Hello friends! Welcome to my blog.
A year ago, this day felt so far away. A year ago, it seemed like an unrealistic dream. A year ago, it seemed like an impractical post-grad idea. In fact, many people did not hesitate to tell me that! But looking back, I could not be more grateful, humbled, and confident that I am here for a distinct purpose.
While the idea of serving overseas has always been a familiar concept to me, it is clear now that my understanding of global ministry has been something that Jesus has been in the works of redefining over the past few years. As the Lord has been revealing more and more to me about His people through each experience, He has been removing the film over my eyes and focusing in on exactly what He has in store for me.
Throughout high school and my time at college, I was given several opportunities to serve overseas. It was when I traveled to Malawi, Africa that I was given eyes to see poverty in a real sense. It was during my time here that I saw for the very first time how physical and spiritual needs go hand in hand – how one simply cannot exist without the other. It was through this experience that I was given a vision for holistic ministry. Not only is the Lord interested in spiritual needs, but He believes in meeting the physical and emotional needs of each individual.
A few years later while I was in college, I was given opportunities to serve in South Africa. My three months here is when I came face to face with the realities of the injustices and oppressive systems that face communities all over the country, systems that are out of their control. I got to hear the hurt and desperation of the stories of families who were uprooted from their communities simply because of the color of their skin. It was through this experience that I was given a voice to advocate for the marginalized and people of the world that society so frequently labels as unworthy.
While all of the opportunities serving cross-culturally impacted me greatly, it was not until I went to Costa Rica that I was confronted with this idea of unreached people groups. If you are not familiar with the term, unreached people groups are communities of people who not only do not know who Jesus is, but actually have no way of knowing who He is. This may be due to the fact that there is no local church in the area in which they live, that they do not personally know any believers, or that the Bible is not translated in their heart language. While I had learned about these people in a classroom setting while I studied in college, the information did not transfer from my head to my heart until I saw it with my own two eyes.
I remember it so vividly – a conversation I had with a woman of the rural indigenous tribe we were partnering with. When I brought up the name of Jesus to her while in conversation, it was almost as if she thought Jesus was a thing, a fictional character, or an individual from a fairytale. It was clear that she had never heard this name before. She did not know who Jesus was because she was never given the opportunity to know. She was never given the privileges that I have always been given. After this experience, it was as if my heart began craving something that I did not even know how to put a name to before. It began yearning for something I did not know was a reality.
Right now, there are 3.14 billion people in the world who, by chance, have not been given the opportunities and privileges I have been given. Because of where they call home, they do not get to know who Jesus is unless someone tells them.
My question is this - if I do not go, who will? That’s my why.
I could not be more excited to see what is in store as I serve overseas in Thailand for the next two years. Thanks for joining me on this journey!