By: Kacie Starr Long
“When the time is right, I the Lord will make it happen.” Isaiah 60:22
In 2011, I had an encounter with God that changed my life forever.
After an afternoon of spending time with family, my mother handed me a magazine from Joyce Meyer Ministries and said: "There is a prayer in here that I want you to read. It's a prayer to receive the baptism of the Holy Spirit."
I excitedly took the magazine to my small apartment, and once inside, I settled into my living room to pray. I don't remember the exact words from the prayer, but later that night I got filled with the Holy Spirit with the evidence of speaking in tongues.
A few days after that encounter, I began to have a strong desire to minister and preach God's word in Africa.
The desire was so strong, that one morning while applying my make-up I felt an urgency to declare aloud:
"One day I am going to Africa, and when I go to Africa I am going to preach God's word and help many people."
That morning, all while applying my make-up and ironing my clothes for work that day, I confessed over and over:
"I am going to Africa."
"One day I am going to preach God's word in Africa."
The idea of me traveling to Africa at that time was foreign. I had traveled internationally for work but had never traveled for missions or ministry. In fact, I hadn't even shared with my Pastor that I had felt God's call to minister the gospel.
Has God ever given you a dream, yet you don't know how it is going to happen?
Perhaps God has given you a dream of marriage, but the current dating pool seems polluted and you can't comprehend how on earth God will send you a spouse.
Maybe you have the desire to open a business, but you don't know where or how to find the start-up funds or even where to begin with the paperwork.
I want to encourage you that when God gives you a dream, don't allow your dream to die -- instead speak life into your dream, because in God's timing, He is going to make it happen.
In 2012, I thought my dream was finally coming to fruition when a group approached me and several work colleagues about traveling to Senegal, a country in west Africa.
As you can imagine, I thought this would finally be my chance to go to Africa and help people.
Although the scheduled trip was more government-related and not mission-minded, I figured, if I could just get on the continent of Africa, then my dream of serving God in Africa would come to pass.
Needless to say, the trip never transpired. There were many discussions and even plans for the trip, but nothing was ever finalized. It just wasn't God's timing.
In 2014, I came across an opportunity from Joyce Meyer's global mission team, called Hand of Hope.
They were organizing a missions team to Zimbabwe to help run a health clinic for the people in the villages. Although I am not in the medical field, the representative from Hands of Hope assured me that I would still be welcome to join the team and that I would be an asset. I excitedly filled out the application and requested my Pastor to write a letter of recommendation, but sadly it just wasn't God's timing for me to go to Africa.
Despite these two failed attempts to go to Africa, the dream never left my heart.
I didn't know how I would ever go there and share the gospel, but I continued to pray.
In 2014, I met a woman who would later become my spiritual mom. She shared how she had an orphanage in Africa and how she traveled there regularly.
Would I be able to visit and minister with her one day? I asked.
She graciously said, "Yes, start saving your money."
I just knew that I would get to Africa by ministering with my spiritual mom but the opportunity never happened.
2015 came and went.
2016 came and went.
2017 came and went.
2018 came and went and yet, I still carried the dream of ministering in Africa.
In 2019, my friend Grace Smith invited me to join her and a team to minister in Uganda. Our assignment would be to share Jesus with kids who have a parent in prison. I was asked to also teach a sewing class to the teens.
Friends, 8 years later, God opened the door for me to minister and preach His word in Africa! The dream God spoke to my heart was finally fulfilled!
In 2022, I returned to Uganda, again with Grace, this time in a leadership capacity to help coordinate a women's conference for previously incarcerated women. The first of its kind in Uganda.
By the time you read this article, I will be in Africa again. This time, I'm in Mozambique, a country located in southeast Africa, teaching at a sewing school for widows. While leading sewing classes, I'll also be praying and sharing God's word and encouragement with these ladies who have experienced grief, loss, and hardship.
Friend, I want to encourage you that if God has given you a dream, don't shrink from it and don't back down from it.
You may experience delays and even false starts. This can be frustrating, but don't allow the dream to die. Know that in God's timing - He will make it happen!
PS: This year I really want to fall in love with God's word. Therefore, I am committing to memorize scripture each week. I invite you to join me on this journey, where I will email you the scripture for the week along with a short devotional. To receive these emails, please subscribe to my blog and receive an email from me each week. Let's go deeper into God's Word this year!
Hi, my name is Kacie Starr Long. I am an author, and speaker and I love to use my voice to point people to Jesus. When I'm not writing, I'm either working out at Orange Theory Fitness or sewing. God delivered me from food addiction and I have a sewing ministry, called the Sew Hope Community Sewing Room. I am the proud wife of Alfred T. Long, Sr and together we lead a non-profit that serves prisoners and their families. Connect with me at www.InspiredOverflow.com and via my YouTube page for Christian teachings and encouragement.