A Calling Interrupted: Pursuing Missions in the Midst of Trials

Count it all joy, my brothers, when you meet trials of various kinds, for you know that the testing of your faith produces steadfastness. And let steadfastness have its full effect, that you may be perfect and complete, lacking in nothing. James 1:24

In April of 2021, Kenzie and Morgan Flippo were preparing to say their goodbyes to friends and family as they embarked on the calling God had placed on their lives. Leaving the security of home, jobs, and community behind, they had answered the call to international missions, beginning with a three-month stay in NDjamena, Chad, Africa. But what was simultaneously brewing within the country of Chad would drastically change the trajectory of the Flippos calling.

On April 20, following the announcement of his re-election to a sixth term, Idriss Déby, the President of Chad, was assassinated by rebels seeking to overthrow his government. Due to the lack of civil and political unrest created by this turn of events, Kenzie and Morgan could not enter the country and were forced back to the drawing board. A calling interrupted.

We were in limbo, not knowing what the Lord was going to do, Kenzie shared. But as we prayed about what God had for us, we got a call from Ben Taylor about a church plant in Medford, Oregon, that needed help building its residency program for other church planters.” 

After completing an eight-week stay in Oregon and helping build a student ministry at the church there, the Flippos moved to Georgia and were scheduled to leave for Angola.

The night before we were supposed to leave, I felt a great uneasiness about going,Kenzie shared. We prayed throughout the night and into the morning, and we both felt that God had closed the door.

A calling interrupted.

Many times–maybe even most times–we draw closer to Christ through the fire of affliction. Through the ups and downs, starts, and stops of the last year, Kenzie and Morgan have learned more about the character of God than they did when they first gave Him their yes.

I’ve felt Him as Father in a profound way, Kenzie said. He was a cool drink of water over the fire in my heart. He understands how difficult the task is going to be. That’s why He said He is with us.” 

When you see the Lord moving, just like Peter, you want to go to Him out on the water, Morgan shared. And it’s not until later that you begin to see the wind and the waves. At that moment, you have to decide if you’re going to take your eyes off Jesus or keep going toward Him.” 

Kenzie and Morgan have never been more convinced of Gods calling on their lives despite the interruptions. They have begun the process of becoming full-time missionaries through the IMB beginning summer of 2022.

When COVID-19 hit the world, many of us experienced a calling interrupted. Our rhythms were interrupted, our plans changed, and for some, even our callings shifted. But missions was not canceled. How will you answer the call? How will you continue to engage in the missionary task locally, nationally, and internationally despite life’s interruptions?

As James says, you have to let steadfastness have its full effect, Morgan said. Keep following the Lord and trust Him through it.

We’d like nothing more than to equip you to fulfill the Lord’s call on your life. If you’re interested in learning more about what it would look like to engage in mid-term or long-term missions, visit our Missions webpage or contact the Missions Department.