By Ashley Rader
Feeling the call of God in her life, Tammy Dicken is preparing to leave her home in Elizabethton to serve as a missionary at an orphanage and school in Peru.
Dicken, 49, will be leaving for Pacasmayo, Peru on Feb. 9 where she will serve as a nurse and teacher at Case de Paz with Go-Ye Ministries.
Dicken said she has felt the call to be a missionary for the past five years since going on a mission trip to Malta with her church, Calvary Baptist. While in Malta, Dicken worked in a refugee camp for Africans from Libya and Somalia.
“I really realized the Lord was speaking to me to go into missions,” Dicken said. “I thought I would end up somewhere in Africa because several of the trips we went to Malta, I got to work in the refuge camp and I just fell in love with the people of Somalia and those refugees.”
However, that was not in the cards for Dicken. Instead, a coworker introduced her to the idea of traveling to Peru for a mission trip. While on the trip with her coworker, the group learned of an orphanage and school ran by Avis Goodhart through Go-Ye Ministries. The group visited the orphanage and Dicken was touched by the children and the community surrounding the facility.
She said she started feeling the call from God to go to Peru and work with Go Ye Ministries even before the mission trip took place, which was different than what she thought she would be doing.
“The Lord kept saying ‘I want you to go to Peru,’” Dicken said. “I was thinking, ‘But Lord, I’m going to Africa.’”
During the mission trip, she said that after visiting the orphanage and the school she realized that was where she was meant to serve and started working toward making arrangements to begin her work as a missionary. She said she talked with Goodhart about her feelings and came back to her church and discussed it with the pastor as well as some deacons and Sunday school teachers that she respected and admired.
“I asked them to pray if this is where the Lord really wanted me to go,” Dicken said. “I had to make a decision soon so we gave it a two-week period that if God didn’t speak to someone that it wasn’t what I should be doing then we would go forward with it.”
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