Blog post by Ashley
What is a missionary? If you had asked me that question 2 years ago I would have said, “someone sent by God on a mission of HIS choice.” I also would have told you that I am a missionary. Two years before moving to Atlantic County I was happily and proudly working for an international mission, Pura Vida Missions, out of San Ramón, Costa Rica.
What started as a week long mission trip to Costa Rica with my church turned into summer intern opportunities for a few years and then to a full time position heading up a sponsorship program there. I was living on the mission property, running the program, discipling families and being the liaison between sponsors and sponsees. I loved my job.
I loved my time there. I grew tremendously as a believer, follower and servant of our Lord so much that when asked to pray about church planting with my brother, Buff and sister, Cissy I kind of shrugged it off with a, “sure…I’ll PRAY about it”. Little did I know that the Lord had different plans for me that didn’t include the plush rain forests of Costa Rica, no, snow was in my future. I believed that I was a missionary, an international missionary and not a church planter. Boy, was I blind or let’s just say my perspective needed to be widened.
A year after praying about joining a church plant the Lord, much to my surprise, moved this international missionary to Atlantic County to become part of the church planting team. And yet again I have found myself continually being transformed here.
One of the major things that the Lord has shown me is that as a believer and follower in the Lord, Jesus Christ, we are ALL missionaries sent by God to serve the community in which we live in. That means it is in the everyday life. I am to be an image bearer and witness of His good news when I go to the store, when I serve tables, when I go to the gym, when I drop off my nephews at school…all day every day. He doesn’t call us to only be it thousands of miles away, we are to do now and right where we are.
This was a mind blowing and humbling revelation. I’m not elevated because of this great calling that God has on my life. This same calling is on all believers and follower’s lives. We are only elevated because He has been lifted up. That’s it.
So what does that mean for Joseph and I as we embark on this new adventure together to Florida? God has sent us and we are to be His missionary servants that bear His image and be good news for people in Florida, God will give us opportunities to share the good news of Jesus Christ with the people in our community.
Joseph and I are being sent and planted into a community and we will live out life with this community. We will grow with them, share with them and be transparent with them. We know that God is leading us and sending us, Grace Falls members, to this location.
It’s scary and it’s new. We don’t know how it will all play out. But, we will be available. We will continue to turn to Him for guidance and support and we trust that He will provide each step as we move forward. We are missionaries, just like you are, sent to a location to serve a community of people and be His good news and we do it willingly and in faith!