One Step at a Time
By Esther Leininger, Missionary Disciple, Texas/Mexico Border Ministries
When I was a child, I heard stories of great missionaries who were called by God to go to dangerous, unknown places to share the gospel with the lost. Some received the call like Moses, maybe not with a burning bush, but definitely with some great sign of God’s power. Some received the call like Elijah, who heard a still, small voice calling him to follow where God led.
My call was nothing like that. I did not have a great sign from God or a still, small voice that told me what to do. I’ve simply followed God one step at a time.
My parents, Tom and Karen Leininger [former WGM missionaries], were called to missions before I was born. I was raised in Bolivia for seven years and Honduras for two years. Overseas ministry was my life, and I loved it. I was 12 when we returned to the United States and did not understand why we could not stay missionaries forever. I realized then that if I wanted to be a missionary, I would have to work hard, and, of course, follow God’s lead.
At first, I wondered if being a missionary was just what I wanted and not what God wanted. However, as God began opening doors for me to continue missions work, I began to realize that God’s desires for my life and my personal desire to be a missionary were the same.
God first began opening doors when I went on a missions trip to Haiti in 2008. During college, I went on two more missions trips—one to Russia for a week and one to Bolivia for four months. On both trips, I kept testing to see whether my call to missions was what God wanted, and both times I felt a great deal of peace about the situation.
Every new step, every new opportunity, has brought me closer to being a career missionary teacher at Taylor Christian School in McAllen, Texas. Sometimes I still wonder if I am just doing what I want to do, but I believe God gives us the desires of our hearts that mirror His own. Often He did not give me the answers I wanted when I wanted them, but He always gave me answers before I needed them. He has always been faithful to me, and I can be sure I am in the center of His will by simply following Him one step at a time.
MORE: Stay connected with Esther at www.facebook.com/estherleininger.