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The terrifying call of God

In 2004 I ran across Kari Miller. A teacher in Minnesota, she had sponsored a Ugandan child through World Vision. And that one act was the first in a long series of steps of obedience that landed her as a long-term missionary. She describes what it felt like.   Only God can ask you to jo…
By Seth Barnes
By Seth Barnes
In 2004 I ran across Kari Miller. A teacher in Minnesota, she had sponsored a Ugandan child through World Vision. And that one act was the first in a long series of steps of obedience that landed her as a long-term missionary. She describes what it felt like.
Only God can ask you to join him in his work…to journey somewhere else to find him. 
God will never do more than whisper – he is so gentle with us.  I heard the same whispers about six years ago.  Every time I would lay my head down at night, I would hear them.
I asked so many people to either tell me that they were really God speaking to me or to tell me that I was crazy to believe some quiet voice I only heard at night.  In the end, my spirit just couldn’t not go…I was so uncomfortable in my comfortable life. 
So, I did something that everyone thought was crazy.  I sold my home, I sold my car, I took a leave of absence from work, I gave away my stuff I had spent 10 year accumulating and….
I left for Uganda knowing only one Ugandan family and having nothing prepared to do. 
Just like the rich young ruler, Jesus made me an offer…leave it and come. The thing is, I had to leave before I could know the outcome.  God does not hand you a five year business plan.  You walk only a step ahead. 
It is terrifying and full of unknowns. You dive off a cliff and fall weightless through the air with only the hope that God will in fact catch you before you hit the ground.  That is the chance I took. That is the chance God offers people. It is why many are called but only few will come. 
When I first came to Uganda I had no idea what I was here for…just to love people that is all I knew.  After about a month, God introduced me to Joyce, a widow, and after that I started the Dorcas Widows Fund.*
If you decide to follow what he is saying, it will cause you pain, disappointment and despair. Journeys always do, but in the end you will find boundless joy, unbelievable fulfillment and bottomless love. 
You see our savior loves us too much to lie to us. He told us directly that the journey would be hard.
But the bigger promise is that he will NEVER leave us or forsake us.  When battles come he will fight for us.  When we are lonely he will love us.  We will get all of him and he will get all of us and together we will love the ones he loves the most.  No one and nothing else in this world will promise you that.  It is worth it. 

* Read more about Kari’s journey of leaving it all and gaining her soul on her blog site.

Comments (8)

  • Kari, Your life story moves me – I mean REALLY moves me deep inside my spirit. I hear his voice also and want to make a difference in this world. I want to meet you some day on this side of heaven. Thank you for heeding the whisper. God bless you REAL GOOD!

  • I so totally needed to read this. Since being back from serving at Searchlight and trying to figure out the timeline for Ireland, God’s started saying to move…I feel it in my Spirit, but I’m at a loss of where to go or what to do with everything going on with my family and everything else around me, such as the student/parent-plus loans outstanding. Some leads have pointed towards 18 Inch Journey w/ the Helser’s, but haven’t heard back yet. Some to Gainesville, but I have no idea what I would do. Part of me says just go to IHOP in Kansas City, but I have no way of getting anywhere at the moment that I am at a loss of where to step.

    This post helps for sure. Thank you for posting it and for encouraging me through it! Much love Seth!

    In Christ’s Gentle Embrace,
    A.J. Wagoner

  • Another timely reminder. To live a faith of abandon; I don’t want to say reckless abandon, because that implies not listening or discerning, but rather the abandon that says, I will do or go where you lead, despite the cost or pain. I have a couple of those situations in my life and it is time.

  • Seth,

    Thank you SO MUCH for posting. I’ve been working on a wall-sized art project trying to document all the things God has been whispering (or shouting) for the last 6 months about fighting human trafficking through the arts. My songwriting partner and I kept asking ourselves, “Are we crazy?” But when we put all of the pieces together on the wall, it is SO CLEAR: we’re not crazy. We’d be crazy not to follow. I’ve been wrestling with that for the last 3 weeks.

    Perfectly timed, as always. Thank you.

  • This woman and her courage and faithfulness in following God’s call are inspiring, uplifting me on this dark and rainy morning in the Pacific Northwest.

    I especially appreciated reading more about her adventure and her testimonies to God’s work among the widows, on her blog.

    Thank you, Seth, for bringing us her story and providing a link to her blog.


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Seth Barnes

I'm motivated to join God in his global reclamation project. He's on the move, setting his sons and daughters free from their places of captivity. And he's partnering with those of us who have been freed to go and free others.

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