My journey to becoming a missionary with YWAM began in September 2013. For several years before coming to YWAM Montana I had been actively involved in different youth ministries. Between leading the youth group at my church, discipling students at a Christian high school and coordinating outreach opportunities at a province wide youth conference — I felt I had my ministry life made. I was in a place vocationally that played into my gifts, my talents, and my abilities and I found so much joy in what the Lord was doing with my life. Recognizing that I’d be in ministry long term, I knew I should have some sound Biblical education under my belt. Being convinced that doing the School of Biblical Studies (SBS) at YWAM Montana was only short term, I willingly packed my bags and headed west to the tiny town of Lakeside.
…When the Lord asked me to do Titus, I was convinced it was a “Abraham sacrificing Isaac” kind of request…
During those 9 months God asked me to apply for the Titus Project. Although I saw the practical aspect of Titus — learning how to effectively teach, preach and apply everything I’d learned in SBS — the program did not appeal to me. I had experience teaching and preaching and there was nothing about going overseas that sparked my interest. I strongly felt called to the West. I wanted to bring the hope of the Gospel to generations of young people in a culture that once upon a time was firmly rooted in Scripture. When the Lord asked me to do Titus, I was convinced it was a “Abraham sacrificing Isaac” kind of request. At the last minute, God would provide a ram for sacrifice and I wouldn’t have to give up my precious dream of implementing a reformed version of Biblical education in the West.
Although my actions in heading back to Montana were ones of obedience, my heart was bitter and I questioned why God wasn’t shutting the door to Titus. In Montana, I kept waiting for the moment God would miraculously provide a way out. Where was the sacrifice that would be sent in my place? Why was I getting stuck doing something I had no desire to do?
I let my bitterness settle deeper into my heart and I constantly wondered how God dared to ask me to do something so far off from where I thought He had me going.
I tried hard to ensure my negative attitude didn’t affect the other excited Titus participants. I let my bitterness settle deeper into my heart and I constantly wondered how God dared to ask me to do something so far off from where I thought He had me going.
The night before I left on outreach, to a nation I had no desire to ever go, with people I did not have a previous relationship with — I wept. I wept hard. I did not want to go.
Over the next 2 months, I sought the Lord in hope of more clarity. The hope I found was that it wasn’t about me.
Like a zombie, I loaded my bags, left for the airport with my team and boarded the first of 5 planes which would take me to my destination. Over the next 2 months, I sought the Lord in hope of more clarity. The hope I found was that it wasn’t about me. It was the reality that the message I carried was something that could never be taken back once I gave it away. Although I found an immense amount of temporary peace when God spoke this to me, I felt myself spiritually spiraling into confusion about where He was bringing me in the future.
In the past, I had been so sure of my direction. This wasn’t a matter of having set in stone plans — I had learned to surrender those a long time ago. But it felt like God was asking me to surrender all of my dreams, all of my ideas and all of the visions He had offered to me about youth ministry and Biblical education. I was confused, hurt, and wondered again how He could dare make me surrender this much. I graduated from Titus with thanksgiving because I now recognized the value of the program. However, I also graduated the most directionless I had ever felt.
I spent most of the following year doing physical labor. During this time, God asked me to labor for Him and not engage in ministry. He was asking me to actively stay away from the things in which I’d felt so gifted and comfortable in before. I was baffled. Shouldn’t my life be about serving God? How was I being an effective kingdom builder when I was working on a farm? I couldn’t preach to plants! In the hours I spent alone, I wrestled with how what I was doing was anywhere close to suffering for the Gospel.
My dreams melted to the side and I clearly knew that joining Titus Project as a missionary would be the most effective place for the Lord to have me.
In early 2016, I finally had breakthrough. I felt the Lord asking me to join the Titus Project with YWAM. It was clear direction but it was also the very thing I had been fighting against doing for some time. The irony of it all was the peace and excitement I experienced the moment I clicked “send” on the email to see if my help was needed. There was a sudden anticipation that this was the most right decision. My dreams melted to the side and I clearly knew that joining Titus Project as a missionary would be the most effective place for the Lord to have me. Suddenly my delight for Him outweighed the desires of my heart and I saw that in fact, those desires had always been one in the same.
Since then, I haven’t looked back. I am so glad that when my heart was bitter, God was patient enough to dare me to be obedient.
Is God daring you to step out in obedience to something you are uncertain of? Are you willing to say ‘yes’?
Come join us for the School of Biblical Studies or the Titus Project! Invest in the Word of God and you may discover how God is daring you to be obedient.