By April 2012, I was tired and frustrated. For every two steps forward, I felt like the next decision, careless word, or missed opportunity was setting me fifty steps back. So, when a friend invited me to a fundraising banquet for Global Renewal Ministries, I gladly accepted it as a nice distraction, a reason to dress up, and an opportunity to give to a good cause. I had heard a little of Global Renewal and their work in Cambodia, but I was brought to tears that night at the cross that the Chacko family and others called to support them humbly carried. That night, I sowed a seed to help. God didn’t tell me how that seed would knit my life to Liney Chacko or to a new piece of a bigger puzzle called, Destiny.
On a Sunday in September 2012, Pastor Mike Hayes made an announcement about the bi-annual trip to Israel. I knew this was finally my time. I was at a very desperate place and I needed a Romans 12:2 transformation and mind renewal – big time! On my 35th birthday (Feb 2013), I boarded a plane to Israel.
I met Liney Chacko on that trip. It was after a walk through the Purim-celebrating streets of Tiberius, just before we parted company for the evening, that I promised I would pray for Liney and her family and the ministry in Cambodia. Then, I promised that I would join Liney in Cambodia! Huh?! Scurrrrch – wait a minute! What did you just say? Shelli, do you even know where Cambodia is? That moment was what I like to call the Divine Gotcha – that moment when “surprise!” your words just signed you up to do something really awesome with God. Only, at the time, you didn’t realize that it was God or that it was going to be really awesome! It was in Israel that my words to Liney reminded me of the seed that I had planted at that banquet for Global Renewal. Turns out, it wasn’t really a financial seed; it was the seed of a “yes” to go where He wanted to send me – to a globe that would put a demand on the seeds He had planted in my life, to a globe with some territory that He intended for us to take back. My declaration had just caught up with the revelation; and with that, what I knew of my five-year plan had become divinely upgraded.
Now, you see why I was ready when God said, “It’s time to go,” as soon as Pastor Amie Dockery said she was taking a small group of women to Cambodia. God had been preparing me for it. Her announcement was a confirmation. My reply to Him, “I’m in!” I leaned over to my mom and said, “I’m going to Cambodia!” Her reply, “I know.” He must have been preparing her too.
Shelli currently resides in Dallas, Texas where she teaches high school Spanish. She uses her diverse classroom experiences & knowledge of well-researched instructional strategies to train, coach, and support colleagues on her campus, in her school district, and across the state.
With a heart for education, her boundaries are edges of the world. Urged to "GO," Shelli has found herself profoundly impacted by various & sundry people, cultures, and languages.
Shelli is actively involved at Covenant Church, founded by Pastors Mike and Kathy Hayes in Carrollton, Texas.
Find Shelli on Twitter: @ariel_lioness