Saturday, February 20, 2010

How missions has impacted my life

Hi, my name is Chrissy Kelly and my husband, Tim and I have attended Living Hope Church for over 20 years. I would like to share with you how missions has impacted my life and how God has called me into missions.

I believe that even at a young age, God had been instilling in my heart a desire and passion to serve Him overseas as a missionary. As a little girl, I was greatly impacted and fascinated with stories of missionaries such as Corrie Ten Boom, Amy Carmichael, Jim Elliott, Hudson Taylor, and George Mueller to name a few. My mother remembers me singing songs like "Jesus loves the little children, all the children of the world. Red and Yellow, Black and White, they are precious in His sight" and recalls me telling missionary stories to my stuffed animals and dollies. I also pretended to be a missionary and acted out the stories that my mother read to me.

As a teenager, before we knew each other, Tim and I both had opportunities to go on missions trips. From that moment on, we knew that God had placed a calling upon our lives. Where and when we were not sure, but knew that our lives were changed forever.

We made the commitment to seek out schooling that would train and prepare us to serve Him in foreign missions. While attended Bethany College of Missions, we met each other, fell in love and later married. Our goal upon graduation, was to be a full time missionary on a foreign field. God had other plans.

As we sought out His direction, we prayed that He would send us. However, in God's timing, we were not released us to go into foreign missions. Instead He asked us to settle down in Green Bay. To say we were disappointed, is a great understatement. We couldn't begin to fathom, why two individuals who were willing to go, were asked to stay and bloom where God had planted us.

Over the years, we can see the prudence of God's direction leading us to stay. We had a lot of growing up to do. God work of pruning and refining us is still a work in progress. We have learned many lessons over the past 20 years and I'm sure there is much more for us to learn that is yet to come.

In these past 20 years, God has given us the passion to train up and lead teens and adults on short term missions trips. A mission trip will change your life and impact you in a way you have never experienced before. Missions also seeks to expand your a world view that extends beyond your own town, community and even church.

Through a missions trip, one quickly learns to depend on the LORD at all times, through all things and that it is the LORD who is in control of all things. We are taken out of our comfort zone which is where God can truly use us the best and do His work in and through us.

God may not call of us to go on the foreign missions field, but He does call all of us to "Go" and if He gives the opportunity for you to go on a trip, then we need to take that opportunity to go.

So, thank you for allowing me to share my testimony. In future blogs, I will attempt to chronicle the process of preparing and planning for a missions trip. So much more goes into it then may be visible. I will also list prayer requests for our team and excerpts from missions articles that hopefully will speak to your heart as they do mine.

Its also my desire to help others develop a missions heart to support those who are on the front lines, daily serving and living out the gospel 24/7. They are the unsung hero's, who often times, because they are so far away, and we cannot see them visibly as they serve, we tend to forget them and how much they need us. We can be supporting them in prayer, through finances, through words of encouragement but unless we know their stories, build relationships with them and tell others about them, their lives will unnoticed. They are the modern day Amy Carmichael's, Hudson Taylor's, Jim Elliott's and we need to stand behind them so that they can carry on what God has called them to do.

Thank you for allowing me to share.

"He is no fool who gives what he cannot keep to gain what he cannot lose" - Jim Elliott (Missionary/Martyr)

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