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  • Amanda McKinney

God Calls Me to Peru

(Watch the video to see this post signed in ASL.)

In the fall of 2004, I took a “Deaf History and Culture” class at Germanna Community College in Fredericksburg, VA. My professor was involved in Deaf Missions in Peru and told us about her experiences there. After that, whenever someone mentioned missions to Peru, I was immediately interested and would inquire about their trip.

In 2009, I started to become restless at my interpreting job because I felt that I had become proficient in American Sign Language(ASL), but I didn’t feel that I was actually using my skills to serve the Lord. I began inquiring of Him what He wanted me to do with my passion for signing and the Deaf community.

In January 2010, the Lord opened up an opportunity for me to use my skills for Him when I went to NJ to interpret for a friend of mine who had been invited to preach at a church there. I truly enjoyed that entire weekend and while thinking about the weekend later that week, the Lord blessed me with a beautiful poem that exemplified completely my desire for using my skills for the Lord. I titled it “My Gift.”

My Gift

Oh, the joy, the peace, the calm,

When in the midst of hymn or song,

My hands move smoothly through the air;

In praise to Thee, a prayer, I share.

Oh, what a Blessed gift to have!

So unworthy, yet so glad,

When those whose ears receive no sound,

Can know Your grace and love abound.

Lord, if I could live each day,

And do no more, than Your words say:

From Your heart and through my hands,

Your love for these shall always stand.

Then, in July 2010, the Lord made it clear that I was not going to be staying at my current job at the time, but needed to start looking for something else. During the next 10 months, the Lord taught me a lot of patience and contentment in where I was as I waited on Him and His leading for what kind of positions to pursue, where to pursue them, exactly which field did He want me to pursue, etc. I did not get any direction as to exactly what kinds of jobs to look for, so I just tried to be open to whatever I found, came across, etc.

On Mother’s Day 2011, a friend who came to my church whenever he was in town was present that Sunday. While catching up with each other, he mentioned he was in the last stages of organizing a short term missions trip to Peru in June, and that he was leading another one to Peru in October. I was immediately interested and during the next couple months I kept them in prayer and he would tell me updates, etc. In mid-October, I told him why I tended to have an interest in Peru missions dating back to my professor in college. At that time, he then posed the question, “Do you feel called to Peru?” I responded negatively, but that my interest had always been very passive due to having a multiplicity of other responsibilities that required my attention. But that got me thinking and praying because I realized I was not very busy at that time, but had felt for some time that I was in a kind of hiatus status waiting for the Lord to give me direction. So I began praying and asking the Lord if missions was supposed to be on my ever growing list of possibilities that He may want for me. By the end of the year, I knew that missions were supposed to be on my list and I was not freaked out about the idea anymore. But it was merely on the list of possibilities.

As 2012 progressed, I had increasing peace about missions and really felt that perhaps I would do something with missions at some time. Then, on Sunday, March 12, 2012, while waiting for my dad to finish a meeting so we could leave church, I perused our church library and found a few books on evangelism/missions that seemed interesting. I brought them home and began reading the first one which focused on missions to Peru. As I read that book, I had an increasing peace that “this feels so right.” I finished that book that week and started the next one.

That Friday, March 16, 2012, I was driving to work and was just thinking about missions and talking with God. I had been feeling a semi-peace about missions since Jan, but nothing definite, so while driving I prayed, “Lord, do you want me to pursue/do something with missions?” I didn’t get any additional answer, so then I very specifically prayed, “Lord, do you want me to pursue missions to Peru?” Immediately I was filled with the most overwhelming peace and joy! I didn’t know how, when, with whom, etc., but I knew I was going to be serving the Lord in Peru! And without even having to ask, I knew it would be focusing on working with the Deaf community. This would be the most amazing fulfillment of the promise the Lord gave me in the poem he blessed me with back in January 2010!

Since then, the call to missions has been confirmed over and over again! So many brothers and sisters in Christ have come along side me in prayer and encouraged me in so many ways! As the Lord continued to lead me ultimately to joining a short term trip Summer 2013 as my first step to get into Peru, I approached my church elders for guidance and counsel. As my home church, I wanted them to be aware of what the Lord was doing in my life and to come along side me as well in affirming that this is the Lord's will and possibly being willing to be my sending church in the future if the Lord leads me to long term missions. After asking me my testimony and praying collectively, the elders affirmed that they also believe this is the Lord's call for me (at least right now), and they have also come along side me and promised guidance, support, etc., for whatever I need and wherever God leads me. :)

#missions #deafministry #peru

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