"Crossing the River" from Shannon

Hi everyone. My name is Shannon and I want to share about my recent trip to Haiti. Before I begin, a little background: I am a nurse and I went to Haiti on a medical mission through Azusa Pacific University to provide health care in the villages of Northern Haiti.

The fusion of providing health care and serving the poor has been a dream of mine for six years. I have wanted to start a mobile clinic to deliver health care to the most unreached parts of the world. When I graduated nursing school, I asked some of my friends to pray for me and commission me into the profession of nursing. As one of them prayed, my calling was further confirmed. He had a vision of me at the edge of a large river with swift currents. He said I would have to cross this river in order to reach the people I was called to serve. He said on the other side, there would be people waiting for me, because I am meant to love and serve them.

For six years, I have been praying, waiting, studying, saving money, getting rejected from medical school, getting three degrees, all so I could get to those people. On the second day of my trip in Haiti, there we were. I couldn’t believe it! We had to cross a large river to get to a remote area of Haiti where people were waiting for us. They had walked over 5 hours to arrive there for medical care. Many of them had no access to medical care because of the rough terrain they live in.

I stood in front of this river, large currents, cholera-infected. We were required to cross it barefoot because the current would wash our sandals off. It was then that I remembered that vision. In that moment, I realized I was exactly where I was supposed to be.

In that moment, those six years of waiting didn’t matter. All the longing, the heartache, the locked doors, the many No’s faded away. God’s greater Yes always trumps the other No’s. As I crossed the river, I experienced so much joy. When you are in the center of God’s will and living out what you were born to do, He enables you to make unprecedented sacrifices even risking getting cholera. God put that Spirit within me. I arrived at the clinic and we treated over 100 patients and actually saved the lives of three children that day because we were able to transport them to the hospital and give them needed medications. They were in fact waiting for us.

I share this because I am sure many of us have dreams and visions for our lives. Perhaps God told you what you are to do or who you are to be in His kingdom years ago and yet your reality doesn’t seem congruent with what you have heard and been promised. But I want to encourage you and say that our God is always faithful. He will never fail and His word will never return to Him void. His timing is perfect and He will always come through.

And when He does, the pain of that labor leading up to the birthing of your destiny and calling will not only be forgotten, it will be worth it.

I want to leave you with one word I got while in Haiti from Isaiah 49: 1-4:

Listen to me, coastlands,
    and give attention, you peoples from afar.
The LORD called me from the womb,
     from the body of my mother he named my name.
He made my mouth like a sharp sword;
    in the shadow of his hand he hid me;
he made me a polished arrow;
    in his quiver he hid me away.
And he said to me, "You are my servant,
    Israel, in whom I will be glorified."
But I said, "I have labored in vain;
    I have spent my strength for nothing and vanity;
yet surely my right is with the LORD,
    and my recompense with my God."