The Genesis Story

God called.  He said there’s a need in Thailand.  He said I’m the computer.

I’ve always felt called to missions.  Between dabbling in humanitarian assistance and development work through various jobs and taking as many opportunities as possible to travel and/or go on short terms missions, I’ve managed to pursue the calling enough to keep it within hearing distance, but not enough to actually grab hold.

In 2008 I signed up for a mission trip to Thailand with National Community Church — the trip that marked the kickoff of the A1:8 initiative.  I’m still not entirely sure why I signed up other than I happened to be sitting in the front row of church the day the trip was first announced and I claimed I was anointed with Pastor Joel’s holy spit.

I’ve never been particularly drawn to Asian culture.  Most of my interest and experience has centered around South America or Africa.  I knew little to nothing about (nor felt any strong calling to fight) the injustice of the sex trade.  But somehow I knew I was supposed to go.  And when October rolled around, I hopped on the plane with ten other folks to see what God wanted to show us of Himself in Thailand.

A blog post isn’t sufficient to recount what we saw.  We saw brokenness.  We saw darkness.  We saw harsh, harsh injustices.  But we also saw compassion.  And hope.  And joy.  And it was that unique juxtaposition of the two sides of the story that broke and moved my heart.

The staff of The Well — the ministry we were working alongside in reaching out to sex workers in Bangkok — made a point to express to us their need for help.  But it wasn’t a conventional missionary pitch for funding or other typical resource needs.  They needed people.  They needed people who could come to show love, identify needs and develop creative ways to meet them.  People moved by compassion to love these girls, believe in them, and believe that things can change in this broken nation.

The needs were great; the workers were few.

Now, I’m not one to claim hearing the audible voice of God often.  In fact, never.  However, as we prayed one evening for the needs of the Well, I heard it loud and clear.  So loud that I argued with it.   It went something like this:

God: “You’re the computer.”
Cori:  “No I’m not.”
God, still calmly: “You’re the computer.”
Cori, less calmly: “Ummmm… negative.  I’m really not…”
And so it continued…

At this point you’re probably thoroughly confused.  I’m clearly not a computer.  In fact I’m one of the least tech-savvy members of my generation.   (But hey – I’m blogging, aren’t I?  Let’s celebrate small victories here…)   But unfortunately I knew all too well what this meant.

Mark Batterson, lead pastor of NCC, told a story a few years ago that has been stored away in my mind.  Or, as Pastor Mark would say, on my reticular activating system.  Forgive my paraphrase (and don’t hold me to the details), but it went something like this:  He was praying with a group of his pastor friends for the needs of their respective churches and communities.  One of the pastors asked for prayer that God would provide a computer to meet a specific need of the church.  Pastor Mark started praying for his friend; he stopped mid-prayer, was reminded that he had a computer to give, and felt God asking that he give it.  Why pray for a need when God has equipped you to meet it?

This was the call.  Despite my best efforts to convince Him otherwise, God told me I was the computer.  I was supposed to, somehow, meet some need of the Well that I couldn’t yet define or understand.

I could write another whole blog about the events that occurred between October of 2008 and December of 2009, but I’ll cut to the chase.  God has unique timing.   He had a few things He wanted to take care of — and more importantly, a few things He wanted to teach me — before sending me.  After more than a year, and the audibility of the call to Thailand having ebbed and flowed over that time as circumstances ebbed and flowed, I decided to give God an ultimatum.  Yes.  An ultimatum.

I wanted a clear answer about Thailand over the holidays before I returned to the mad rush of DC.  I had a number of options on my plate and a number of competing “callings” on my heart.   I needed a clear yes or no.  So I mustered up the guts to trust God for an answer.  (Or, more realistically, dare Him to give one to me…) and He was gracious enough to humor me.  And, in typical God fashion, He did it in style.

The confirmations and affirmations are too many to recount in this post, but they happened.  And they were abundant.  And they have not stopped.  God saw my ultimatum and He chose to raise it about 15 notches.   So, God-willing, Thailand is happening this year.

Hence, the blog.

I’m stepping out out in faith to pursue the crazy calling put on my heart to “go.”  I look forward to sharing the ways in which God continues to captivate and cultivate my heart and life through this journey to Thailand;  I look forward to sharing the adventure of His story.

    • Jeremy
    • April 1st, 2010

    Awesome story! Will be fascinating to look back at this story a year from now… 🙂

  1. You are a blessing Cori and I cannot wait to read about how God will use your amazing gifts, talents and yes, even your lack of expertise, for his Kingdom! So often He doesn’t call the qualified, He qualifies the called! Thanks for listening! xoxo

  2. can’t wait to watch things grow!

  3. So I have made three comments and each on includes the word impressive. Thanks for this and you! Seriously. I can obviously identify so perfectly with you! I love it. It reallllllly makes me excited to imagine what God is doing through you, me, NCC, everyone! Thank you for making it SIMPLE and not letting your brain get in the way of something so obvious. I don’t know you extremely well but it doesn’y take a genius to see you as a perfect woman of God to fight injustices! NICE!

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