Meet Anna. She stands in front of the church and leans forward, the soft tones of her voice travelling through the mike, to the speakers and filling the room, filling the hearts of the gathering. She smiles as she praises her God in song. It’s hard to imagine that there was a time when she couldn’t fathom such a thing as singing in front of people, as being exposed in such a way. But the sound of her voice must woo even her own ears. It is the sound of a voice that was made to usher crowds into worship.
A few years ago Anna was sitting hopelessly behind a computer, mulling away at the task she was given that altogether earned her the title of IT Support Officer. Like so many people, Anna was hypnotised by the security of a monthly pay check, so much in need of certainty that her life ran past her with little time for her to feel the wind in her hair. What saved her was a trip to Mongolia, which gave her time to listen to God without the distraction of monotony and the anxiety of everyday life. She felt the Lord spoke to her through children, beautiful and precious children who had little to eat and wear, some who had been abused and mistreated, some who didn’t have parents, but whose gentle, uncorrupted need for Anna’s care, support and compassion filled Anna with hope and joy, those feelings that come only after realising your life has a purpose.
‘If I stay here I could wake up in 20 years and nothing would have changed. I’m not going anywhere. I am in a limbo state,’ she said to herself on returning to England, where she suddenly felt horrendous dissatisfaction. ‘I felt like God had touched my heart in Mongolia, giving me a heart for children.’ The dissatisfaction and desire to relive the purpose she felt in Mongolia grew, finally leading to her leaving her job and going on a spontaneous trip to India with an older couple. This is how she ended up in Delhi, in a place so different from England, and ever more different to her native Poland where she lived in a small, wooded village with lakes and empty streets. Delhi was crowded, intimidating, daunting and foreign to her. Yet within three weeks it felt like home.
‘I don’t know why I waited so long to quit my job because once I made the decision it was easy,’ she says. ‘The need for security, fear of the unknown, these things were holding me back. I was waiting to start my life instead of just living it.’ Since moving to Delhi she has gotten heavily involved in Dwaar, a family of God seeking to serve people. Encouraged by those around her, her new family at the church, she grew courage enough to join the worship band and then, soon after to lead it. At a youth conference in South India she led worship in front of hundreds of young people. She sang a song she had written herself, in a moment of real intimacy with God. That song made many cry. Two women approached her to tell her that the song really spoke to them and healed them. Anna heard this and praised God, for He had spoken to her already about using her music talent to heal people. God was at work in her life in magnificent ways. She felt purposeful. She felt content.
‘Everyone has a set of skills. Some are more developed, some are less developed. The ability to use all of them, the privilege of being useful, is a real source of joy. Satisfaction comes from having a purpose,’ says Anna.
A week before her four month visit was up she was offered a job teaching German and accepted it. Jesus has filled her with joy and blessed her with a purpose. She was never more content than now, where she is living her purpose daily and loving those around her with all her heart.
As told to Bianca Walker