“‘Not called!’ did you say?
‘Not heard the call,’ I think you should say.
Put your ear down to the Bible, and hear Him bid you go and pull sinners out of the fire of sin. Put your ear down to the burdened, agonized heart of humanity, and listen to its pitiful wail for help. Go stand by the gates of hell, and hear the damned entreat you to go to their father’s house and bid their brothers and sisters and servants and masters not to come there. Then look Christ in the face — whose mercy you have professed to obey — and tell Him whether you will join heart and soul and body and circumstances in the march to publish His mercy to the world. — William Booth, founder of the Salvation Army

A year ago today if you would have told me that I would be packing up my family of five and moving to a remote area in Texas called Laredo, I would have laughed in your face and told you to not play with me like that.  Don’t get me wrong, I love Laredo and the people of Laredo.  It’s a couple of minutes away from the Texas/Mexico border and is full of beautiful Hispanic history and the most loveliest people you’ll ever meet.  While there I formed relationships with so many and found it extremely hard to board the plane without being in tears.  I love the fact that the people there treated me like I was someone of importance.  Pastors Luis and Lucy De Leon of the New Vision Community Church of Laredo also played an instrumental part of making it hard for my departure of my first missions trip.  Even in all of the beautiful experiences I had, moving there was not a permanent thought in my head.  Yes, I came home on fire for the things of God and could not stop talking about the loving people of Laredo and Nuevo Laredo.  It never once crossed my mind that while talking about the people, my experiences, and the work of the Lord that I did there that I had fallen in love.  I had fallen in love with being a servant.  I would be at work trying to figure out ways to be a blessing to the people of Laredo while I actually should have been working.  I talked my husband into a coma about how I wanted to go back and do the work of the Lord there (on a visitation basis only).  I talked about it so much that I even got my husband fired up to want to take his first missions trip.  In Aug. of 2011 we ventured together as a couple and within an hour of being there, my husband Devonne turns and looks at me and says he wants to move to Laredo.  After thoroughly ignoring such a monumental statement from my husband I continued to eat my meal and push the thought of living in Laredo out of my head.  Oddly enough the more I was there the more I was silently falling deeper in love with the people.  They have such a hunger for the things of God that I have never encountered in my entire life.  I have done numerous acts of servant work within my own city, but have never seen gratitude for service as I did in Laredo.  Even with having language barrier issues, my heart and spirit were able to translate gratitude.  Deep down inside I had started to settle in my heart the thought of moving to Laredo.  Of course I never told my husband as he would have packed us up once we got back to Jacksonville.  Once we got back home, my husband talked almost daily about our trip which made it even more difficult to cancel out my attempts of erasing the thoughts of moving to Texas.  To make my running away from the call even worse, I reached out to Pastora Lucy De Leon and called her to see how they were doing.  Deep down on the inside I wanted to tell her I couldn’t keep Laredo off my mind, but she never gave me that opportunity as she started talking about all of the different things they had going on and how they were excited and overwhelmed.  Wow, overwhelmed.  I understood what she was saying as I too had experienced a recent season of being overwhelmed with no help.  I became so full of compassion and was drawn to tears during the call.  While ending the call Pastora Lucy was brought to tears and said to me, “Lakeesha, you have to let go of all of the fear and trust the Lord with everything.”  Her saying that was a humongous seed planted in my heart which started a reckoning within me to truly trust God.  I told my husband about the call and he said it was time for us to pray to make the transition there as he knew the first day he was there that we were to move there as missionaries.  I had so many reservations as we don’t have savings or family support to just up and leave jobs.  On top of that we have three children that solely depend on the two of us to feed and clothe them.  I could go on with the “natural” excuses, but it still doesn’t negate the fact that I knew God was moving us and He was awaiting a definitive yes from me.  What a weight!  Our decision to move was all contingent upon me saying yes.  After months of praying and constant tugging from my husband and the Lord, I finally gave in and called Pastora Lucy to tell her we are willing to answer the call of being full-time missionaries.