Spiritual Practice

Saying Yes, Going On

Katy Steele, 22

If we want to be like Jesus, we must be close to him, studying his word, talking and listening to him, loving people as he does. After I graduated from college, God called me on a journey to serve people around the world. With every step, God is teaching me what it means to get close to Jesus by following where he leads.

Hearing the Call

My senior year was the time to start deciding what to do after graduation. My friends were picking career paths, but God had put on my heart an opportunity to join The World Race, an 11-month mission trip to 11 countries. I tried to push away the idea, but it kept coming back. Finally, I opened up to a friend, who asked, “Katy, what are you afraid of?” I knew the answer: I was afraid of the unknown, of fundraising $16,000, of letting people down by not beginning a career. Yet, once I spoke my fears out loud, they began to lose their power.

I started praying, asking God’s perfect love to cast out my fears. I gave up the need for numerous conversations and for constructing lists of pros and cons, wanting only to hear God’s voice. I told God, “This is crazy. How can I do this?” And I started to sense God’s response: “Do you trust me?” My fears slowly faded away; and finally, I told God, “Yes, I do.”

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Opening My Eyes

As I prepared to go, I felt that God was telling me not to worry; the funds would be provided. Realizing how much stuff I had, I held a yard sale, which brought in $1,000. God kept providing. A friend donated a pack that would carry all my belongings for the year.

Katy's pack 10273501_2793836371818_386279463259278888_n copyI packed light: six tops, a dress, a skirt, a pair of shorts, and three pairs of pants. On the Race, I would meet children in poverty who had no toys but were filled with joy and laughter, playing with what they had—tires, bottle caps, sticks. God was already teaching me that living simply can bring great joy—to these little ones and to me.

When the time came to leave, I broke down, knowing I had to say “goodbye” to my family and friends. But Jesus reminded me that he had put these people in my life and that I could trust him to hold them in his hands while I was away, loving God’s children.

Finding Jesus Among the Poor

As I write, I am on the fifth stop of my journey, serving in Cambodia. Already God has taught me so much.

Katy in Nicaragua 540402_2917763469918_6552978437815682866_n copy> In Guatemala, I learned that God can use difficult circumstances to make us stronger. My biggest fear is sickness; but one day as I prayed with a dying woman, God let me feel compassion for her rather than my own fears.

In Nicaragua, at a children’s school in a poor village, the kids were filthy, but their eyes were shining. I began to realize that leaving behind my comfortable life was worth it to serve these children, who are beautiful in Jesus’ eyes.

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In the Philippines, I held an orphaned boy in my arms. He was eight years old, living on the street, and addicted to sniffing glue. I sang a lullaby and prayed that this little boy, who didn’t understand who Jesus was, could feel Jesus’ love as I held him.

In Thailand, I built relationships with girls working in the Red Light District, trapped in human slavery; and I learned that building friendships is a way to share the gospel.


I am so glad I said “yes” to God’s call. I go on from here, seeking to become more like Jesus and discovering that I feel closer to his warmth and love when I am sharing it with the poor and the brokenhearted.


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Mother Teresa said, “May God break my heart so completely that the whole world falls in.” What pain in the world breaks your heart? How is God calling you to respond with Christ’s love? What will your answer be?



Katy Steele, 22 loves Jesus, adventures, and a good cup of coffee. Read more about what God is teaching Katy on The World Race at!

—from devozine (July/August 2015). Copyright © 2015 by The Upper Room®. All rights reserved.

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