“God works in mysterious ways”….an incredibly common phrase that I recently learned to appreciate in a whole new way.
I left for training for the YAMs (Young Adult Missionary) program one year ago and found out that I would be coming to HK about two months before training began. Honestly, when I first read the email that my initial placement site match was in HK, rather than somewhere in the Middle East, I was disappointed. I stared at the computer thinking “HK, Asia?? I know nothing about East Asia. I speak Arabic, I’ve been to the Middle East, I know the issues, the region, the politics, I wrote papers (lots of papers) about it…that’s where I should be” So as any good daughter does, I called my mother who told me that “HK was exciting and a wonderful opportunity, a place to learn something new.” She allayed my fears and told me to view this as an exciting new adventure.
After reading about APMM, their work, and the interview with the staff, I accepted the placement with APMM in HK (obviously). I knew that I would learn new things here, and I was also excited to find connections to things I already knew. For example, Indonesia is the largest Muslim country in the world, and since HK has a large FDW population from Indonesian, I would have the opportunity to learn about Islamic practices outside of the Arab world. I studied gender in a variety of ways at Smith, so in HK, I could explore the intersection between migration and gender. I also hoped to discover my next step in this process. So, I trusted that God sent me to HK for reasons that I might not know or understand or see, but reasons with a purpose nonetheless.
A few weeks ago, I learned that one of the members of the YAMs class to be commissioned in August was initially placed in Palestine. (Also, someone was already in Palestine when I became a YAM). Rather than feeling jealous, I burst out laughing because clearly, God REALLY wanted me in HK (for someone to go before my year and after my year but not from my class).
This moment renewed my trust in God. I was so worried when I arrived in HK that this experience would not lead anywhere and that I would leave as I entered without a clue as to what to do next. HK, APMM and the related organizations has shown me my passions and interests and given me exposure to a variety of issues. I’ve seen and participated in numerous ways to engage in social justice. Only through THIS experience and in THIS place could I discover my next step.
I will never know God’s plans for me with absolute certainty, but I can discover them through prayer and leaps of faith. I will go down the wrong path and might take the “leisurely” route to get somewhere, but through trust and faith, God will guide me through life.