationals Ministries / Student.Go

Student.Go-er reflects on ministering with Karen internationals in Oakland, Calif.

 This post is by Chelsie “Buffy” Buffington, Student.Go summer missionary working with Karen internationals in Oakland, CA Summer 2013

image 4“And I could hold on, I could hold on to who I am and never let You change me from the inside.  And I could be safe, I could be safe here in Your arms and never leave home; never let these walls down.

But You have called me higher.  You have called me deeper, and I’ll go where You will lead me Lord. You have called me higher, You have called me deeper, and I’ll go where You lead me Lord.”

These lyrics by All Sons and Daughters couldn’t have summed up the call of my summer any better.  Before starting this mission, I was in a state of complacency with The Lord. I knew I had to go somewhere and had to do something beyond myself – more than I could ever imagine or dream up for myself.  I could have simply stayed in the city I was living in and let life happen to me as it may.  Or, I could go out there and see how The Lord wanted to grow me.

Being an advocate for Karen refugees was not exactly what I was expecting but it was such a sweet time I had with The Lord that I would not trade it for anything.  It restored me in a way – gave me time to dive into the Word and seek out what He was trying to tell me without all the distractions of my normal east coast lifestyle.

I became the trail-blazer, if you will, for building the relational trust with the Karen people that no one else had built yet.  I got to meet with them in their homes, eat the food they ate, and share with them in their heart for The Lord.  I’ve learned throughout this summer that the best laid plans are certainly not our own.  God has big things in store for us; we only need to be obedient.

If I would have simply stayed in North Carolina, I never would have been able to see the relational healing and hope that I have seen this summer.  If I would have stayed where I was, I never would have helped a family learn how to reach their fullest potential.  If I would have stayed on the east coast, I would have never eaten that tongue (maybe I could have lived without that)!  You get the picture.

There is a great big world out there full of people waiting to be loved, waiting to be taught something new, waiting for restoration, and waiting to be told there is hope. If we walk in step with our Maker at all, we know that we are called higher than just to be mediocre.  We are called higher than to be complacent.  We are called higher than this world tells us we can go.

We have to keep taking those steps higher and higher if we intend to grow in boldness, character, and wisdom.  We must walk with obedience in the life of abundance The Lord wants for us (John 10:10).

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