If you’d rather listen than read the story, you can listen here.
It’s been almost 4 years since I received my last word of encouragement. After citing Joshua 1:9, Dr. Chandler noted that I have a courageous spirit within me and God loves that about me. She said, “You can take the river, you can take the giant, and you can go for it, and God loves that about you. And you’re daring. I don’t know you…but you have a courageousness that will step out and be daring, not silly, not stupid, or impulsive, but really courageous and that is incredibly transformative to others around you. God is with you wherever you go, it’s not just this place of ministry…God is going to be with you. I think there are several other things God is going to be leading you into. We can think, ‘Oh this is it or this is where I’m at’ But I think God is going to give you visions and you know what, you will need to be courageous. Don’t shrink back! Be courageous.”
That was October 2013. I asked the Lord for years to show me the vision when I was in Israel. But that would have only distracted me from my studies. Fast forward to October 2016 and I’m filming videos for my missionary friend, Clay Powell, in Honduras. 3 years later, God gives me the vision. Not an actual vision like I’m on the ground in some trance, but a slight glimpse into what He has for me. A month later, I’m on the phone with Steve Beam, the President of the Foundation for Missions, and through a very broken conversation while he was in New Zealand asks me to film all of his missionaries like I did for Clay. I couldn’t believe it. Who am I to be asked to do such a thing? The feeling of humility was an understatement in that moment, but his next words haunted me. He said, “However, you will be like a missionary and you will have to raise your own support.” Here I am thinking I’m about to get my dream job, and then my heart sank hearing “raise your own support.”
As time went on, I continued to stay in touch with Steve and wanted to become an Ambassador with the Foundation for Missions and for Clay, but I ran away and ignored the possibility of raising my own support, despite it being my dream job. I applied to ministries all over and received nothing but generic rejection letters. With my resume, I thought I’d at least get a phone call or email asking more about me. God had been closing every other door…except this.
So I went to Florida in April and became a Missionary Ambassador. It took me almost 6 months before I thought, “Maybe this is what God is calling me to do.” So I went to Lauren and asked her what her thoughts were. She was more supportive and encouraging than I could have ever imagined. She wanted me to do this more than I wanted to do it. So I thought about it. I talked with some people I love and respect. Some were excited and others were not too fond of the decision.
So I took the people who rejected the idea more seriously and kept applying for other jobs. I let the voices of people kill every ounce of courage I had left. I know I’m a dreamer, but people don’t like dreamers, not even your own family, so I tried to kill my dreams to please them. I let my past experiences shrink me into a dark corner where I was not allowed to exist the way God intended. But much like Jonah, I cannot run from God’s calling on my life.
So where is the confirmation? I’ve met with other missionary organization leaders who also feel this is a major need right now and want me to do the same thing for them. There’s confirmation #1. Lauren and I are in the process of starting our own ministry, Empowering Hope, which will bridge the gap between Churches, Ministries, and Missions and empower Jesus-Followers to be the Church in a more well-rounded capacity. The Foundation for Missions has agreed to help us as we get it off the ground. And we will have to raise support to fund that. Confirmation #2. The first thing you read on this post is confirmation #3. God is leading me in a new direction and I have to be courageous.
But I haven’t been courageous. I’ve cowered behind my curses at God for not helping me pay my bills. I’ve asked the Lord over and over to provide for those bills. I’ve asked Him, “What do you want me to do? What job do you have for me? Tell me, and I’ll do it.” And I’ve cursed Him because He hasn’t come through. Meanwhile Joe Shmoe has 50 stories off hand on how God provided for him. But that’s the difference between Joe Shmoe and I: He stepped out on what God was calling him to do…I have not. God has shown me what to do, but I’ve allowed other people to make my decisions for me. When courage is gone, nothing goes. You just dive further into the cesspool you’ve allowed your emotions and thoughts to drown in. Nevertheless, God has made it clear that I cannot run away from this.
So I’m going to be a voice for Missionaries. I’m going to film their work and what God is doing all over the world. I’ll also be filming documentaries of some of the missionaries I film. I don’t know fully what this next journey will look like. I’m still looking to have a full-time income that will pay my student loans through my video work, Israel Experience 360˚ speaking engagements, and other opportunities. But what I do know is that God is calling me to be a voice for missionaries, and until I accept, I feel I will be stuck in this maelstrom for a very long time. So here I am. I’m in a hurricane and Jesus is asking me to step out. There will always be people who say I’m crazy, stupid, and a ridiculous dreamer…even family. But my job is to follow Jesus, not man.
If you’re still here reading this long story, I give you props! It took a while. But so did this journey to get here. Below are ways you can get involved. I cannot do this without you. I need a lot of help and I believe you can be the difference maker for many of these missionaries!
How You Can Join The Team And Be A Voice For Missionaries
If you can be a prayer partner, please let me know you’re praying. You are so important and I want to make sure you feel a part of what God is doing. You will definitely be credited in the videos!
I’m looking for 100 team members to join and support financially monthly. Each person who donates once will be given special credit at the end of one video and one documentary. Monthly donors will be given credit in every film that’s produced. (Yes, you can put this on your resume!)
Taking on a job like this requires more than just one element. I’m looking for help with other things like music for the videos I make, graphic artists, and people skilled in After Effects. Those things can get expensive! I’d much rather bring on a team member who’s willing to do this and promote them, rather than buy Royalty Free stuff from people I don’t know.
I only know so many people. I want to meet with Churches, business owners, and more. Maybe you can’t help in other ways, but you know people who might be interested. I need all the help I can get. And trust me, if you help me network, you’ll get credit for that. I will always give credit where it is due. This isn’t about me, it’s about Jesus and what He is doing.