Blog written by Kegan Haakonsen, manager of Oceans Retreat Center.
In my role as driver for a high school group from Grand Rapids, I recently had the privilege of going back to Beautiful Gate, Lesotho, after a 10 year absence. At one time just one room with 7 babies, a simple “YES!” to God’s request by my mom and dad all those years ago turned a desperate situation into this beautiful, peaceful and welcoming Centre. Seeing the progress, the amount of new buildings and hearing that over 500 babies have been influenced made my heart swell with pride! Not to mention the amount of lives touched by volunteers, teams and staff that have passed through these beautiful gates!
While sitting in the gazebo overlooking this beautiful place, I asked God what I could do to make a difference while I’m here. “Just be the driver” came the reply. Not really the answer I was hoping for! Ok God, what does that mean!? “Just be who you are” was the response.
As “just the driver” I had no idea how I was going to fit in with the tight-knit team of teenagers and leaders. It started slowly with conversations over meals, evening drives to the local supermarket for late night snacks and trips to the local souvenir shop. “Driver” soon became “friend” and the kids really got to see “just who I am” over some overly competitive ping pong games! By just being myself, relationships deepened and I found myself sharing my story and enjoying incredible fellowship with these teens.
Church that Sunday moved me deeply. It moved everyone with a spirit-filled message from Tim Spykstra and the greatest praise and worship I have experienced in a long, long time. God once again spoke to me and gave me a fresh renewing of His love and peace in my life.
Dropping the team off at the airport was difficult. Good byes were harder than I expected. Some of the guys managed a good bear hug but no words were spoken. Setting off from the airport, this time for the long drive home on my own, I felt God’s voice again, “Good job on being YOU! You spoke honestly, you shared the good, the bad and the ugly from your life. You listened, you shared your faith, you encouraged them to love Me with all they’ve got! And you thought you were Just the Driver!”
Many times we wait. We wait for better timing, more understanding, a better position. We do not feel qualified enough. We have self doubt. We think we need to be better people first… Let me assure you that God wants you to be you. He will do the rest. So while I felt like I was “just the driver” I was used by God for so much more than that. I felt so alive in those moments and looking back now, I get excited to see that I am more than enough. I am someone. A very ordinary someone being used by an extraordinary God! All you have to do is say,
“Yes, here I am, use me.”