Sitting with the choir one Sunday (the family dutifully went to church every Sunday), she sat politely listening to the missionary guest speaker. In all the years attending church in that denomination, she never recalled ever having met a missionary or hearing one speak. So, this was novel. He had all his memorabilia spread out over the altar – presumably to prove he had actually been to Africa – the requisite carved masks, woven baskets, carved animals, and the like. Only mildly interested, the girl allowed her mind to drift and wondered why, among all the obviously African artifacts, there sat, spread over the altar, a stained, torn, plain white tee shirt. The missionary droned on and the girl’s mind continued to wander, as she vaguely wished she was better at paying attention. Finally, the man, after having made his way down the line of articles (far too slowly for the girl’s taste), explaining the significance of each item and giving a story for each one, he reached for the tee shirt, picked it up and said, “I suppose you’re all wondering why this tee shirt is here among the other African items.” “Yes!”, the girl answered inwardly, her attention recaptured. Now she was fully listening.

The missionary proceeded to tell the story of a Muslim young man he had been talking with about Jesus. After some time, this young man accepted Christ as his Saviour. The missionary told of the trials the young man faced as a result, from his family and community. The heart of the young girl in the nice church building was touched and inside she found herself saying “I want to go to Africa and help people like this young man. Let me go, Lord!”

Ironic, that God would call a young, painfully shy girl to such a public ministry as missions in a foreign land. Little did she know what lay ahead.

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