I hung up the telephone with a broken sigh, and before I could fight them, the tears were coming. Softly and quietly, my eyes brimmed and cascaded, as I fell back against the wall and slid down it. Hugging my knees to my chest, I asked God, “Why?”
That was five years ago, when I had applied as a development intern with World Hope International. Despite my childhood years spent in Africa, African culture and language skills, World Hope had chosen not to place me in their project in Mozambique. They were sending me to Cambodia instead. I was devastated.
Cambodia?! What? I never even considered Southeast Asia! I want to go home to Africa!
To say my placement had come out of left field would be an understatement. As I sat there, dazed, confused, and wondering what had gone wrong, I made an intentional decision to trust. I had committed every step of the internship application process to the Lord. I’d asked for His will to be done in that process, even praying over my application forms before sending them in. I truly had given God permission to do what He wanted (1). Therefore, in that moment of confusion, I chose to accept this placement in Cambodia as God’s direction.
Through the tears, I told God that I didn’t understand, but that He was free to lead me in whatever direction He chose. “My life is Yours, Lord.”
God taught me a lot that summer in Cambodia, and significantly, that was the summer that I was introduced to NightLight International. Three years later, when I was working in South Sudan, God gave me a dream about African women being trafficked to Bangkok. And now, five years after my initial Southeast Asian experience during the internship in Cambodia, I’m back in Southeast Asia, working to assist African women who have been trafficked here.
The funny thing is, I didn’t realize that God had answered my question, “Why?” until this evening. Some things only become clear in hindsight.