South Africa: Joy in saying ‘yes’ to God

Melody Davis, a student at Texas A&M University, discovered joy in saying "yes" to God's invitation to serve as a semester missionary in South Africa.

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I have never been happier in my life than I am right now. This semester, the Lord has taught me how much joy is found when we say “yes”—no matter what, where, or who he is calling us to serve.

Melody Davis served as a semester missionary at Restoring Hope Village in South Africa.

If you had told me two years ago I would take a semester off to be a missionary at Restoring Hope Village in South Africa, I would have laughed in your face. But here I am, about to finish a semester of service in South Africa. I had my own plans, but the Lord knew exactly where I needed to be.  And it has been the best semester of my life.

The past year has been full of pushing against God, trying to make my own plans work. First, I was called to serve for a semester. Then I said “yes” to going on a trip that I did not really want to go on. There was even a time when I considered saying “no.” But I knew, without a shadow of a doubt, the Lord was telling me to spend a semester in South Africa, so I took a step of faith—and here I am.

This semester has been full of new experiences, hard times and frustrations. But every single day, I wake up knowing that 100 feet outside my door are four houses full of kids I adore. I get to experience their laughs, smiles and the fun that comes with being a “big sister” to 27 precious kids. Overall, I could sum up my experience with two words—pure joy. It the joy that only comes from the Lord. Joy that is found when you do exactly what the Lord has called you to do.

This is probably the biggest lesson I have learned this semester. Sometimes, we do not understand why the Lord is calling us somewhere. Sometimes we think our plans are better than his. But in the end, God’s plan is the best. God knows where we need to be and has been preparing us for it every step of the way. Saying “yes” to the place God has called you will bring true joy—joy that can only be found when we rest in his dwelling place. So. even when it seems insane, my answer will forever be “yes,” because there is nothing that can compare to God’s plan and the joy experienced in Christ.

Melody Davis, a student at Texas A&M University, has been serving in South Africa this semester with Go Now Missions. 

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