by Jill Lienemann, Kesher International Missions | ©2009
After having several sleepless nights during the Russian Mission Trip/Youth Camp, I asked permission to miss group recreation to catch a few winks; however, I didn’t want to miss the only the chance to bathe for the day. You see, there was a designated shower time for the American team separate from the Russian staff.
So I set my clock accordingly. When the alarm went off waking me up from a deep sleep, I hastily grabbed my bath gear to head off to the shower room. Upon arrival at my destination, I looked for an empty stall, then proceeded to the bench in front of it. As I started disrobing, I began to realize that there were absolutely no faces that were familiar to me. In fact, all the ladies in attendance were Russian. I had a mere moment to think about my next step. Should I re-dress and vacate the premises possibly offending the ladies? Or do I forge ahead and quickly wash up? The second option seemed to be the better decision.
As I turned on the faucet, cold water erupted from the showerhead. I quickly scanned for available stalls, but to my dismay there were none. Here I was … cold, wet, naked and quite uncomfortable in being in a roomful of strangers who up to this point were not overly welcoming towards our visit. Determined to push through the situation, I began lathering when one of the ladies motioned me to take the area she was vacating. A warm gesture, a warm shower—breakthrough! Thank you, Jesus! As I was finishing up, some of the ladies from my team walked in. It was then I learned there had been a delay in the schedule, announced while I was taking my nap.
God is amazingly intuitive in using the most unusual circumstances, in my case embarrassing, to stretch us. He can take a moment in time to strip us bare, physically or emotionally, in order to teach us that He truly is in control. What we first perceive as an impossible event is really an opportunity to remove obstacles so that we can become vulnerable before the Lord. Through our uncovered exposure and increased receptiveness, God can now use us to reach others for His Glory!
So all of us who have had that veil removed can see and reflect the glory of the Lord. And the Lord—who is the Spirit—makes us more and more like him as we are changed into his glorious image. 2 Corinthians 3:18 NLT
KESHER TIP: Are you packin’ heat? Make sure to pack a few hand warmers for your mission trip in your check-in bag. Once you are at your destination, just activate a couple of the packets and place in your sleeping bag, bed, or cot prior to retiring. The heat from the hand warmers will last all night. They come in different sizes and are a cost-efficient, luggage-space solution to keeping yourself warm in whatever conditions you may find yourself.