11 September 2011

Did 11 September 2001 change your life?

Well, did it? There are probably many ways that the events of that day ten years ago changed all of our lives. Security on air travel is much tighter than it used to be, just for one. But what about you personally? Did you lose someone special on that day? Where you traumatised by all the video footage? Or did you, like me, experience some compassion for those directly affected, but not really think about it more than that?

Actually, as I listened to the sermon this morning, I realised that the events of that day indirectly changed the whole direction of my life. 10 years ago today, I was busy working for Queensland Health as a data manager for the BreastScreen Queensland program. I had done some management studies, but really wasn't sure where I was going past what I was doing at the time. I'd thought maybe I'd like to move into management, but maybe not. I definitely had no idea that in less than six years I would have moved to Cambodia and started a new career. God used the events of September 11 for His good. He changed the direction of my life. He led me back to my childhood dream of what I always wanted to be, a primary school teacher, in His time.

About a month after that not to be forgotten day, during an announcement in church about a need for people to do childcare at a missionary conference in Thailand, I strongly felt God say to me, "You can do this, Karen". Now up until then I felt that short term mission trips cost a lot of money, and didn't necessarily serve a great purpose. God changed me. He challenged me to go on that trip, and so I did. He provided the means and the leave that I needed, and made sure I was accepted to be a part of the team, despite the misgivings of some. While I was in Thailand at the conference, I sensed God's call to longer term service as a teacher. The initial vision changed, but God's leading has been clear along each step of the way. In January 2007, I came to Cambodia for 6 months. I'm still here! I've changed schools, but that was His plan too. Right now, I firmly believe I am exactly where God wants me, doing exactly what he wants me to do!

So what did 11 September have to do with it? Well, my recollection is that one of the major reasons why the team from STBC was needed, was because people in the USA were understandably reluctant to travel after the events of that day. So, while it was a tragic event, and many of the events that have followed are tragic, God has used it for good. He used those events to help me get where He wanted me. What an awesome God we have! Thank you Lord.

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