One Million Arrows Christian Parenting Blog

Posted in: Arrow Stories

A Vision for Africa
By Julie Ferwerda
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dillon africaAs parents, it is sometimes easy to minimize or even dismiss what God is speaking into or doing in the lives of our young children. We think they're too young or too untrained to hear from God on important matters of life, such as matters of their destiny.

This is what happened to Dillon Stull. When he was in 5th grade, God gave him a vision (in the form of the continent of Africa filled with a stethoscope) that he would someday go to Africa as a medical missionary. He didn't immediately share this vision with his parents, but he did write about it in a paper for school. When his parents came across his paper, they thought, like most parents would, that their son was just enjoying the adventurous imagination typical of a young boy. They figured it was probably a passing phase.

But they were wrong. A few years later, Dillon was just about to turn thirteen when his dad told him that, as a celebration, he would take him anywhere he wanted to go-like camping in the Grand Canyon, or any other fun and entertaining destination. Where did Dillon want to go?

"You've been talking about a mission trip to Africa," Dillon told his Dad. "That's what I want to do. When I'm thirteen, I want to go with you."

Dillon's parents were tempted to talk him out of it. In their minds they thought, "No, this trip is about you...about celebrating your age." But as they talked about it together, the realization dawned on them: What are we thinking? This is why we're here. This is what we're all about.  This makes perfect sense!

Dillon went to Africa and had the time of his life. In fact, he loved it so much that he went the next year with a group from church and without his parents. As he prepared for this trip, an eye doctor singled him out to be his personal assistant for all the procedures.

Two weeks before the trip, the doctor got kidney stones and couldn't go. But at a meeting in front of others, he commissioned Dillon and said, "I'm going to train you to do what I would do. I want you to be the doctor for the trip." As Dillon and his parents remembered his vision, they could hardly believe their ears.

Dillon was once again so at home in Africa, others who were with him kept hearing him tease, "I might just lose my passport so I can stay here."

Now fifteen, Dillon leads an outreach Bible Study for kids from school who do not know Jesus. Though he did get to be a "medical missionary" on a very basic level, Dillon believes it was only a foretaste of the plans God has to send him back to Africa in a greater capacity as a medical professional. To keep his vision for his future fresh in his mind, he bought a program to help him learn Swahili while studying from his African-themed bedroom in Texas.

"God has given Dillon two words in recent days," Dillon's mom says. " 'Generation Revolution.' Dillon believes his generation is going to rise up in revolution for the Lord."

This time his mom, Brenna, believes every word. "When God puts this vision in the hearts of our children, we parents need to support it."

About The Author

Julie Ferwerda with orphanJulie is recognized for making the Bible exciting and relevant to everyday life through her writing and speaking. Her articles are featured in many Christian magazines and websites for both adults and teens, and she frequently volunteers her time and talents to international orphan ministry. When not doing all these things, she lives by her mantra: Life is short, nap hard. Learn more at: »

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