The desire to be on mission, serve people, and use the gifts God has given you can lead in a lot of different directions. Some people choose Sunday school classes, youth groups, or pregnancy centers to use their gifts, while others serve the homeless, imprisoned, or orphans as a way of giving back for all they have received. Whatever the outlet, anyone who wants to find their place of service must be willing to ask God, listen, and obey. It sounds easy, but often it can be a process of taking the first step of faith and then learning the rest as God guides us along the way. Rosemary Cohen learned that lesson on her first Finish the Work mission trip this year.
Rosemary, a medical professional from Hendersonville, NC, learned about FTW’s trip to Honduras through her church family at Mud Creek Baptist Church. Originally from Costa Rica, Rosemary had a desire to serve the people of Central America and quickly joined the team and made plans for the January departure. Through informational meetings, Rosemary learned that she would be the only woman on the 12 person team, and was encouraged to rethink her involvement by some of her friends. She would not be deterred. Although she did not have many construction skills like the gifted team she was traveling with, she knew God had a purpose in her trip to Honduras and she wanted to find out what it was.
When Rosemary arrived in Honduras the first night she shared her concerns with the team in their devotional time. “I’m not really sure why I’m here,” she said, “I don’t have many skills but I am willing to help wherever I can.” The team reassured her that everything would work out and prayed that God would reveal His purpose to her throughout the week.
Rosemary found her place from the minute she arrived in the small village of El Tontol. Her infectious smile, welcoming demeanor and her ability to speak Spanish built a bridge of love to the woman and children of the village almost immediately. Her concerns about how she would fit in with the team melted away as she saw God’s hand in bringing her to this remote place, on this particular team, for such a time as this. Her ability to connect with the people of the village laid a foundation of trust and encouragement for the rest of the teams to follow.
On the Third day in the village, Rosemary was approached by a young woman that had been watching the daily activities on the worksite…with little emotion. The woman shared with Rosemary that she was recovering from recent surgery and was concerned about pain and inflammation of the wound. The woman had no antibiotic, no medical supplies and no resources to travel back to the doctor for additional treatment. Rosemary was able to acquire the medical supplies, teach her how to clean her wound, and the infection was gone by the end of the week.
Rosemary returned from Honduras with a renewed vision for what God can do when you step out in faith ….and find your place in God’s plan. Her willingness reminds me of a young woman missionary who went to China in 1932…
“I wasn’t God’s first choice for what I’ve done for China… I don’t know who it was… It must have been a man… a well-educated man. I don’t know what happened. Perhaps he died. Perhaps he wasn’t willing… and God looked down… and saw Gladys Aylward… And God said – “Well, she’s willing.” –Gladys Aylward missionary to China (1932-1947, 1958-1970)
Are you willing to find your place?