March 26th, 2023
It’s truly amazing when we are fortunate to see God bring things around full circle. If you asked me last year if I thought I’d be working in the role of development associate for Adventures in Missions (AIM), my answer would have been no.
A Look Back
You see, in the fall of 2015, God met me in my dark brokenness and I gave my life to Him. I finally understood in my heart what it meant to follow Him and what He was asking of His believers.
David Platt did a great job describing salvation in his book Follow Me: “We don’t become followers of Christ by pursuing Christ or inviting Christ to do anything, for in our sin we’re totally unable to do so. Instead, we become Christians when Christ pursues us and invites us to follow Him” (pg 25). Platt follows this with a look at John 15:16-17 “You did not choose Me, but I chose you and appointed you to go and bear fruit – fruit that will last. Then the Father will give you whatever you ask in my name. This is my command: Love each other.”
I don’t know if you have heard of the “Sinner’s Prayer,” but Platt specifically calls out how you will not find such a prayer in the Bible because we cannot invite Christ into our heart without Him first having pursued us. Salvation is because of Christ’s grace, Christ’s mercy, and Christ’s love. He invited us to follow Him. It was this book that led me to understanding salvation and the knowledge that I had never truly given my life to Christ.
That last statement may leave some of you surprised having known me growing up. Yes, I did grow up in the church, I even participated in Awana and actively memorized Bible Scripture because of that.
However, I was utterly lost. Growing up, I constantly felt like everyone I loved & cared about was taken out of my life in one way or another. I felt alone, confused, and desperately started putting up walls before I even turned 13 out of self-preservation. I believed that if I didn’t hold anyone close to me, then it wouldn’t hurt so bad if they were removed from my life.
Those feelings quickly turned to anger, and with that feeling I decided I didn’t want anything more to do with God. I decided I’d continue to say all the things I felt people expected of me, but inside, I put God in a box, taped it up and threw it outside.
That didn’t make my life better. I went through some really dark times over the next few years, specifically from January of 2014 to the Fall of 2015, that culminated to a point where I felt there were only two choices before me: end it all or find an answer that would change everything. It was at that point that I read Follow Me by David Platt and it was because of the Holy Spirits work in me through that book that I surrendered.
In the Spring of 2016 I was desperately trying to figure out what the next steps for my life were. I’d graduated a year prior & just was coming up short. None of the plans I had for my life were coming about & so I was just at a cross roads in life. During this time I found out about the World Race, a mission trip and discipleship program through Adventures in Missions.
The World Race
If you know me at all, then you know I love information. When I find something new that interests me, I pour over it till I feel there’s not much more I can learn. So it should come as no surprise that when I learned of the World Race that I poured over countless amounts of Racer blogs, the AIM website, learned the acronyms and lingo, & because knowing what the next year and a half of my life was going to look like wasn’t enough, decided I’d plan the followings years too.
By the time I went to training camp in August of 2016 I had decided that after my World Race, I would squad lead for another trip, then I would attend CGA or G42 (additional training resources), and then I would work on staff for Adventures in Missions.
While I was on my Race however, that vision morphed and changed. It changed because now outside of all the research and information I had gathered, I had first hand experience. The Race was life changing for me. It was eye opening in so many ways.
The World Race was not only my first mission trip experience overseas, but my first time outside the U.S. as well. One of the areas that effected me deeply was having experienced the training we received prior to going along with the continued training we received on the field. No only was it beneficial to deepening my walk with Christ, but it helped my team and squad align ourselves together to do mission work well.
I also got to know the long term hosts and hear countless stories from them. My heart for missions grew, but my heart for short term missions grew exponentially.
I developed a desire to see churches do short term trips better because one thing I’d hear repeatedly from LTM was that church teams usually left them exhausted and burnt out, when I believe one of our biggest goals should be to leave them rested and refilled.
So, my plans changed… and then changed some more when my now husband entered the picture where I married him and followed him to Japan, and I did not in fact work in a church helping with their short term missions program.
But God… He brings things full circle at times, and here I am with this opportunity God has laid before me to work with Adventures. See, if you’d asked me last year if I thought I’d be working for AIM now, my answer would be no, but if you asked me if I had a desire to work with AIM or in missions, the answer would have been a resounding YES!
Watching God open all these doors and guide me to this position has been such an humbling experience. It has also been an exciting one, and I truly am looking forward to all that God has planned for me and His work through AIM.
If you have any questions that haven’t been answered in this blog, feel free to reach out. I’d love to talk to you more and share my heart for what God is doing in and through Adventures. In fact, even if you don’t have questions, please reach out, I’d love to talk to you more.
Until the next time,
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“Disturb us, Lord, when we are too well pleased with ourselves, when our dreams come true because we have dreamed too little. When we have arrived safely because we sailed too close to the shore. Disturb us, Lord, when with the abundance of things we possess we have lost our thirst for the waters of life; Having fallen in love with life, we have ceased to dream of eternity. And in our efforts to build a new earth, we have allowed our vision of the new Heaven to dim. Disturb us, Lord, to dare more boldly, to venture on wilder seas, where storms will show your mastery; where losing site of land, we shall find the stars. We ask You to push back the horizons of our hopes; and to push into the future in strength, courage, hope, and love.” – Sir Frances Drake