1 Samuel 15:22
And Samuel said, “Has the LORD as great delight in burnt offerings and sacrifices, as in obeying the voice of the Lord? Behold, to obey is better than sacrifice, and to listen that the fat rams.”
God calls each of us to obedience in different ways, in different times and for different reasons, but ALWAYS to make us more like him! God’s call of obedience on my life in this season is to the mission field in Berlin, Germany for the next two years and I’d love to take a few paragraphs to tell you how he worked this MIRACLE PEOPLE!!
My name is Holly Risinger, I am from a small town in central Illinois called Tremont and I am the youngest of 4, 2 brothers and 1 sister. All while growing up my family and I attended church, I accepted Jesus into my heart at a young age and was always encouraged to read my bible and pray. Then when I was 13, my family decided to host a foreign exchange student from Germany partly because my mom lived in Germany for many years when she was young and thought it’d be a fun adventure for all of us. The student and I became very good friends and now 10 years later he still comes to visit our family nearly once a year and him and I still communicate regularly. But, through our friendship I was able to see into the life of a German person and, in his case, a life where no one ever spoke truth into his life and where his family never encouraged him to seek spirituality of any sort. Thus resulting in a very hopeless life filled with trying to fill this void, which we all have, with things that would never satisfy. It broke my heart coming from a family and community that find hope in the gospel of Jesus Christ!
>> Fast-forward to college, where the rubber really meets the rode of if your faith is truly yours of just a habit from your family, I attended Olivet Nazarene University to swim and study business, leadership and voice. My experience at this Christian school exposed a pitfall that Satan so easily tripped up so many, to simply walk-the-walk, acting all happy and “Christian” while in fact you are a whitewashed tomb. During my sophomore year, by Gods pursuit and plan (hindsight’s 20/20) I attended Urbana15 with the Navigators from the UofI. It was at this conference God impressed Germany upon my heart and revealed to me through an unexpected conversation that Germany was the key to winning a dark Europe back for Christ due to how influential it is and always has been. It was also at Urbana that I met GOCORPS and heard all about ReachGlobal’s team in Berlin. But, at the time I did not think God would ever call me to the mission field.
>> Fast-forwarding again to the end of my junior year at Olivet, through the mind-blowing will of God, I found myself at “rock bottom,” the end of myself with no where to turn but my God. I was a lukewarm, compromising Christian at best and God said, “Holly, I no longer just want the relationship with your ‘Christian’ friends, your Wednesday nights and your Sunday mornings, I want EVERYTHING! Every day of the week, every plan, every passion, ALL OF YOU!” And I, being so humbled by his CONSTANT pursuit for me every thought I’m a WRETCHED sinner, said YES to dying to self and living for CHRIST and from that moment on JESUS WAS NO LONGER JUST MY SAVIOR BUT THE LORD OF MY LIFE!!!
My life now being totally surrendered to the Lord, my greatest desire is to do his will and please him. So, when he lead my after college plans to a call on the mission field to use my degree to reach the lost in Berlin, he opened all the doors and asked me one question, “Why not, Holly?” Even thought my flesh was afraid, his lifelong pursuit of my life was obvious, his promises were true, and this was his call of obedience. So, in love for him and a bit of fear I said YES to serving abroad for 2 years with ReachGlobal. WOW!
the Short and Sweet of it:
Olivet Nazarene graduate from central Illinois.
Once lukewarm, compromising Christian called to TOTAL SURRENDER by God.
Now, serving with ReachGlobal in Berlin, Germany for 2 years using my Business degree to do GODS WILL!!!
The big question:
How is God calling you to die to self and live for him in obedience TODAY?
Please be in prayer that God continues to affirm this calling on my life and that I am intentional to pursue Him.