Nov 03, 2019 • Written by Sami Barnett-Moore
On a Mission
I knew after hearing God loudly on a trip to Africa in 2014 that Burkina was the place where I was always to return. Having that knowledge, I signed up for the very next trip leaving AAC in 2015. However, due to turmoil and unrest in Burkina as well as prayer and discernment, the decision was made to pause trips to Burkina from AAC. Our original team was offered another opportunity to go on mission to Peru in 2018. I didn’t feel any particular call to Peru, and other family conversations led me to decline this offer.
Then in late November 2018 I got an invitation to facilitate a trip to Peru for 2019 – my immediate response was, “No. If it’s not Burkina, I’m not interested.” I sat on the email request and ignored texts for about two weeks. Even when I finally gave a response, it was a half hearted answer – one that sounded more like an excuse, but I promised to pray about it.
I love missions. I’m passionate about fulfillment of the promise that once the whole world has heard the Gospel, Jesus will return. I mean, come on, the first time I ever set foot in AAC was at a mission event. However, I didn’t believe that missions for me meant anything other than going back to Burkina. Still, I continued to pray like I promised.
One night, after praying with my husband, he asked me what exactly the problem was. His actual words were, “Do you have a passion for Africa or for people knowing Jesus?” I was floored. One, because my husband never speaks to me like that. Two, because I honestly had to consider the question and ask for forgiveness for selfish prayers, lack of obedience, and my heart attitude.
Having been in Burkina, I saw the importance of Sister Church relationship. I loved seeing and knowing the encouragement that comes from sharing our faith with one another and working alongside each other with hand-in-hand sisterhood. It reminded me of Paul and the letters he wrote to the churches essentially telling them, “I’m sending so and so in my place. Love them as they were me.” With all this in mind, I said yes to Jesus and to Peru.
Through my yes I had a front row seat to see God working through Women’s Ministry in our Sister Church, the children’s Corazones Felices program, and other C&MA churches in Peru. They serve with joy and such intentionally! It is encouraging and spiritually challenging to partner with them by going into neighborhoods in and around the city of Lima. My passion was ignited by not waiting for the unchurched to find a church to attend, but by bringing church to them through care for their health (spiritually and physically), and by being available in relationship with love. The women of Cono Norte Callao really are family.
I saw God work in our team through relationship, vulnerability, forgiveness, as well as His provision for our health and safety. Each member had a fire set ablaze for what God was leading us into. One of the women said it best when she said, “My trip might have ended, but my mission isn’t over.” She was right. This was the beginning of something more…
For me personally I never want to say no to God. What He worked out in my heart in Peru was a reassurance that in Him, all things are possible. He showed me that I don’t need to be the most qualified, because He is the qualifier. I don’t have to have all the answers – because the questions will be answered in time. I just need to be willing to be obedient with a joyful heart, and He will do so much more than I ever could imagine. Someday it may be in Africa, but until then…I’m game for whatever He’s got. And wow, does He ever have plans for Peru!
Interested in learning more about upcoming AAC mission trips? Click here for more information.
*Many pictures are from the children's program, Corazones Felices. To learn more, visit their Facebook page here.