About this post: Many people that know me have heard me tell the story of my calling countless times. However, for those that may not know me, this post provides some more background information into who I am and the calling that God has placed on my life.
Sometimes God calls us to complete tasks that scare us. These tasks are not always easy and may even seem impossible. These tasks may push us farther outside of our comfort zones than we ever dared to dream of. But isn’t out of your comfort zone the best place to be? It is the place where you truly grow and where your life is changed. Sometimes the scariest tasks have the greatest rewards.
I have been called to live a life outside my comfort zone. When I was ten years old I knew I wanted to be a missionary to Peru. I did not know how I was going to get there or even what I would do once I got there, all I knew was that God had placed an extreme burden on my heart to save the people of Peru and tell them the story of Jesus. I took God’s calling on my life and have done everything I could think of to make it a reality. I have spent the past 3 summers serving in Peru with missionaries. I graduate from Southwestern Assemblies of God University this April with my BA in Elementary Education and my minor in Bible. Having this degree will help me gain access into any closed country. I have been raised in the Assemblies of God. My father is an AG minister who has been a youth pastor, the Oklahoma DYD, and is currently an associate pastor. I love the Assemblies of God and everything they stand for and believe in.
The people of Peru have stolen my heart and changed my life forever. My first trip to Peru, I lived along the Amazon River with no running water, no electricity, and little communication with my family and friends. I was so far out of my comfort zone, yet I felt right at home. I knew I was where I belonged. After spending the past 2 summers with an AG missionary couple living in a hands-on missionary setting, something even greater changed inside of me…after returning to the states, I found myself feeling uncomfortable and craving Peru. I found myself missing the hundreds of mosquito bites. I found myself wishing I were back with the precious little girls that would play with my hair for hours and climb all over me while I was sweating endlessly. I found myself yearning for the boys who would destroy me in soccer and make me look like an uncoordinated mess. I found myself realizing that Peru had become my comfort zone and that maybe my life in the US had become foreign to me.
I am so excited to now be an Associate Missionary to Peru with the Assemblies of God. I am in the process of raising my financial support currently and then I will leave for language school in Costa Rica followed by moving to Peru! To partner with me financially please click here.
For years I compared myself to others. Thoughts scurried throughout my mind daily, like, “if only I had her body or her hair, then I would be happy.” Then the boys would like me and life would be so much simpler. It took me many years to fully understand the idea that my beauty comes from my heavenly father and not from this world.
Psalms 139:14 tells us, "For you created my inmost being; you knit me together in my mother’s womb. I praise you because I am fearfully and wonderfully made; your works are wonderful, I know that full well."
When God created you, He knew exactly what He was doing. Every single little detail about you, God purposefully created. In Luke 12:7, it tells us that God knows the number of hairs on each of our heads. I know that living in this day and age it can be confusing and easy for your calling to become twisted. However, every person on earth has the same basic calling. Our calling is to love and serve God and to fulfill His purpose for us on earth. Our goal should not be to please other humans but to please our God. I believe that when you look at yourself in a mirror and pick out negative flaws about yourself, you are actually insulting God…think about it! He made you the way you are for a reason and not only does it hurt God to see you hurt, but it must frustrate God when we say things like, “I wish I looked different.” He made you the way you look for a reason! He loves how you look and He is proud of how He made you! God thinks you are so incredibly beautiful and in reality, His opinion is the only one that truly matters.
My youth pastor once told me a story of two young girls named Ashley and Jenna. He said that one night Ashley approached his wife after church and was exclaiming how she wished that she were more like Jenna. That Jenna had the nicest car and Jenna had the best clothes and Jenna was just so funny. The conversation ended and twenty minutes later, my youth pastor's wife happened to be talking with Jenna. Out of nowhere, Jenna began to say how she wished she were more like Ashley and that she thought Ashley was so special.
This story hit me hard. The very flaws that you find despicable about yourself are the same flaws that someone else adores. The most precious time of the year to me is a sunset on a warm summer night. The air is just right. Not too cold and not too hot. The wind brushes past you and sends your hair into a frenzy. The sky is full of deep colors, unlike anything you have ever seen before. If the same God that created those sunsets also created me and loves me just the way I am, then what else could I want? What else could I need? God is where my assurance comes from. Where does yours lie?
"Before I formed you in the womb I knew you, before you were born I set you apart; I appointed you to be a prophet to the nations." Jeremiah 1:5
“You own the skies and still You want my heart.”
-Hillsong United “Up In Arms” Lyrics
This world is huge. We know that, right? But do we really understand what that means? We go our whole lives in church every Sunday being told there are people out there who still haven't even heard the gospel and we get emotional and put some change in the offering bucket and say a prayer or two. But do we really understand the fact that there are people who have absolutely no idea who Jesus is? I have been back in Peru for a month now and the truth is starting to really hit me. We just got back from spending a week in a small Quechua village. A one hour ride on a 6 passenger plane and an 8 hour boat ride later we were there. In the middle of nowhere. Building an Assemblies of God church in a place so far and different from what I am used to. On the way to the village we made a stop in another village and there was an Assemblies of God church there as well. We had a church service and the spirit of God was so evident. People crying, shaking, speaking in tongues. It was incredible. In a place where people live such a primitive life style, 3,000 miles away from my home God is moving. He wants to have a relationship with these people and He needs our help. There are so many unreached people groups in the jungles of the Amazon and they deserve to hear the gospel. They deserve to have a relationship with God. Basically, what I'm trying to say to you is that next time you hear a statistic about the people who don't know Jesus, don't just think of them as a number. Think of them as a person. As a mom or dad. As a brother or sister. These people I meet are people I never want to forget. I want to remember the lady who brought us food and asked for a list of our names so she could pray for us. I want to remember the boys who helped us dig up bugs so we could fish. I want to remember the men who work night and day to provide for their families. These people aren't just faces, they are my friends. And they may not be your friends but they are your brothers and sisters in Christ. So step up. Go on a missions trip. Babysit and give your profit to missions. Sincerely pray for these people, and even ask God if being a full time missionary is in His plans for you. Because even though you have everything you could ever need and are so blessed, others aren't so lucky. And they don't even think twice about it. They deserve this. But more importantly, our God deserves this. So find your piece in the puzzle of the great commission. I guarantee you'll fit.
Below are some photos from our week in the jungle: