As the weeks passed and everyone around her began gearing up for ministry and making plans to be out of the country, Georgiann couldn’t shake the feelings of anxiety that promised to swallow her every time she thought about Russia. “I can’t do it, Lord…I really can’t do it. Maybe I could switch teams and go somewhere else.” But all of the other teams were full. “Maybe I can go during next year’s trips.” But tickets had already been purchased. “Maybe I should just drop out.”
Unable to pinpoint the reason for her feelings of desperation, Georgiann knew to Whom she could run. “O God, help me!” Slowly, the Lord began to unearth memories from Georgiann’s childhood: “I remember being threatened to control my behavior when I was sixteen. I was told that I could be disowned and taken to a home for girls. In my mind, that meant no one would ever come for me—no one would ever find me. I would live and die completely alone.”
During Georgiann’s teen years, another undercurrent of fear was being played out on a global scale. The Cold War between the United States and the then Soviet Union was rushing toward its climax. “When I was growing up, Russia was not a place Americans went. It was entirely possible that Americans would go, disappear, and never come back.” For a sixteen-year-old who was being dominated by fear, both in and out of her house, the two scenarios quickly intertwined in her mind: “It hit me that I was worried about this trip because somehow… I had linked what my family member said about Russia.”
Although she now knew the Enemy she was facing, Georgiann struggled to stand against him alone. She requested a meeting with Michelle Patterson, Charis’s missions coordinator. “Michelle listened as I cried and shared and cried some more. She was very understanding and took the time to reassure and pray with me. I finally began to feel a measure of peace, but the next day, I knew I still had to win this battle.”
Standing on scriptures like 1 Peter 5:7 and Deuteronomy 31:8 that promised God would always be with her and help her, Georgiann felt the Lord say, “Do not think about it anymore. When the time comes, just get up and do it.”
And as Georgiann began to purposefully “take captive every thought” (2 Cor. 10:5), she noticed that the grace of God was with her to accomplish what He’d called her to do: “When it was time to come home, I found myself crying over leaving my new brothers and sisters in Christ—my new Russian friends. I realized that God would always be faithful to me and His Word. He promised to never leave me nor forsake me—and He didn’t!”
Do not be anxious about anything, but in every situation, by prayer and petition, with thanksgiving, present your requests to God.  And the peace of God, which transcends all understanding, will guard your hearts and your minds in Christ Jesus.
Philippians 4:6-7 (New International Version)