Being on mission has taught me my purpose in life
By NANCY HURCKES
In 2013, I took my first short-term mission trip to Africa. While I knew it would be a ‘forever-in-a-lifetime’ experience, I had no idea it would change the trajectory of my life. I’ve been in education for more than 30 years. I love my job—but within 2 months after my return home, I submitted my letter of retirement.
Was that letter an act of obedience? I am not sure. What I do know is I will never be able to ‘un-see’ what I saw in Africa. I believe God orchestrated this trip, at this time in my life, to break my heart for what breaks His.
I really thought I was going to Africa to be the hands and feet of Jesus, to help those less fortunate. What I know now is that, instead, the people in Africa helped me. They showed me what living a faith-filled life looks like by trusting God in all circumstances.
How has my life changed? I deal with struggles in life in ways I never have before. I struggle with overabundance and excess most of all. I struggle with all those wrapped Christmas presents under our tree. I struggle as I watch my students throw away perfectly good food in our school cafeteria. I struggle with the fact that my dogs have clean water and two meals a day while over one billion children in this world do not. I struggle knowing 25,000 children will die today from preventable diseases.
“I really thought I was going to Africa to be the hands and feet of Jesus, to help those less fortunate. What I know now is that, instead, the people in Africa helped me.”
I desperately want to do something about all those struggles. Yes, I want to change the world but that is not my job. Being on mission has taught me my purpose in life. It’s really quite simple, and it’s God’s greatest command. I am here to love God and love His people. I will live for that purpose every day at home, at work or on mission, for the rest of my life, for His Glory.
Nancy Hurckes, Junior High School Principal and Mother of 4 kids