by Adriana Lara
On September 5th of 2019, instead of heading into the new school year as I have been the past 8 years as a special education teacher, I’ll be on my way to the Middle East to support a family who is in desperate need of a homeschool teacher.
This family has been serving God for 14 years in this specific region, but around two years ago, they found out that their youngest child was dealing with severe emotional issues, eventually being diagnosed with an emotional disability.
As a special education teacher, I’ve worked with multiple families and students with emotional disabilities, and know how much families need people to come side-by-side with them. That’s why going to the aid of this family, who prayed for someone to help, is an honor and privilege. In many ways, I feel like God prepared me for this very mission in advance, years before I even knew about this family or opportunity.
I was born the youngest of two, to a Hispanic family of mixed nationalities; my mom being from Argentina and my dad from El Salvador. Growing up, God wasn’t a main character in my life. Don’t get me wrong, my family believed that God existed, but we never made decisions thinking about God or what He wanted. Looking back, this would have probably helped my family a lot. Back then, my family was an ugly mess. My sister had become a teen mom at the age of 16, my parents got divorced when I was 15 years old, and I was a very angry, resentful, know-it-all sister/daughter. I often asked God why He gave me the family He did, and if by any chance He could have someone save me from the mess that was my life.
I wouldn’t quite get His response until my freshman year at the University of Maryland (UMD).
The fall of freshman year, I met a Korean missionary who asked me to start studying the Bible, and it took me about 9 months before I came to truly believe that what the Bible said was true. That the son of God, Jesus Christ, came to this world to save me from my sins, and that as I opened my heart and life to Him, He would become my Savior, my Lord, my Best Friend, my Intercessor, my Counselor, my Everything. You get the point. Why was this important? Because it so happened that a year later, 20 year-old-me found herself trying to figure out what she wanted to be when she grew up.
Up to that point, I thought I was going to be a mechanical engineer, but calculus class took me out of the running. I tried to do computer programming, but found out really quickly that my brain wasn’t cut out for it – no way. So I found myself with no idea what career path to take, but I needed to know by the end of my sophomore year because UMD was making me. When I say I had no clue, I literally mean, I had no clue. Yet, around that time I heard an interesting story about a missionary who had chosen her mission field by grabbing an atlas globe, praying over it, and letting God decide where she was going by twirling the globe and going wherever her finger landed. After I heard that story, an idea came into my head. I decided to do the same thing with my career, except instead of using a globe, I would use pieces of paper with all sorts of careers written on them. So I looked up careers and started to write them out, and I even put ‘other’ just in case I missed one. I remember that day: I fasted and prayed, telling God that I would do whatever He chose for me to do; that I had no clue, so He could choose.
I took a deep breath, shook the hat I had used to put in the pieces of paper, and picked up one from the pile. When I unfolded it, it said, ‘special education teacher.’ I remember pausing for a second because I didn’t really know what a special education teacher was (remember, I chose these careers randomly).
So I did what anyone else would do, I folded it back up and put it back into the pile.
Again, I picked up one, unfolded it, and it said, ‘special education teacher.’
At that point, I said okay to God. The next day, I went to the Education building at UMD and changed my major to Special Education.
Fast forward 12 years: I ended up getting my Master’s in Special Education, I’ve taught for eight years, and now I’m leaving to a land that I’ve never been to in order to use my professional skills to support a family I have never met, but who prayed for someone to go and help them out. If anything, this proves that God is answering prayers long before we even know we will make them.
As I share this with you, my hope is that this would encourage you in some way. I don’t regret having allowed God into my life because He healed my wounds and taught me to love my family way before I saw what He could do in their lives. I don’t regret having allowed Him to choose my career path because I love what I do and that tells me He knew me better than I knew myself. And now, I’m sure that I will not regret having let Him lead me to take off a year from work to go support this family; I trust Him.
If you would like to be a part of what God is doing, please consider supporting Adriana financially and through prayer.
Ways to financially support:
- Mail checks to Frontiers, PO Box 60730, Phoenix, AZ 85082-0730
- Online at frontiersusa.org/donate ~ Name: Adriana Lara, Worker ID: 199019
- Call (1-800) 462-8436
- Pray for the good news to continue to spread throughout the Middle East. (Psalm 96:3)
- Pray for protection against spiritual warfare and for health/physical safety. (Psalm 121:7-8)
- Pray for people to partner up with me in prayer and financial support. (Romans 15:30)
- Pray for the love of Jesus to pour out as I serve others with humbleness. (John 13:34)
- Pray for God to help me transition to a new culture, language, and ministry. (1 Corinthians 9:19-23)