Having A Heart Like Christ for Haiti and Africa

Having A Heart Like Christ for Haiti and Africa

God knew I would be a missionary. He knew I would fight against being a missionary, too, but he also knew that responding to his call would change and challenge my life, my thoughts, my ideals and what I thought about who I thought I was.

Being a missionary was never on my radar screen. It was not something I aspired to do. But here I am today after my sixth trip to Haiti and my first to the Congo writing about how God had a plan for my life that involved getting completely out of my comfort zone and getting into his.

When you surrender to God and tell him whatever, wherever, whenever, however…you know what? He will send you.

When God sends you, he also prepares you for experiences you thought you couldn’t or wouldn’t be able to handle. God has to change your beliefs, thoughts, actions, reactions and heart to prepare you to do his will. We have to become followers before we can become leaders in order to live a Christ-centered life. We have to become followers in order to lead and serve others.

Since God knows this about all of us, he provided the perfect role model in Jesus. First and foremost, Jesus is the Savior of the world. He died in our place and rose again for our justification. He is the Gospel! That is the only message that we have to give to the world, and the only message the world needs.

Jesus is also the ultimate model of a leader who developed leaders to be like him, who developed leaders to be like him, who developed . . . you get my point: Christians are to be like Christ.

In calling us to be like Christ, God is not asking us to do something, but to be something. To be obedient. To be fulfilled in God’s desire for our character, and not in our works.

I don’t know if moving to or even working in Haiti is my calling, but I know that I am the best person I have ever been-more alive, more fulfilled, more passionate, more open to hear God’s voice-since I was in Haiti and Congo than ever before. Knowing what I can do in him moves me to be more open and obedient to him here in Fresno, as well as there. That’s what he desires of each and every one of us.

Jesus modeled this kind of being for all of us. His whole purpose was to be obedient to God, even unto death on the cross. He did everything God told him to do, not out of duty, but from his heart. He loved God.

Jesus healing the sick, giving sight to the blind, feeding the hungry, calming the sea, that was for us. Jesus being baptized, going to the cross and dying, that was for God and…for us. Nothing but pure obedience to God.

Being a missionary was never on my radar screen, but it was always on God’s. Not only for me but for all of us here at Fresno Pacific University. FPU is our mission field. Matthew 28:19-20 confirms this: “Therefore, go and make disciples of all the nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father and the Son and the Holy Spirit. Teach these new disciples to obey all the commands I have given you. And be sure of this: I am with you always, even to the end of the age.”


Gwen Burks

Executive Assistant to the President

One response to “Having A Heart Like Christ for Haiti and Africa”

  1. Gwen, it is so good to hear your story, especially the paragraph about you feeling even more alive since you obeyed God’s voice to go to Haiti and Congo. I treasure your testimony! In Christ, Walter Saul