Have you ever looked closely at an optical illusion? There’s one in particular that comes to mind. You have probably seen it. It looks like an image of a vase. It’s an illusion because the image of the vase is actually the space between two faces, but most people only notice the vase. It doesn’t matter how long you stare at the picture before you figure it out. Once you notice the faces, they can never be unseen.
This is a picture of our lives before and after Perspectives. Before Perspectives, my husband and I were living a pretty average American life. My husband worked as a financial analyst and we were in a comfortable place. As the son of a retirement planner, he was preparing for our future well in advance.
We had an interest in missions and participated in several short-term trips. But our understanding of God’s heart for the world was almost non-existent. We signed up for the Perspectives class thinking we might find a short-term gig that would take us to a Spanish speaking country. We would kill two birds with one stone: serve the Lord and learn a language. It wouldn’t be more than a year or so, then we’d be back in the States to settle down for good. If our lives were like the illusion, we were staring at the faces, but could only see the vase.
Then came Perspectives. It was humbling. Although we both grew up in the church, this was completely new information for us. Never before had we seen the Biblical basis of missions from Genesis to Revelation. We learned for the first time about the thousands of people groups who still have no access to the Gospel, who have literally never heard the story of Christ.
Our hearts broke at the reality of how few missionaries and resources are sent to work among these people. We realized that our efforts to improve quality of life can only go so far and that what people most desperately need is life itself in the form of Christ. We heard story after story of the miraculous work God is doing in our day and time all across the globe. And we were compelled to action.
We could not “un-see” this new picture of God’s love for the nations and His desire for us to join Him in sharing His story. He placed unrest in our hearts and a desire to do something. We willingly walked away from the security of our jobs, placed our belongings in storage and signed up for Cafe 1040’s overseas program. A year later, we were given the opportunity to join Cafe 1040’s staff full-time and prepared to move overseas.
Our life looks nothing like we thought it would 3 years ago. We aren’t settled into our dream home with the rest of our lives mapped out. We are no longer climbing the corporate latter, nor is our 401 K what it could’ve been. We are now dependent on the support of investors and are learning what it looks like to fully rely on God. Our belongings are still in storage. Instead of Spanish, we now speak Arabic. The plans we had for our lives have been pushed aside. But we wouldn’t change a thing.
What once looked like a simple vase now has a new dimension. Never again can we look at the world as we did before. Today, because of Perspectives, we see the faces. We see the people who don’t know Jesus; the sons, the daughters, the hard-working moms. We long for them to know our Savior. And we are grateful for the invitation to play a part.
This post is written by a Cafe 1040 staff member.