In Philippians 1:3-6, Paul writes that he prayed with joy because of the partnership of the Philippians in the Gospel. And so many of you are my partners, having walked along with me on this journey...
You were my Sunday school teachers. You were my Bible quiz coaches: teaching me to love the Word of God, driving a big blue van full of noisy teenagers across the country. You were a Lakeholm Bible quiz team groupie, cheering on the team! You were youth group workers, chaperoning all night lock-ins and hosting the annual girls’ slumber party complete with Phantom of the Opera. You were my teen choir director and my piano teacher.
You traveled with me to NYC and on my first mission trip to Nicaragua, where I felt God's call to medical missions.
You were my boss: as I chopped vegetables and cracked eggs in the MVNC cafeteria, served as the Pioneer Hall "nurse lady," and scrubbed test tubes in the lab.
You were my professors: teaching me everything from Christian Beliefs and Philosophy to Biochem and Molecular Biology; you taught me how to be a healer and to catch babies.
You were my mentor.
You were my study buddy, my roommate, best friend, and accountability partner.
You gave me the job that allowed me to pay on my school loans and get to the mission field.
You are my family: you have fed me, fixed my car, celebrated birthdays and graduations, cheered me on, loved me, prayed for me. You have supported me along as I followed God’s call around the world from India to Texas to Afghanistan and now to Papua New Guinea. You helped me build and pack my crate. You still pray for me.
We have laughed together, played together, traveled together, dreamed together, celebrated together, cried together, learned together, grown together.
You taught me how to love God with my whole heart, mind soul, and strength. You taught me how to love one another. You taught me about being a servant. You taught me how to live life Soli Deo Gloria.
You helped to grow me into a missionary. You, too, are partners in the Gospel. And because of this I pray with joy.