My guest for this interview serves in an area where it would endanger her family if her name were provided or if any specific information about their location is revealed. I am especially grateful for her sharing her story.
Where have you served on mission and at what age?
Well, I began taking short term trips in High School. My first trip was to Mexico. I was 16 years old. The most impacting thing about that particular trip was just having real conversations with a couple that was serving there and seeing their day to day lives. I also took trips to Honduras in high school and college. I went to China when I was 22 years old and now live in Central Asia.
What made you decide to serve there?
Honestly, my first trip happened because my best friend was going. After that trip, my heart was drawn to missions. I felt that God was telling me to go and serve. Now, I live overseas and at times have to remember that deep call to share the good news in another country.
What is your greatest challenge while serving?
I am not sure that there is one great challenge. Everything becomes a challenge when living in a different culture and learning a new language. But, the hardest parts for me include: being away from family, having no traditional church to attend, trying to learn a foreign language, and learning new cultural norms.
How have you seen God at work where you serve?
I see God at work both in me and in those around me. He is working in my heart to break down pride and the need to be understood and accepted. When you can only communicate on a kindergarten level it is difficult to be understood and accepted. But I am learning that my identity is only found in Christ. Also, I see God doing a great work in refugees who are flooding our country. These people left their home because of war, but God is using others to help meet both physical and spiritual needs. God is able to use all circumstances for his glory.
One specific example is that of my language tutor. Before we arrived, many others had shared the good news with her. She was often harsh and combative in response to the Truth. Over the course of 3 years, she saw a difference in the lives of the Christians around her. She saw them serve by teaching her children English. She heard over and over again. I was very intimidated by her when I first met her, but she then became my tutor and closest friend. When we shared with her, she no longer argued. She listened. She no longer took a strong stand. She helped us learn bible stories in our new language. Her heart has slowly softened. She has not believed. But she is not the same. Please pray for *Rose to believe.
What opposition did you face before you went or while serving?
I actually had people in my own church tell me that they did not think we should go overseas. I was very offended because these were Christians who were asking me to disobey God in order to “stay safely in America.”
What would you like people to know about the people/place that you serve?
I want people to know that Muslims are people who need the love of Christ. My friends here are Muslims…they are good hearted, sweet, and helpful. But, they do not believe and therefore need to hear the truth. Please do not give in to the current trend of labeling Muslims as terrorists. Pray for them daily to hear the good news!