Please welcome Teri Black to the Words That Changed my World series today!
I’ve been on lots of short term mission trips. Medical trips to Guatemala, women’s conference trips to Mexico, and some amazing trips to Nicaragua working at a home for women coming out of the sex trade. They’ve had their challenges, I’ve had to do some difficult tasks, and they’ve all taken me away from family and comfort. But really, I have loved every minute and have never really taken any risks I wasn’t immediately comfortable taking. It’s not like I had ever had to lead a trip or anything.
A couple years ago, I was at a reunion dinner for our recent trip to Nicaragua. It had been a great trip. My friend Lesa had led the trip, and we had become good friends through these trips to Nicaragua. The dinner was over and everyone had gone home. I stood lingering in the front yard talking to Lesa.
“I was talking to Scott (our missions pastor),” she said, “about how we need more people to lead mission trips. And your name came up.”
“You could do it,” Lesa said.
I had been feeling restless for a year or so. Like God wanted me to do something, but I didn’t know what. I had already decided to quit leading women’s Bible study after eight years, and to quit working with the youth. And I had no idea why, other than I felt God leading me to. When Lesa uttered these words I knew instantly that this is what God wanted me to do.
My heart fluttered in my chest and my mind raced. Maybe I could do it. Lead or find a new trip for women at our church. It had never even crossed my mind before. And to have my dear friend whom I greatly respected say those words to me…it filled me with such joy and hope and confidence. I will never forget that moment under the yellow street light on that Spring night.
Over the next year I got busy. I had never led a trip before and had no connections. But I found myself emailing missionaries and organizations all over the world, and meeting with several of them. And eighteen months later I found myself on a plane to India.
The trip to India was incredible…other-worldly. And really it is the many months leading up to the trip that have changed me. For the first time in my life, I had had to depend completely on God for strength, guidance and confidence. I had no clue what I was doing and yet He supplied everything I needed every step of the way.
I would have never taken my first step on that amazing path if my dear friend Lesa had not planted the seed. I am so thankful for God’s provision, for my friend, and for her continual encouragement every step of the way.
A note from Teri Black: Hi! I am a 41 year old mother and pharmacist. My kids are 18, 14, and 11 and my husband is a stay-at-home dad. I am also a bit of a travel junkie. I grew up in a non-Christian home. We attend Woodcreek Church, a non-denominational church in Richardson, Texas.