I'll never forget the moment the dream was planted in my heart.
I was sitting in our mid-sized church--left side three rows back--in Bowman, North Dakota, and the visiting missionary was telling a riveting story based on the Psalm "He that goeth forth and weepeth, bearing precious seed, shall doubtless come again with rejoicing, bringing his sheaves [with him]."
I went home that night and wrote down everything that was in my heart.
It was a vision larger than life. It was bigger than big. It was incredible. And I was fired up.
I went to bed that night dreaming about all the incredible things God was going to do through me and how He was going to use me in Croatia.
Those dreams gave fuel to my decision to go as I struggled to fit my entire life into two suitcases, two carry-ons and one large bin that I sent to my Croatian address via ship.
They soared with me over thousands of miles from Portland, Oregon to Zagreb, Croatia.
They gave me determination as I walked home from my first Croatian language class certain I was incapable of learning the language. If only God had given me a vision of me seven-and-a-half years later taking my Croatian Language Proficiency exam when I got 100%. That glimmer of hope was really needed then!
They kept me company when the novelty of my arrival wore off and people went about their lives with their friends, and I fought to find a place where I fit in. It's always like that as a new person in a new town. Try a new person in a new country!
They comforted me when I was forced to leave the country for three months, and I sat on a bus bound for Bosnia where I knew no one and no one knew me. Little did I know that I'd make friends for life in that dear town of Tuzla!
They reminded me of why I was here in the first place as I wept over the precious babies I had so quickly fallen in love with--but that my arms never got a chance to hold.
And so many times I have reflected on those dreams and wondered if they would ever come to pass.
Was God teasing me?
Did I merely dream my own dreams?
The dream I dreamed about what I would do in Croatia was grandiose and over-ambitious. The phrase, "Zeal without knowledge" would be appropriate in this context.
I didn't know anything at all about Croatia, its people, its culture or its history and background. But as I began to learn more about these things, I realized that what I had dreamed would not only be offensive to the people, it wouldn't be appropriate at all for this country or its culture. I was an American having American dreams about doing American things in a country that wasn't America.
Since that time, God has chiseled and sharpened that dream; He has knocked off rough edges, and shaped it into something that fits the culture I live in.
And I pray that very soon I will begin to see the fruit of that vision.
In the meantime, I do not wait idly by; I work, I labor: I am serving in a mission field called "motherhood," I am serving in a mission field that is my neighborhood, I weekly share with my Sunday school class children the importance of salvation.
And as I do so, I realize that doing these things are--in fact--a small part of that big dream!
Rosilind Jukic is an American girl married to a Bosnian guy who lives in a small village just outside of Zagreb. They have two crazy boys 3 and under who are as opposite as boys can be. When Rosilind isn't writing, she is dreaming up recipes and searching for ways to organize her home better. You can find her at A Little R & R where she writes about missions, marriage and family, toddler activities and her recipes.
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