Answer.

ashley_blog-answerGod knows me so well. He knows my strengths (outgoing, determined, singing off key with abandon) and he knows my weaknesses (patience, control freak, singing off key with abandon). These past few weeks, He has been beefing up my patience muscle.

On April 2nd, 2015, I completed the final step in the arduous application process for Great Commission Ministries (GCM), the company that will be sending me as a missionary to Sal Salvador. This final step was a phone interview with Cori, a GCM employee specializing in International Missions. At the start of the conversation, Cori let me know that GCM would inform me of their hiring decision around April 20th. This was 18 days, almost three weeks later. Okay Patience. Time to show ’em what we’ve got! I told her that was fine, as long as I had time to register for the June New Employee training by the April 30th deadline.

26 days later, with patience just about parched and anxiety fully settled in, I heaved my trust onto God. He will supply me with what I need, when I need it. BUT GOD, IT’S ALMOST THE 30TH, I NEED IT NOOOOOW! WHAT ARE YOU EVEN DOING UP THERE?! My mantra became “Mustard seed of faith…I just need a tiny mustard seed of faith…”

With 48 hours to spare before the registration deadline, I received my job offer at 11:56pm on April 28th.

Guys. I’M GOING TO SAN SALVADOR!


 

San Salvador? Really? Where is that exactly? South America, right? Is it miserably hot there? Does anyone there speak English?

Why do you have to go all the way THERE to do mission work when there’s work to be done in your own backyard?

I concede that moving to San Salvador to be a full-time missionary doesn’t make a whole lot of sense. My family and friends are here. My job is here. I’ve earned the trust and precious relationships with a handful of Rock City Youth girls here. I don’t speak much Spanish. San Salvador is dangerous. And if I want to do good work for God, why do I have to leave the country to do it? Why can’t I just stay in the US and serve my own country?

Because of childlike wonder.

Because of little girl giggles.

Because of the fire and potential of a generation.

Because when God calls, you answer. As I stood on the futbol field of Colegio Ceren in June 2014, I knew God was calling me there. I have always known that I was made for more than teaching in a classroom, but I couldn’t figure out what. It was at that moment that I heard God’s gentle, but stern whisper. San Salvador Youth.  4 years of teaching and 7 years of church-hopping had led me to that place. God finally had my attention.

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It is absolutely true that there is much work to be done in the city of Columbus, my home. But just because my hometown youth need a little TLC doesn’t mean that God has called me to stay here. To some, he instructs to stay.

If you stay in this land, I will build you up and not tear you down; I will plant you and not uproot you.. {Jeremiah 42:10}

To others, He commands to get up and go.

And He said, “Young man, I say to you, arise.” {Luke 7:14 NKJV}

I am a believer in Christ and as such, I am required to follow Him. I have spent too many years of my life not following Christ and I am done wasting my time. It is my time to rise and follow. In the words of Christine Caine, I am “the church of Jesus Christ on the earth today, the visible representation of an invisible God. I have the Holy Spirit living within me and have been commissioned to shine His love in the midst of a dark world.”

As a missionary to San Salvador, my heart beats for God’s people. I will run into the darkness and shine Christ’s light. My arms are open to the poor because Jesus tells us “…whatever you did for one of the least of these brothers and sisters of mine, you did for me.” {Matthew 25:40}

Above all, I am a Missionary to San Salvador because I am Jesus’ hands and feet here on Earth. He has entrusted me with the divine responsibility of loving and caring for His people. For the first time in my life, I know for certain that this is what God wants from me and I am living out the purpose for which He created me.

When God calls, you must answer.

I answered and I am going.

If I proclaim the Message, it’s not to get something out of it for myself.

I’m compelled to do it and doomed if I don’t!  {1 Corinthians 9:16 (MSG)}


As for when I am going, that is to be determined. I must go to 2 trainings and raise my financial support before I can go anywhere. MY bold prayer is to be there by the end of December, in time for Infinito, a Youth Conference in Honduras that the San Salvador Youth attend every year. I think that could be an amazing and powerful way to start my ministry. I realize that if that happens, it will be all God’s doing. But all things, especially those beyond my wildest imagination, are possible with God.

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