With 5 Days to Go…

In five days, on Saturday, July 10th, my Dad will be dropping me off at RDU airport to join the rest of my mission team for our trip to Kenya and Sudan. And as I prepare, I wanted to share with you all about why I go and what I do while I’m gone. But I’m reminded that I’ve said it all before, but it was before most of you knew that I was here. So, if you’ll forgive a repost, here’s a post from last July:

It’s Not Just a Pebble


The church where we ministered on the third day of our mission trip…

Romans 10:12-15 (NASB) There is no distinction between Jew and Greek; for the same Lord is Lord of all, abounding in riches for all who call on Him; for “Whoever will call on the name of the Lord will be saved.”  How then will they call on Him in whom they have not believed?  How will they believe in Him whom they have not heard?  And how will they hear without a preacher?  How will they preach unless they are sent?  Just as it is written, “How beautiful are the feet of those who bring good news of good things!”

“What kind of things do you write about?” 

This question came from my college ex-boyfriend who recently found me on Facebook.  A fair question.  When we dated, I was still “in the closet” with my writing.  It probably came as a surprise to him that I live to write these days.  And since I have a public blog, he’s probably more than a little worried that he’ll end up being juicy blog fodder.  A fair worry (although this is as close to being “juicy blog fodder” as he’s gotten).

It took me several minutes to answer.  I’ve been writing regularly since I was twelve, but I’ve never stopped to try to categorize my writing.  For me, it’s always been a way to communicate with God and for Him to communicate with me.  But in answering my ex’s question, I realized that my reason for writing has grown—and I didn’t even see it happening.  Now, I write to communicate with God and for Him to communicate with me, but I also write to communicate God to whoever will take the time to stop and read about Him.

Read carefully.  You may think that these stories are about me…  But they’re really about Him.

On my most recent mission trip, I had a problem.  At the time, I knew I was having a problem, but I couldn’t quite put my finger on what it was.  It was like having a pebble in my sneaker, taking off the sneaker and shaking it, but then putting it back on to realize that the pebble hadn’t come out.  Figuratively, I spent the whole trip shaking my sneaker, trying to figure out what was wrong with me.  Today (after more than a week home) I finally found the pebble.  But first, let me back up…

I think it was the second day of our medical clinics that our team leader came to me and told me that I was scaring the kids on the team. 

“I don’t know what’s wrong with you, but it’s coming across as anger,” he said.  “The kids just don’t know how to take you.”

I wasn’t angry.  Why did the kids think I was angry?  I spent the rest of the trip on eggshells, trying to show the kids that I wasn’t angry and that I was warm and fuzzy and easy to be around.  But the whole issue plagued me for the rest of the trip. 

I came home from the mission field, but I was still nagged by it: “What’s my problem?  What’s wrong with me?  Why do the kids think I’m angry?”  Making the four hour drive from my parents’ house to the beach, I had time to think about it and pray about it.  God gave me plenty of encouragement on that drive, but I never really got the answer to any of my questions about the pebble in my shoe.

I had barely gotten home when I started to get calls from the missionaries that I’ll be traveling with next summer.  I’m going to a new frontier—new for me anyway.  But I worried about making plans for next year’s trip until I figured out what in the world my problem is.  I started making plans (because the plans have to be made on a certain time table), but I was scared and was second guessing myself. 

“Lord, should I even go?” I asked.

“Yes.” He answered clearly.

I shook my head.  Not understanding.  Not trusting. 

“Lord, do You know how messed up I am?”

“Yes.  And I’m using you anyway.  Being broken makes you more useable with broken people.  Just trust Me.”

I shook my head again.  I still didn’t understand, but then I heard the song…  It’s kind of been a soundtrack running through my mind the last several weeks.  I’ve hummed it on and off, never really paying attention to the words.  But tonight as I hummed it, I heard the words.  They stopped me.  Humbled me.  And I began to understand.

from Albertine, by Brooke Fraser

Now that I have seen, I am responsible
Faith without deeds is dead…

Now that I have held you in my own arms,

I cannot let go…

I am on a plane across a distant sea
But I carry you in me…
I will tell the world,

I will tell them where I’ve been…

I will keep my word…
I will tell them, Albertine.

My ex-boyfriend wants to know what I write.  I write what I’ve seen.  God has shown me a world of beauty, but also of pain.  In this country and in others.  And He has given me a responsibility to tell the world about it.  I’ve been the broken one and I’ve held the broken ones in my arms.  And I have to tell the world.


The kids on the medical team wondered why I was so serious.  Why so focused?  Why so blunt?  Why so angry?  Because I’m seeing the faces of the broken ones and I know that the need is great, but that the time is short.  And I don’t apologize for the urgency that I feel for those broken ones. 

“Now that I have seen, I am responsible.  Faith without deeds is dead…  I will tell the world…  I will tell them where I’ve been.”

It’s not just a pebble; it’s a passion.  It’s His passion for His people.  And if my dropping this pebble will make a ripple effect and touch people, then how can I say no or stay home or stay silent?  I can’t.  Because “now that I have seen, I am responsible…”

About Sarah Salter


  1. Could you just forget to pack your angry eyebrows this time? Praying your intensity doesn’t scare the kids…

  2. Sarah Salter says:

    Wendy, I wasn’t scaring the native kids. I was being fairly intense with the youth on our team that seemed very nonchalant & lax about the whole thing. And I was pretty firm that they needed to do their jobs & stop sipping Gatorade in front of the fan. And some of them really stepped up to the plate. Specifically, the last day of clinic, I looked over to see one sweet 16-year-old boy, Dylan, on his knees, gently washing the feet of an elderly diabetic lady. So, in that case, at least, my intensity served its purpose.

  3. God bless you and your trip.

  4. Go expand God’s kingdom. Serve and love and show them Jesus! You are very blessed and I pray for an increase of blessings as you go, while you’re there, and as you return. Praying for you as always, friend. 🙂

  5. You will do great! I’ll be praying for you! Tuck some M & M’s in your pocket every morning, and every time you feel that pebble, eat one. It’ll work! I promise.

  6. “Being broken makes you more useable with broken people.”

    Praying for you!

Speak Your Mind