Before I knew Jesus, I spent my life chasing purpose through a selfishly nomadic lifestyle. I traveled and lived all over the world and developed a burden for the marginalized and unseen.
When I gave my life to the Lord in 2016, I was worried that I’d have to give up much of this lifestyle to live the way God wanted me to live. Little did I know, He’d bring back this staple of my existence in a brand-new way, more abundantly than I ever could have imagined.
In November of 2019, I went on a Global Team to northern France. We worked alongside the Convoy of Hope Europe team to help their efforts in serving the refugee communities in Calais and Dunkirk. Up until this trip, my understanding of missions was limited to the remote villages and exotic locations regularly highlighted as “unreached.” But on this trip, my mind was opened to the realization that many of the most unreached people are currently spilling into the western world as refugees seeking safety and relief from violent and war-torn home countries. After interacting with these men and women who were so much more similar to me than they were different, I became uncomfortable with witnessing their need but not doing anything about it. God showed me with perfect clarity the plans He had for my future as I listened to these men and women and learned from their stories.
God also used this Global Team to speak to me about the desperate need for the hope of Jesus in secular Europe. After living the first 25 years of my life choosing myself as the center rather than God, I realized that I was uniquely equipped to serve the secular people of Europe, offering a new kind of hope and peace that I’ve only experienced as a follower of Jesus.
Toward the end of our trip, we spent one morning praying for the people we’d met and so many others like them. We also took time to sit in silence and wait on God to speak to us. In this moment, standing on a cold beach looking north across the English Channel, God spoke to me. He said, “Home is going to be different.” I spent the rest of that day wrestling in silence with His words. Maybe He meant I’d be serving the refugee community back home in Minnesota. Or maybe I was supposed to lead short-term trips back to France in the future. But those were just my stubborn attempts at compromising with God. I knew in that moment what He meant. Home is going to be different because home is no longer in Minnesota, it’s in France.
Could I really leave home where I’ve finally settled and thrived in stability for the first time in my life? Could I be away from my niece and nephew after living with them most of their lives? Would God really choose to use someone like me to help fulfill His Great Commission? That night as we were gathered as a team, I spoke out loud for the first time the same words God had spoken to me that morning. As soon as the words left my mouth, my sister started crying and said, “Before you even decided to live your life for Him, God told me you’d be a missionary.” That was the moment my call to missions was confirmed, and I knew there was no going back.
In 2021, I will be joining the Convoy of Hope team as a Missionary Associate with the opportunity to serve their initiatives of Refugee Response, Women’s Empowerment, Disaster Relief, and more in France and all throughout Europe. Refugees from the most unreached countries are currently spilling into the Western world, dramatically changing the cultural landscape of Europe and opening doors to ministry opportunities like never before. Loving these people, and sharing the hope of Jesus with them is the easiest “Yes” I’ve ever said.