During September we’re focusing on responding to God’s call. Each of the posts published this month will be about the situations in which our authors have responded to His leading or have witnessed others respond to His leading. Please see the Prayer page to read our strategic prayer request for this month and pray with us that we would see the people of the Lower Ramu area respond to Him.
By Delaina Spence
Years ago I responded to God’s call on my life to do Bible translation in Papua New Guinea, a very specific and long-term calling. It is a good feeling to know what God wants you to do with your life and to do it. But for the next two years, my ministry in PNG is on hold since my husband and I are in Dallas for him to complete his training as a translation specialist. While I continue to be actively involved in ministry through my work in the Pioneer Bible Translators’ Training Department, I began to realize that my contact with people who don’t know God had all but disappeared. I had allowed myself to become busy doing a lot of good things, but all of them were within the Christian circles of church, PBT, and the wider missionary community in Dallas.
One Sunday in early August, I heard a sermon on evangelism that deeply convicted me. When was the last time I shared the gospel or had a spiritual conversation with someone who was far from God? I couldn’t even remember. My problem wasn’t that I was too afraid to open my mouth or didn’t know what to say; my problem was that I had very little contact with people who don’t have a relationship with God through Jesus Christ. Yes, I am a missionary to Papua New Guinea, but at a much deeper level, I have been called to make disciples wherever I am, which is currently Dallas, Texas. After much prayer and researching different options, I decided to join a Zumba class at a local gym as a way to meet women in the community who may need to hear about the salvation found in Christ. My husband and I have also become more proactive about praying for opportunities to share the gospel, and praying that we will see those opportunities and be obedient.
I was almost tempted to justify my lack of witnessing by telling myself that I already responded to God’s bigger call on my life to do Bible translation. I’ll share the gospel again when I get back to Papua New Guinea. Until then, I’m helping to advance God’s kingdom in other ways by helping to prepare other missionaries. But God is concerned with our faithfulness in the little things, the daily things, as well as in the overarching direction of our lives. Responding to God’s call is not a one-time deal that I can check off my list. It is a daily decision to walk in obedience to Him and to be sensitive to His Spirit’s leading. May God find me to be a faithful witness wherever I happen to be!
Delaina is trained to serve as a Bible translator.