Where is your mission field?

It's not the kind of news you want to hear. 
"Someone just got shot outside our apartment!" 

I actually surprised myself.  I didn't freak out....well, not bad.

Of course, the first thing I did was text Dillan to make sure he was ok - and he was. 

Incidences like this are one of the things you expect to hear about at some point in large cities - especially when it's in the downtown area where people from all walks of life congregate.

In a world filled with poverty and crime, it's going to happen.  It's just a matter of when.  

But don't fool yourself if you think you can avoid hearing such horrible stories by not moving to a large metropolitan area.  The same things happen in the small, rural, out-of-the-way towns.  They just happen less frequently.

When Dillan decided that Georgia State University in Atlanta was the school for him, I was a little concerned at first.  After all, we live in a small, rural farm town with only two red lights.  What do we know about life in the big city and how to survive in it?

After several trips to visit the school, my fears were somewhat calmed.  We learned of the large number of police presence in the area at any given time.  We also learned how to navigate around the city, places to avoid, and safety tips for students and residents. 

Dillan is a quick learner.  He has a pretty good sense of direction (when he's paying attention...ha!).  He quickly learned his way around campus....aka downtown.  He learned to drive in the crazy traffic with the pedestrians and one-way roads. He doesnt' have it all down pat yet, but who does? 

What I'm trying to say is that I don't worry about him constantly.  He really is a big city boy at heart and he has the world at his fingertips right where he is.  He has been given so many opportunities and is learning more about himself and life in his young adult world. 

The mama in me will always worry some, but I'm trusting God to care for him.  There's not a day that goes by that I don't pray to God to watch over him and protect him and bless him in all that he does.  I believe Dillan is where God wants him to be for this time in his life.  I believe that God has a special plan for his life and that Dillan cannot dream a dream that is too big. 

In saying that, I am reminded of a Sunday morning several years ago when Dillan went before the church to tell his church family that he felt God calling him to do full time mission work. 

Admittedly, it's easy to assume that means Dillan will one day become a pastor or a missionary.  As his mother, it thrills my soul to think about God using my son to possibly make a huge impact on this world for Christ.  But I remember my first thought was one of fear.  What if God sends him to a dangerous country?  But you know what?  You don't have to go to a third-world country to live in danger as you share the love of Jesus Christ to a dark and dying world.  You can do that in the United States in many urban areas.  In the state of Georgia alone, the sex trafficking industry is a huge problem.  Drugs and crime are having negative impacts all over the country.  And I'm pretty sure, I can go certain places in my own community that might pose some danger as well.  I've had to let go and trust God to care for Dillan.  After all, as hard as it is to imagine, I know that God loves him even more than I do. 

As a college student, Dillan lives in the 5 Points area of downtown Atlanta.  When we go for visits, I'm still amazed at what I see.  It's as if two worlds collide.  You look one way and see expensive cars and men in business suits.  You look the other way and there is a homeless person trying to find a place to sleep that night.  It stirs up something in me that I can't explain.  I guess it makes me aware of how one person's dream is being fulfilled and they are experiencing great success.....but then I see those who have failed or been dealt a bad deal in life.  How did they get where they are?  What keeps us all from becoming like that? 

Dillan has now started his second year of college and we have witnessed God using him in uncommon ways.  Dillan still fills called to full time missions, but his calling is not to a foreign country or a church.  His calling is in the film/modeling industry.  Just as thinking of my child moving to a war-torn third-world country would scare me,  the thoughts of him living out his life in this industry is scary as well.  But I've accepted it and trust God to protect him as he seeks His Will.  I would much rather Dillan live in God' Will in a dangerous area or industry, than to live out of his will in the safety of my home.

God has already been opening doors for Dillan in several ways.  He has been given multiple opportunities to play extra roles in movies and several television shows.  If you tune in to Vampire Diaries, The Originals, or The Walking Dead, you may catch a glimpse of him.  His latest work is on the third film for The Hunger Games. 

trailer for The Originals

I would appreciate your prayers for Dillan as he continues to use opportunities God provides to not only follow his dreams, but live out God's calling on his life.  At the first of the year, he will begin training with AMTC, a Christian non-profit organization that trains actors and models to live for Christ in the very dangerous industry of acting and modeling.  I believe that this opportunity will equip and prepare him as he gets more deeply involved in this industry. 

Is God using you in some uncommon ways in ministry?  I've love to hear about it!

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