As we are highlighting during Missions Week (going on right now!), finishing the work God called us to involves praying, giving, and going. Here are a few more stories.
“I pray for missionaries or missions as it comes to mind, and it is usually pretty short. I do have a poster in my room that sometimes reminds me to pray for persecuted nations (but that is only once in a while). When I can, I prefer praying with other people for missionaries. When people send their blog or I read the monthly list, I pray as I read.” ~ Hannah Mullaney
“It makes a huge difference to know people are praying for me! I think that revival starts with prayer. Also, it helped me feel supported, like when I was prayed for multiple times before going to Guatemala. One specific example was when a pastor as he prayed said ‘Hannah is obeying God, going where He wants her to go.’ When there were times of insecurity and I doubted myself, that prayer reminded me that what I was doing was good.” ~ Hannah Mullaney
“When I was a young single mother of two boys, special friends of mine took their young family to Kenya. I was so impressed by their willingness to go that I felt called to support them financially even though it would be a hardship for me. I was so blessed to receive their monthly newsletter. They reminded me often that even a small contribution can bring joy to so many. My call to those what don’t have much money is to give what you can. Every little bit helps!” ~ Anonymous
“I first started giving to Missions as a young adult and have made faith promises in the past. Today I give to various local and foreign missions organizations. I give online at Timberline and directly to other specific ministries. While have never specifically asked where the money was used, we receive newsletters from individuals we have sponsored or hear from them when they are home.” ~ Anonymous
“When people gave to me, it showed so much support, no matter how much it was. I accepted each gift as a miracle, thanking God for what He was doing and His provision. At times people have blessed me financially in unexpected ways by giving money for my ‘ministry with kids’ including once after I got back from Guatemala. I’m holding on to that money, knowing that God has plans down the road that I don’t even know about yet.” ~ Hannah Mullaney
Go: Hannah Mullaney (former and current Timberline Ambassador)
From Hannah – I have been so blessed to have experienced missions in a couple of different contexts. Ever since I was little, missions has been important to me. I remember in 5th grade at my Christian school, we spent a long time talking about the 10-40 window. It shocked me how many people didn’t know Jesus. My parents have always been supportive of missions as well. Growing up, I have served at Timberline Church in a variety of ways, especially among the children as a JOY Team captain and Sports Week coach. My first mission trip was as a freshman in high school in Peru.
Then, from January to May 2013, during a gap year between high school and college, I lived in Guatemala with other Timberline Ambassadors and worked with orphans. I had questioned what I should do during that gap year, but God made it clear through His Word and then so many doors opened WIDE. Taking the actual step was not too difficult, even though some of the logistics weren’t figured out until a week before my departure. I had few expectations or fears before going, simply because I had no idea what to expect. Being an 18-year-old super willing to try new things, I was up for the experience. During the process and preparation, I learned a lot about receiving. While I was there, I started to learn how to die to myself because I just couldn’t love people the way Jesus did with my own strength and power. (I’m still learning what it means to abide in Jesus, trust in Him, and just let things go!) Even though I was there for a short time, I tried to make the most of the relationships I built, got to experience amazing examples of true love and gratefulness, and saw God’s hand at work.
Now I am doing real live missions right here in Fort Collins! I am a student leader with Intervarsity Christian Fellowship, reaching students at Colorado State University. It was during an outreach event that it really clicked for me. I only have four years here. There are friends right around me who have not experienced the joy and love and life-change of the Gospel. What better way to spend my time as a student? I need to be intentional. In particular, I want to reach Latino students here so that we can experience the power of the Gospel for ourselves and apply it among our family and friends.
What would I say to someone thinking about going? Let God love you through this experience, and as you experience His love (no matter how qualified or under qualified you feel), share that love and hope with others. Tell others your story. In a more concrete way, be open to letting God to speak to you through His Word, other people, worship music, circumstances, and other ways. If you think God is leading you to do something, pray about it, talk to others, and then take steps of faith. It is okay to ask God questions! When we are open and give God space to work in our lives, He will. Stay obedient, stay open, and enjoy the ride.
Go: Phyllis Kovac
(Note: Phyllis is missionary Gwen Kovac’s mother. Phyllis was 87 years old in this picture taken during her last trip to the jungle where Gwen worked in 2007.)
From Phyllis – Many years ago I had the privilege to go on some Mission Trips with Timberline Church. The first few times we went to Guatemala. We were taken to the airport from the church. There is no feeling like going with a group of people to a foreign country where you have never been before. You are so happy to be doing something you knew was for God. When you arrived in Guatemala, where the people all spoke a language you knew nothing about, and everything was so different, but you were there in service to the Lord. How exciting! We ate different foods, the water we drank was different, but you soon learned what to do and what not to do. And you became acquainted with those dear people that you loved so dearly and just did everything you could do to help.
My specific part was fitting glasses for people who needed them. We just all worked together to make life better for those who were so in need. When they had church services and everyone sang those beautiful songs, it just sent shivers up your backbone! I don’t think you could ever put aside wanting to help missionaries so they can stay on the field to win these dear people to the Lord.
Go: Claire Smith (and her husband Phil have been on many medical missions trips with Timberline Church)
From Claire – I first became interested in missions as a child when missionaries came to my little country church in Illinois. I thought they were so brave and dreamed of being a nurse in a foreign country when I grew up. Fast forward to 2004 and my husband and I were part of a medical team going to serve the people of China. I was a short term missionary going into the unknown to serve where God leads. Scared? Yes, yet excited, because I was living out a childhood dream of being a missionary in a foreign country.
Over the last 14 years, God has called my husband and me to serve in Africa, Cambodia, Peru, Guatemala and many more trips to China. To those who are hesitant about joining a mission team, God calls each of us to share His heart through our smiles and helping hands. Don’t worry about having the necessary skill set, just pray, give and go as you feel the Lord call you. He will provide.