This issue’s interview is with Stacy A., an aspiring missionary who grew up in Nebraska and presently lives in that state’s capital city, Lincoln. She addresses a few things here related to missions we’ve yet to talk about in Propel.
Propel: How long have you been interested in long-term missions?
Stacy: I have been interested in long term missions since I took Perspectives a little over two years ago.
Propel: When and how did this interest begin?
Stacy: I came to Christ in 1997. In 1998, I began to feel a tug toward missions, which I pretty much ignored for a while as I planned to go into politics, and missions would kind of just mess that up! But in late 1998 (I was still I in high school) I went to a youth conference in Denver. During the conference they did a presentation about different countries and people groups. I was fairly indifferent until I heard that “One Million Buddhists Die Every Year without ever hearing the name of Christ.” God broke me right there. I didn’t hear anything else during that conference; I couldn’t focus on the sessions, I was completely distracted by that statistic. Through a series of events during the conference that week, God really confirmed that he wanted me to go to Southeast Asia for missions work. He wasn’t clear on when or how long, just Southeast Asia.
Well, being young in age — and young in Jesus — I was ready to go that next summer. So, I got information from this conference about their trip to Southeast Asia My parents were not believers, but I was convinced that if God called me they would let me go. This may come as a surprise, but it didn’t work that way. I was promptly grounded and not allowed to go to church anymore. Some months passed and I was able to go back to church. I was greatly questioning this “call” I had received because my parents had acted so horribly against it. But this longing and ache for Southeast Asia, just wouldn’t leave my heart.
Finally, in 2002, the college group at my church was going to Southeast Asia. I applied and was accepted to the team. This trip confirmed my love for Southeast Asia more than any experience of my lifetime. It was pretty clear to me that even if God didn’t call me full-time that I would have to go semi-regularly to Southeast Asia. Perspectives was really the training ground in which God made clear that this was to be my life’s work. I still don’t have all the details of when or how, but as I have learned from previous experience, He’ll get me there in His time.
Propel: You’re interested in social issues and community development as missions, if I understand correctly. What are you doing now to specifically prepare yourself for this kind of work? (more…)