On March 26, 2017, I stood up in front of the Oak Parish congregation as Pastor Bryan shared about my calling to Cambodia. I’m so excited, humbled, thankful to become Oaks Parish’s first overseas missionary and thrilled to have their support – both in prayer and with finances. After the announcement, Bryan and I had a little discussion on God’s calling in my life and how it relates to the Exodus series our church is currently doing. Here is a little recap.
- Tell us how you felt called to Cambodia and describe the work you’ll be doing there.
I’ve been blessed to have had the opportunity to travel around most of southeast Asia. Cambodia has always been on the wishlist and in 2014, I got the opportunity to go with my folks. While in Cambodia, I was walking around thinking about the next place I wanted to go and God was very clearly saying “Don’t worry, you’ll be back.” And it’s been this open-ended prayer since then. Shortly after returning home, I started following a Christian job board and in July of last year started talking with Daughters, an organization that works with young people getting out of sex trafficking. I’ll be supporting them with marketing and PR, working on grants, fundraising, supporting their sustainable businesses and a legacy plant in the Philippines.
- Why is human trafficking ultimately a spiritual issue?
I believe that most things in life are spiritual – but in this case, I know that God isn’t for human trafficking and that Satan is. There is much darkness in this realm, that few people want to step into that space of perversion, sin, and selfishness to speak light, hope and truth into these girls and boys. That they are more than a product of a corrupt system, that they are known and loved and this isn’t what God had in mind for them, that their story isn’t complete and they can have a new, better identity in Christ.
- How has Jesus been calling you to things you didn’t necessarily like in this process?
For starters, it’s one big, scary move. Renting out my house, leaving Portland and the USA. My folks just got here a few months ago. Being single and feeling very alone and aware of that. My general anxiety comes to visit every once and awhile and I have to pick myself up. I had to reconsider drinking alcohol and if I should bring my pup, Bullet, a handful of times. I had an unplanned career change earlier this year, that really threw me for a loop – but now at my new job, I sit next to a woman who was sex trafficked when she was 13 and now runs a center for girls here in Portland. God very clearly wants me to be in this place, at this time, for very specific reasons. Also, I have to fundraise, which I was really against at the beginning. I like how independent I am and self-sufficient and God has completely stripped that from me, but He’s also reframed it in a way that I’m not going alone this way. I’m going with an amazing support team, both in prayer and financially.
Like Bryan said, Oaks Parish will be supporting me financially, but if you are interested in learning more and supporting me above and beyond what Oaks Parish is, please let me know