Growing up in a family of strong church leaders, I always knew I was born for a mission. I remember being 14 and beginning to really explore faith for myself, participating in local young people’s fellowships. Those days of discipling and growing with other incredible believers became such a foundation that I will forever look back on.
I recall sunday nights worshipping together. I cherished moments sat in candlelight, praying for Gods heart to fall. I still celebrate the ways in which we equipped one another and saw God bear fruit in our lives.
At 14 I discovered that church was not a service on a sunday. My church was a group of 14-18 year olds who did life together, played music and wrote songs together, or drove the stressed GCSE kids to mcdonalds after school together…
Jesus lived in community with his disciples. He encouraged them. He sacrificed himself for them. He became family and expressed his heart for his disciples. That was his mission.
I always thank God for those sweet years of faith building. I thank God for The Apple Tree, for Amy, Jordan, Alice, Mark S, Mark T, Chloe, Ruthie, Mat, Jessie, Steve and co… God captured our hearts and revealed the mystery of his character to us. And we saw fruit.
During my later school years God started to speak. He began to call me out. He spoke words about changing the world, being a female leader in the church, bringing light to those who didnt know him. As a group collectively we had a huge heart for mission and a huge heart for worship. They went hand in hand.
That Night Under the Net
And then God eventually called me to leave this family of hearts. I found myself stepping out into the unknown. God clearly spoke and told me to go and live in Guinea. I’ve already written about that season of my life but essentially, I found myself sat in my mosquito net fully surrendering and saying, ‘God I’ve left everything. I’ve come this far. I dont want to cave now. You are calling me to lead your church and I want to have the obedience to go.’
That was a powerful night. And a huge surrender.
Ever since then I have been mistakenly convinced. I came back convinced that God was calling me to leave the UK one day. I genuinely thought that I was only studying architecture to get a Visa and head overseas…
I’m not saying that God will never lead me out of the UK again. What I am saying is that actually, your annointing is not necessarily to be a white missionary or a vicar or a nice charity worker.
There is so much more.
I’ve grown up a pastor’s kid. I’m incredibly fortunate to have seen church leadership manifest in different forms. I’m so blessed to be surrounded by people who constantly affirm me and tell me I’d be great if I followed in my Dads footsteps one day.
I left home convinced I’d one day give up my day job and go into ‘ministry.’ Yet I couldn’t desire anything worse.
This year, moving to a brand new place I’ve learnt an incredible amount. God has gradually stripped me of things. He’s revealed new desires and new passions to.
Here and Now
Just this week, I found myself giving up plans. I always thought I was heading to a life on the ‘mission field.’ But when I met with a charity network about interning (it’s been my plan since I left Guinea) I realised that my heart wasnt in it. I just wasnt made for it.
This illustrates my point. All year long I’ve been wanting more ‘ministry’ or better gifting… The only thing I have discovered is that the here and now is a mission field.
Gods kingdom is so full. Heaven will see business, finance, architecture, art, music, childcare… people will write books and invent new software. Engineers will invent infrastructure and farmers will cultivate land.
In the same way, God is needed in every field. He has opened my eyes to see just how broken the uk is. My calling to change culture and change the world applies to this nation too and I stand convicted. My heart heavily cries out for those in the every day.
I dont work for the church. I’m not in a 3rd world country. I go to uni everyday, work on projects, eat lunch with friends, go home, cook, live alongside housemates, sleep… I live a pretty basic life. But in it, there is such blessing.
In all of it I live set apart, desiring to bring kingdom culture. I desire and pray to bring light and peace to those who need it. I desire to bless in the small and lead those around me to first of all understand the mystery of love hoping that one day they will encounter Jesus and be equipped themselves to bring heaven to earth.
If you asked me a year ago what my future looked like I would have halfheartedly mumbled about becoming a missionary. Now I much more excitedly declare that I dont know – but I do know that right now I’m here where I’m supposed to be.
My vision is to go back to that 14 year old community of worship, prayer and earnest seeking. To revive those young visions to change the world. And to step into that daily, adding to numbers as we do so. The apostles in the bible did just this. There was no ‘missionary or ‘ministry career.’ Just believers living together and being set apart – and god added to their number daily.
Live out faith where you are. Bring his kingdom in the everyday. God has called you to it.
They devoted themselves to the apostles’ teaching and to fellowship, to the breaking of bread and to prayer. Everyone was filled with awe at the many wonders and signs performed by the apostles. All the believers were together and had everything in common. They sold property and possessions to give to anyone who had need. Every day they continued to meet together in the temple courts. They broke bread in their homes and ate together with glad and sincere hearts, praising God and enjoying the favor of all the people. And the Lord added to their number daily those who were being saved.
Acts 2:42-47 NIV