We recently interviewed Captain Debbie Osborn, a member of the most recent Global Mission Team (GMT) to the India South Eastern Territory, to gain some insight on what it’s like to serve on a GMT.
What is your name and occupation?
I am a Salvation Army Officer assigned to the Arnold Corps, Midland Division as the Corps Officer. I practiced as a Licensed Practical Nurse (LPN) for 10 years before entering the College for Officer Training.
Why did you decide to apply to serve on a mission team? Had you ever participated in anything like this before?
My husband and I have had a calling to be officers on the mission field. We have not be blessed with this type of assignment. My husband went on a short term missions trip to El Salvador a few years back so when an opportunity to be a part of the Women’s Ministries trip to Kenya was offered, I sent in an application. I was so blessed to be a part of that team. With my nursing background, I was in hopes that one day I would be able to experience being a part of a medical mission team. I keep an eye on the missions opportunities all the time and noticed that they planned on sending a medical missions team to India in May of 2015. I knew I had to go. I was so excited when I found out that I had made the team. Unfortunately, as it turned out, the emphasis of the trip changed to “construction”. Well, I happen to love to doing that type of thing too. I was pleased to do what I could do.
What was your favorite part of this missions opportunity?
How can I pick one? I loved every minute of it! We had the best team and all worked together in the best way. I was able to share this experience with my sister, A/Captain Dana Cook. But if I had to pick one, it was being able to visit the Catherine Booth Hospital. This is the oldest Salvation Army Hospital in existence. We took a tour and I was able to see what a medical facility in India had to offer. And even though it wasn’t a medical mission trip, I was able to use my nursing skills when several members of our team became ill!
What is the most significant lesson God taught you through this experience?
When you are obedient to what God calls you to do, He blesses you beyond your wildest dreams. I almost backed out of this trip because the emphasis had changed. I wondered if I should save the money in hopes that another medical trip should be offered. But, with the encouragement from my husband, I decided to go. And it was one of the best experiences of my life!
What has changed for you now that you’ve returned home?
The people at my corps have been through this with me. I have been able to share my stories with them and they have become more aware of the needs of The Salvation Army in other countries. Personally, it renews the calling to serving on the mission field that I mentioned before, but my husband and I only have two years left until retirement. We realize that it will probably not happen in our officership. I am not sure what the next step will be, but we will continue to be obedient to where ever and whatever He calls us to do.
Are you being obedient to what God is calling you to do? Is there anything holding you back from following God completely?
If you are interested in more information about serving on a Global Mission Team, visit https://centralmissions.org/global-mission-teams/.
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