God may call us to go beyond our world when we least expect it, and He will do more than we could ever imagine. Shaena Foot is now our Missional Experiences Coordinator here at Grace, but there was a time when she never thought missions was for her. Check out her story below:
2009 was a wonderful year for me. I was a stay at home mom, raising our sweet baby girl, Caitlyn, and enjoying every bit of motherhood. I was completely unaware of the plan God had laid out for me, a plan that would change the course of my life and the life of my family.
It was an ordinary Sunday morning. My husband and I were sitting in church, and I spent time looking through the bulletin before the worship gathering started. A bulletin insert describing all of the short-term mission teams Grace was sending that year caught my attention, and one particular trip to Uganda caught my eye. The team was seeking teachers to work at AOET’s primary school. I was a Howard County Public School teacher for six years prior to having Caitlyn. I just felt prompted to go and told my husband I wanted to apply. I think he thought I was a little crazy…traveling on a missions team was never something we had talked about, but he was completely supportive.
So I took the leap of faith, applied for the team and was accepted. Before I knew it, I was headed to Africa for almost three weeks with people I barely knew, leaving behind my baby and my husband. I was crazy!
We landed in Uganda, and I knew almost instantly that my life would never be the same. My heart experienced a range of emotions that I couldn’t quite describe. My three weeks in Uganda opened my eyes to God’s heart for the nations. I used to believe that missions was something for other, more qualified people, but I quickly realized that wasn’t true. Acts 1:8 took on a whole new meaning for me.
But you will receive power when the Holy Spirit has come upon you, and you will be my witnesses in Jerusalem and in all Judea and Samaria, and to the end of the earth.” – Acts 1:8
I returned home a very different person. God captured my heart for the world, and I knew that I wanted to share my experiences with my family and friends. The next year I was able to return to Uganda with my husband, Jeff. Within a few years, I was able to travel back to Uganda with my dad, my husband and my daughter. It was a joy serving alongside each of them for the first time and watching their hearts change, just like mine did a few years earlier.
I now have the privilege of encouraging others to go, reminding them to never say never!