Here am I. Send me.

“Here am I, Send me.” Isaiah 6:8

People have asked. “Would you like to go back to Africa?”

“Yes.” I said. “If someone gave me a plane ticket and money for living expenses, I’d be on the next jet there.”

So I started praying. “Here I am, send me.”

Generally foreign missionaries aren’t permitted to work abroad and accept wages, so they need funds for a roof over their heads, food, water, and transportation. Even in the States as a missionary, I’d need basic provisions.

At the end of my employment last August I searched for another job. After advertisements and resumes on internet sites and prayer I didn’t get a job. I’d also turned 62 and found myself competing with thirty year olds who had current licenses. So that door slammed shut.

Should I retire? Last year I checked out retirement homes for lower income citizens. One facility said the annual income had to be less than $20,000 and it would only take one-third of my $425 social security for rent. I put my name on the list and was number 42 and was told it would take two to five years to get in. So that door closed.

Maybe I could live off the proceeds from my book. The six-month royalty check was $11.94.  I’m quite frugal but needed more than that amount to survive. So another door banged shut.

And every day I prayed. “Here am I, send me.”

A couple months ago the retirement facility asked if I still wanted an apartment, and I moved in. It’s a small, basic home without a dishwasher and wash machine which I’m not accustomed to anyway. I don’t have cable or internet but lived without them in Africa. My brother got me a phone.  I’ve everything I need.

Praise God. He provides and takes care of me, making it possible to live off my social security and be a missionary. And I love my new mission field. I started a Tuesday night Bible study in my little place. During the day people stop by to chat or tell me their problems. I visit shut-ins and take folks shopping or to the doctor. This is where God wants me right now.

Local people can’t remember my name, so they call me the missionary lady.

So if you pray, “Here am I, send me,” He’ll give you a place where you, too, will be happy to serve Him.






About celestecharlene

I served as a medical missionary in West Africa for thirty years treating the sick and establishing health clinics in rural neglected areas.
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