It was a year after I truly began walking with the Lord. I was fourteen years old when I went to a giant conference with my youth group in 2008. I could not tell you to this day what the conference was called or what they even preached about at the beginning. The only part I remember them talking about was the mission field. They spoke about specific mission trips and an organization that would send youth. I was intrigued because I had previously tried to go to my first mission in Hollywood, but it didn’t work out. There was a desire to be sent, but not an opportunity. By the end of the conference, they asked the youth who felt called to the mission field to stand up. I felt compelled to stand but knew it was a bold statement to do so, which made me hesitant. After a moment of deliberation, I felt that the Lord was urging me to stand. As I stood, I wondered what my first mission would be. I wondered why He wanted to send me.
Nothing opened up after that conference, so I assumed that it was a moment of emotion to stand when I did. I definitely wavered in my faith for the next few years. I got distracted a couple of times and pushed aside the idea that there was a “calling on my life”. There were a few instances where I had been told this from different people. I thought it was strange but couldn’t deny that it might have been true because it kept coming back up. I was still trying to understand who I was and where I fit, like any other teenager. It wasn’t until 2011 that the Lord brought it to my attention again. I was in my junior year of high school, getting back to a close walk with God after a period of pushing Him aside. I really wish I had recorded these moments in a journal, because I cannot tell you what my pastor was preaching about either but there was a moment where a specific scripture hit me in the face.
“Truly I tell you,” Jesus replied, “no one who has left home or brothers or sisters or mother or father or children or fields for me and the gospel30 will fail to receive a hundred times as much in this present age: homes, brothers, sisters, mothers, children and fields—along with persecutions—and in the age to come eternal life. -Mark 10:29-30
This was a pretty intimidating scripture to receive after years of hiding and wondering what my purpose was. I brought it to my pastor to see what insight he had on what it means to be called. He gave me a word that has stayed with me ever since. He told me to be like Mary and ponder this calling in my heart. (Luke 2:19) He instructed that I wouldn’t manipulate it, but to wait for the Lord to reveal this. Not really the answer I was wanting, but it was definitely what I needed to hear. This kept me more grounded in my walk as I began to truly believe Him. I apparently had several more steps to take before I could be sent.
Several years went by and the Lord was dealing with me in very intricate ways. I’m not even sure if I could explain all that has changed within me. Getting to attend DBU has been an incredible experience and is a big part of my testimony. I would like to save that for a different post though because I believe it could be encouraging to those who might be struggling with affording their education. I recorded a lot of that experience because I knew that the Lord was definitely calling me there. He has used the process of obtaining my degree to mold me. Along with education, I have obtained a new confidence that I never had through grade school. The Lord has used certain situations, opportunities, and my job to get me out of my shell and reveal to me who He has made me to be. He especially has used friendships to guide me. Without the friends I have made, I would not have been sent to the first mission to Honduras. Two very close friends of mine were apart of a church called The Avenue in Waxahachie, TX. I began attending with them and helping with the youth worship for a couple of months. Later they asked me if I would be interested in serving in Honduras. There was a meeting coming up and I deliberated on whether I should go or not because my roommate would not be able to go to the trip. The morning of the meeting, I nearly decided not to because I did not know whether the Lord wanted me to. It was one of those moments where the Lord basically was like, “You won’t know until you know. Don’t hide.” The biggest thing I have learned in my walk is that operating out of fear will never allow you to grow. So I made myself go to the meeting despite my irrational fear and social anxiety.
I prayed before the meeting that He would make me know whether I should go or not, because there was no way I was going to send myself there. While I was in the meeting, we discussed what the trip would be like and what activities we would be apart of. One of the leaders asked if anybody in the room knew how to cut hair, and it appeared that I was the only one in the room who did. I got my cosmetology license when I graduated high school, but really was not passionate about doing hair. However, I knew then that God was calling me because it was a requested need for the community in Gracias. I was still lacking confidence in many areas. This was probably the one skill I was the most insecure about, and God wanted to send me out of the states for the first time to use it. Two very terrifying components to this trip, and the third was that I would be going with a church that I was still getting to know. Basically, I was an insecure mess but obviously that was not big enough of a problem to stop His plan. I pushed through my fears to the best of my ability because I knew I was sent. It ended up being an incredible experience. I was humbled in many ways, and the Lord revealed to me a new part of His heart. It was all very surreal. It awakened something in me that I didn’t know was there. It was passion.
I probably did about 30 haircuts in one day on the first trip, and got to see several smiles of people who had not had their hair cut in a while. It really made me see the bigger picture of a simple act of service. The Lord wanted me to keep giving more and more of myself, to lose myself. When I started getting out my head and past my pride, I was able to depend on Him more. It was a great growing experience. I remember feeling a strange depression for days after I returned to the states because I had grown to love a new place full of people that the Lord loves so much. The decision to come back was easy after that experience. It didn’t matter to me what I lacked or who I didn’t know. I knew I had to go back, but really had no idea what I could bring to the table. The second trip I dealt with insecurities of being more of a hindrance than a help to the community. I craved and desired to be truly helpful to the ministry, but didn’t know how I could. It was on that second trip in March of 2016 I learned that 61 Isaiah was looking for interns to help them during the busy summer of 2016. They were explaining the needs they had as they coordinated churches from the states to help them reach certain villages. They needed interns to help prepare meals for the churches, run errands in the town, keep finances updated, and to record certain events. Very practical needs that I knew I could help with, and really wanted to help with. The internship was amazing. That’s where my confidence really grew as a missionary. I got to know the ministry better and got to see how they worked. I got to know people from the village of San Isidro that I can’t wait to see again! I also got to work with another intern, Hannah, who I befriended as we worked together for that month. The 61 Isaiah team is made up of the busiest people I have ever met! Please keep 61 Isaiah in your prayers because they work hard and long days!
That is where I am getting to with this long post. I really wanted to tell my story because God has been to work since the day I first started walking with Him. I am blown away by the way He has been working. I have recently been welcomed to the 61 Isaiah team as the administrative missionary. They expressed their need for somebody to help with the administrative tasks such as communicating with churches, social media, keeping track of finances, organizing schedules, and serving on the field with them too. This frees them up to remain on the field longer, as the team is very focused on the relationships they have built and continuing to build more. This is a very important component to this ministry. They stress to the churches from the states that this is really the main focus of sharing the Good News. Getting to know the community while serving them and building steadfast and intentional relationships with the people of Honduras.
Along with this new position comes new responsibility that I am very willing to take on. This is why I’m asking for your help. For one, I need your prayers. This sounds very cliché, but I absolutely mean this. I truly believe that God has strengthened my walk and my faith over the years through the consistent prayers of my family. Not only do I need your prayers, but I ask that you would pray for the entire team of 61 Isaiah. God is doing a mighty work through this ministry, and it is continuing to grow. Pray for God to continue sending people to work the harvest. Matthew 9:38 is a great reminder for all of us to ask God to send the few who will give themselves for the eternal cause. Our God is such a good and giving God and is able to give more than we could ever think.
“Now to Him who is able to do infinitely more than all we ask or imagine, according to His power that is at work within us, to Him be the glory in the church and in Christ Jesus throughout all generations, forever and ever. Amen.” -Ephesians 3:20
I’m asking that you would pray for bigger things. Pray not only for people to be sent to Honduras to serve the Kingdom, but for God to raise leaders up in Honduras so they can lead their own communities to righteousness. There are also specific needs that 61 Isaiah is helping to reform such as farming, education, businesses, etc.
I also am requesting for financial assistance. I am responsible for raising my own funds to be able to work with them for a year. Right now the number is around $14,000 but could change some. This includes health insurance, student loans, flights, living, etc. This is me being absolutely transparent as I ask for people to help me get there. From the experience I had serving as an intern and from what other missionaries have told me, this will be far from a vacation. I will be working long hours to keep everything up to date. I will be going where they go for discipleship and church events after certain tasks have been completed. They work with about twenty churches from the states and are hoping to take on more. For this year, I am giving everything towards this mission. I need your help. If you have the desire to be apart of this mission by giving, or if you even just have an encouraging word please don’t hesitate to contact me. This blog is just a start, but I am interested in hearing how the Lord is working through you and what He is doing in your life. Overall, I am gladly expecting Him to reveal Himself through this process. I can’t wait to see who will walk on this journey with me.
March 28, 2017