God can use anything to reveal His calling upon someone’s life. A short-term mission trip can be a great avenue to learn your calling and what a good next step might be. One woman shares how the Lord used Global Gates to help her find her God-given passion to serve international women.
It’s truly a story that only the Lord could weave. My first experience with women from a different religious background was in 2014 serving with Global Gates in New York. Our team served in Ozone Park, where God provided opportunities for the Gospel to be shared, for homes to be opened and for stories to be told. It was the first time I intentionally shared the Gospel with women from a different religious background, and it was my first taste of international hospitality. Before this trip my aspirations after graduating college were moving to New York and pursuing a self-serving career in the fashion industry. Instead, I found myself in the city I loved, doing something that was nearly the exact opposite of everything I’d envisioned. Looking back, I can honestly say my first trip with Global Gates was God’s way of putting a heart and passion for serving international women inside me, and that has changed the entire trajectory of my life.
At the end of my senior year I knew international women’s ministry was the call the Lord placed on my life. In 2017 I moved to South Asia, where I was given my first opportunity to walk out my life’s calling. I served women through a textiles and leather goods company via a business as missions ministry. We provided access to dignified work, the opportunity to earn a living wage and an invitation to hear about and experience Jesus. I fell in love with South Asian culture, most notably, their overwhelming hospitality. They will care for you as one of their own and offer their best without counting the cost or expecting anything in return. I continually saw the character of God displayed in the way strangers were welcomed with such open arms. The Lord also used it as a way to affirm my love for empowering women through the combination of the Gospel and work. Few things give me more joy than seeing a woman recognize her worth because of what Jesus has done for her and then celebrate that reality by exercising her unique skills to glorify Him.
Fast forward to June 2019. I was in New York with Global Gates again, and I was able to experience those same feelings and passions for serving South Asian women in ways that I never expected. I had never worked with the Bangladeshi community before and because my background had only been with Buddhists and Hindus, I had no idea what conversations with Muslims would be like. Any fears I had were almost immediately relieved when I was met with the same South Asian warmth that I have become so accustomed to. Our team was welcomed into the homes of Bangladeshi women. We built friendships and shared the Gospel with many of them. One of those women and her four daughters fed us, and I was able to share the Gospel with them. It felt like family.
We also met two Pakistani women who generously gifted us with kurtas and showered us with overwhelming kindness. It made my heart hurt to know that a day will come where we all kneel before the feet of Jesus and there is a chance they might not be there, then I was reminded of the kindness of the Lord in how He uses the Holy Spirit to guide His people in sharing His mission. He desires people from every tribe, tongue and nation to know Him so much so that He sent His only son Jesus Christ to die for them and then He brought the nations right here to New York.
You might not feel called to serve overseas, but you don’t have to leave the country to serve the nations. It just takes one step outside of your comfort zone, to reach across the aisle and love your neighbor as yourself, then you will experience, like me, the joy you were created to know.
Do you know God’s calling upon your life? If yes, what steps of obedience are you taking to follow Him in it? If no, then finding a way to engage in His mission could be a good next step and a Sifting Week with Global Gates might be the right place to start globalgates.info/get-involved/volunteer/.
*By Alexis, a Sifting Week volunteer from Mercy Church in Charlotte.