I sensed that God was telling me to go to India and my defenses started kicking into high gear. I had heard the horror stories about India from other Christians and I had put India on my “Do not go to,” list. I was warned about the rats, the lack of anything being sanitary, and to top it all off, I really do not like Indian food. So when I sensed God telling me to go, I responded to Him to send someone else; I would rather go witness to the mafia! For a whole summer I could not shake off God putting India on my heart and I kept on saying in my spirit, NO. Finally as the stubborn Italian that I am, I decided to bargain with the Lord. I told him that I would go if He would set up the whole trip; the pastor seminars, outreaches, everything, and only then I would go. Knowing all the hours and logistics it takes to set up a trip, I figured I boxed God in.
Jim Elliot was a young man that grew up in a godly home. He was trained from his youth to be sensitive to God’s will. He was quite skilled in the drama club in school, with some teachers even pushing him to go into theater. He had a heart for the things of God, and even though he was well liked, and was the class president, he did not swerve from giving the Lord first place in his life. In college he felt a call to missions, and went all out to pursue what he felt God calling him for his life. Despite the fact that his parents were telling him to do youth ministry in his hometown, Jim was spending time in prayer over going to the foreign mission field. Jim eventually was martyred for his faith by a tribe of Waodani Indians. Many people considered the life of this talented young person wasted. Yet his journal entry for October 28, 1949, expresses his belief that missions work was more important than his life. “He is no fool who gives what he cannot keep to gain that which he cannot lose.”
As I was sitting on the ground of the McAllen Airport in Texas, I was frustrated over the failed plans of trying to get back home to New Jersey in time for Christmas. Our team had just completed a mission trip to Reynosa, Mexico which was fruitful despite the freezing weather, and rare ice storm that affected the ability for the plane to take off. To be truthful, because of the freezing ice storm, I was looking forward to going home for Christmas to a nice warm home to spend time with family for the holidays, but that was now in jeopardy because the airport was in the process of closing. Even though we had 2 days to go home, we were told that we wouldn’t make it home for Christmas. They told us that planes were flying out of Houston, an 11 hour van ride, but no car rental place would rent us a van in the ice storm. I pleaded and reasoned with the person that I was from NJ and knew how to drive in the stormy weather, but he wouldn’t budge on his decision. So I was sitting on the ground of the airport frustrated thinking there is nothing I could do. That is when God spoke to me and said to my spirit, “Be still and know that I am God,” and “Wait upon me…”