Meet Jordan Forker: she followed His call to Zambia and learned that joy is one of His greatest gifts.
What led you to travel to Zambia alone?
Nearing the end of 2017, I began looking into mission trip opportunities for the next year. I had full intentions on traveling to the Middle East but the Lord had another location in mind. I prayed and asked where it was that He was wanting to send me. It wasn’t until a few months later that I received my answer. I was online looking at the opportunities once again, and the country Zambia lit up. I knew instantly that this was the location He intended for me to be. I quickly applied without resentment and after multiple interviews, discovered that I had been accepted to go on this trip in July of 2018. As more information about the trip was sent to me, I realized that I had to book my flight and fly all the way to Africa by myself. The idea didn’t seem scary to me, but my family and friends were very concerned. In the end, I knew I was going to be protected by the arms of the Father the whole time and knew there was nothing that should stop me from pursuing this trip.
What’s one fear or hesitation you had about traveling and serving internationally and how did you work through it?
When asked this question, I can’t help but say that I truly had no fears or concerns about traveling internationally. I like to think that if I know that I have been truly called to something, that I should have no fears or doubts. I’ve learned from multiple experiences throughout my life that the plans that are not always my own, are always the ones that mean the most in life. Those moments always turn out to be the highlights of my life so I know that the end result, no matter how messy the starting point might look, will always excel any doubts or concerns that may be brought about in the beginning.
How did you serve while you were there?
When I arrived in Zambia, I met with an amazing group through Adventures in Missions and we did so many amazing things while we were there. We attended church services to bond and get to know the people within the community better. We evangelized in both town and villages where we had the opportunity to walk in the way we felt led. We had no one saying that we couldn’t go a certain way, we literally walked in the path the Lord directed us to and met with the people He directed us to. When there, we also attended women’s Bible studies and went to an orphanage. The last day we were there, we also hosted a kid’s camp with our host family and got to sing, dance, play, serve, and teach many beautiful children the true love the Lord has for everyone.
What did you learn about yourself during your time in Zambia?
I learned some major life lessons in Zambia. The two that instantly come to mind are the same two that I try to now apply to my everyday life. I first learned that I really need to slow down. In my life, and I’m sure many others too, we always get so caught up in our routines and what all has to be done when and how we don’t have time for this because of that. In Zambia, I had the privilege to have moments where I could just stop and soak it all in. This allowed me to see the bigger picture in so many things instead of just rushing through events. Just simply stopping, looking around, and admiring all the goodness that comes with life was simply amazing to me.
The most important thing I learned about myself while on this trip was that I was seeking joy in life but not fully. This may sound silly so hear me out please. I’ve always seen myself as a very happy and positive person but the ways of the world can always try and steal some of your happiness and joy, not allowing you to seek the fullness of it all. I learned that joy is one of the many gracious gifts God grants us all so freely. So I began to ask myself, why not accept this amazing gift at all times. Even when you’re having a bad day and things don’t go the way you wanted them to go, it’s all okay! Everything happens for a reason so we must have joy in knowing that it is all a part of the plan for our lives and that it will lead us to even greater things than we could ever imagine. Seeking the fullness of joy is the absolute greatest gift and lesson I learned while on this trip.
What’s one thing you wish you’d known before your first international mission trip?
I went on my first international mission trip in the spring of 2016 to the Dominican Republic. If I could’ve known one thing before I went on that trip, I wish I would’ve known how hard it would be to say goodbye to all my new friends that quickly turned into family. I was so excited for the trip and all the good things that we were going to be doing while there, but never in my mind thought that I would become so passionate for missions work and bond with the people so well. I absolutely fell in love with it all. The friendships that were made were some of the most valuable ones I had ever had. During this trip, I knew for certain that this was what I was being called to do, and I wouldn’t have realized it without all the people I had met there. Saying goodbye was so hard but knowing that I will see them all again someday gives me so much peace and joy.
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