Caroline couldn’t find peace in pursuing her athletics career. But her experiences were valuable in equipping her for the next stage of her life. We’ve seen tears of joy as athletes receive Olympic medals, but Caroline is sharing with the Lopit people news of a far greater prize…
“Running in the right direction also means making a decision to follow Christ instead of the riches of this world, trusting God to supply our needs according to his riches in glory.”
I trained with my husband at the Africa Inland Church Missionary College then joined Scott Christian University where I obtained a Bachelor’s degree in theology with an emphasis on mission. Throughout this journey, God always provided. And it became clear that God was calling us to the mission field.
After training, we joined Africa Inland Mission’s Training in Ministry Outreach (TIMO) team seeking to reach the unreached Lopit people in South Sudan. Surrendering my life for God’s service in South Sudan has shown me how God works when we do his will. My experience as a runner has given me much to reflect on. I now feel like my life as a runner was preparing me for future ministry, helping me to understand more of who God is in my life and giving me an opportunity to see the fruit of choosing to serve him.Prepared for future ministry
Being a missionary in South Sudan demands a lot of discipline, patience, and perseverance. All these attributes are hallmarks of athletics. My training as a runner was so hard and required a lot of discipline, and just like a missionary, an athlete must leave his or her comfort zone.
Running in the right direction
Caroline spent two years on a TIMO (Training in Ministry Outreach) team among the Lopit people in South Sudan, and she has now returned to continue her ministry.
Through my preparation as an athlete, I believe that God was preparing me to reach the unreached. I can now challenge God’s people to run in the right direction. A direction that means acceptance of Christ as their personal saviour. Running in the right direction also means making a decision to follow Christ instead of the riches of this world, trusting God to supply our needs according to his riches in glory. It is not about self-support but about God’s support. I have realised that there is peace in Christ once we surrender our life to him, my hope and trust in God has been greatly developed. Being able to make a choice to serve him has changed the whole of my life. I have known that apart from him I can do nothing.
“trust in the Lord with all your heart and lean not on your own understanding and in all your ways submit to him, and he will make your paths straight” Proverbs 3:5
Adapting to challenges
However, this does not mean that life in God is without challenges. In South Sudan we served for five months without any support. Our team mates wanted to support us but my husband declined. He always said that we have to trust God to supply our needs. I remember we had a hard time discussing on our support but all in all, God provided for us through other means so that we didn’t have to burden our team mates. After all, God truly makes a way where seems to be no way.
It is my prayer that I will keep running in the direction where the Lord wants me to go. I thank God for taking me through the athletics experience. I have seen the reality of the scripture “trust in the Lord with all your heart and lean not on your own understanding and in all your ways submit to him, and he will make your paths straight” Proverbs 3:5. It is my prayer that even as I reflect back on my past, that I would focus on what’s ahead so that I experience the joy of living in God’s will.
Check back on our blog, for Part’s One and Two of Caroline’s story if you haven’t read them yet!