He sits at the end place at our table. Laughs that familiar easy laugh of his. Years have passed since we last spent time in the same room with him. Yet conversation unfurls and the passage of time proves irrelevant. Stories weave back and forth between the clustered folks passing pizza and pouring soda. He tells about their vision, shares back story, builds to the climactic announcement of their move to Tonga. To our inquiring expressions he answers, "A set of islands in the South Pacific Ocean." He smiles in the pause. "Specifically, on the Island of Neiafu, Vava' U." We shrug, render naive grins. He continues. His voice fluctuates with passion and tenderness for this culture. Accounts of their spiritual health and physical health are recounted in detail. We can't help but love these people too as he tells of their hospitable spirits, their warmth and generosity.
"We dreamed..." and the vision plays out in the years of planning, goal setting, sacrifices. He shares openly and honestly the triumphs and failures along the journey. He tallies up the costs... financially, yes, but emotional, mental, and physical costs, too. That profound and weighty decision to be available. To say yes to the next moment we're called to live outside our comfort zone.
Katie writes on Holistic International Medicine's blog,
We are a family turned mission team. For years we heard the call and just kept putting it off, hoping for better timing, better finances, more spiritual growth. These were just excuses. The time is always NOW! When you hear God tugging on your heartstrings GO! DO! Rise up! Have FAITH! Our time to reach people on this earth is short and we waste it every day. We all take on our unique roles in this ministry according to the gifts God has given us and it’s AWESOME. We are people just like you, full of sin, full of shame, redeemed by a Savior…stepping out in faith to meet the spiritual, physical, and mental needs of a community.
In the midst of this season of transition, God is tugging on my heartstrings...
And you? Do you "hear God tugging on your heartstrings"? What does that sound like? What does it look like?