Megan Kinne | Brazil
GOSPEL COMMUNITY CHURCH, LYNCHBURG, VA
The Easter Sunday after she turned 5, Megan sat with her grandmother at their kitchen table after church, asking about Christ’s death for her sins. Because of the brokenness of her own family at the time, she was intrigued by Jesus’ love for mankind, and wanted to know more. Her grandmother helped her understand God is a loving father, but sin had broken that relationship between him and his children. God had sent his Son to restore that relationship. Megan accepted Christ when she understood the forgiveness and reconciliation that Jesus offered.
Her desire for missions began at age seven, and her college years at Liberty confirmed that call. In fact, her first mission field was ministering to her peers at Liberty University and her community in Virginia.
“[Missions] is not a location,” she said. “It’s a state of your heart.”
At Liberty’s Global Focus Week in 2015, Megan struck up a conversation with an ABWE missionary couple about their ministry in Brazil. A year and a half later, she was on a plane headed to South Brazil to serve with them for a few weeks.
“God used that trip to wreck me in a lot of ways,” she said. “The plane ride broke me of my self-sufficiency and my desire for control.”
The arrival in south Brazil also brought on some hard lessons that helped develop a love and compassion for the people Megan met there.
Halfway through the trip, God challenged Megan: “He said, ‘Maybe I didn’t send you here to support them from the States. Maybe this is where I want you to go.’” It was a terrifying thought—but she knew this was where God was leading, so she started the application process.
On her second trip to Brazil, last summer, she said God continued to grow that passion in her to go. “So, here I am.”
Joey & Esther Faulkner | Ecuador
TROY CHURCH, TROY, AL
Church felt superficial to Joey growing up. He had been raised in a Christian home, but after his father died when he was eight, his home shifted from being a “Christian” home to a “moral” home. His family remained active in the local church, and Joey knew all the right things to say, but it meant nothing to him and he lived life through a very angry, distorted lens.
Two years after graduating high school, Joey reconnected with an old acquaintance, Esther, who had been known as the “good girl” in school. But when she invited him to her baptism, Joey lied about why he didn’t go, feeling no remorse. His actions caused the two to part ways.
A month later Esther reached out to him again, and Joey felt a strange tug to ask if he could go with her to church. As he listened to the pastor’s sermon on Ephesians 4, on putting off the old and putting on the new, he began to understand the gospel for the first time.
“It [actually] made sense.”
Esther had spent much of her childhood doing the “church hop”, never planting deep roots or getting discipled.
“It was ‘easy’ to be a Christian,” she said. “Until it wasn’t.”
When her parents started experiencing marital issues, Esther began to question this God she said she believed in. She had thought it was a give-and-take relationship: that if she did all the right things, God would bless her.
But one night as she wrestled with why God wasn’t fixing her family, she came across 1 John, and she realized that Christianity wasn’t just following a list of do’s and don’ts.
“It was the most freeing feeling.”
Why missions? “I don’t want anybody to [go through what I did], to think that they have to keep this list of good things… It’s all Christ,” she said.
For Joey: “If I have a God who’s willing to pay that kind of a debt for me, then I should be willing to spend the rest of my life proclaiming that to the nations and glorifying his name with my entire life.”
Faulkners to Ecuador [closed Facebook group]
Jessica Mulder | Nicaragua
FARMINGTON AVENUE BAPTIST CHURCH, WEST HARTFORD, CT
Jessica grew up in a gospel-centered home, surrounded by missions. She reveled in the stories she heard from the missionaries her family often hosted—of far-off countries and cultures. As she listened, and poured over the biographies of past missionaries like Amy Carmichael, she could feel her own heart for travel and missions growing.
“I was always curious about other countries, and other people, and hearing their stories,” she said. She dreamed of being “that classic missionary woman”, teaching children overseas. Her home church’s strong emphasis on missions fanned that flame.
But God still had many life lessons for Jessica to learn before she was ready to serve overseas.
During her early teen years, Jessica began to struggle with doubt of the assurance of her salvation, leading to a deep place of depression. Afraid to confide in anyone, the pressure of keeping these feelings suppressed eventually pushed her to a breaking point.
“But God met me in that darkest moment and brought that assurance, that he is the one who saves—that it is not about me at all.”
He began to grow Jessica as a missionary within her own community, first through serving in youth and children’s ministry, and then in a new career field very different from the Christian environment she had spent much of her life in.
After returning to law school for her paralegal certification, Jessica’s work in this very secular environment showed her much about the deep lostness of people around her. God taught her about being a light in the darkness to reach those with whom she came in contact.
But just as Jessica was settling into this ministry, thinking maybe stateside missions was where God had led her to serve, God began hinting toward “something next.” And in 2014, God began opening doors for Jessica to serve in Nicaragua, where she served short-term three times, and now feels that God is calling her to serve long-term.
Josh & Jodie Greve | Brazil
CALVARY BAPTIST CHURCH, LITTLE EGG HARBOR TWP, NJ
Jodie knew she was being called to missions when she was nine years old, while watching a missions trip presentation by her church’s youth group. She continued to pursue that call in college, making a trip to Brazil between her junior and senior years at Cedarville University, and completing her student teaching in Papua New Guinea.
But when she was offered the opportunity to continue serving as a teacher through ABWE in Bangladesh, she felt God telling her "no." She thought she was ready to go, but no matter how much she prayed, she could not feel at peace about it.
After graduating, Jodie moved back home and taught at a local middle school. This was not how she had planned her life to play out. But God was preparing her heart, teaching her many lessons through her time as a middle school teacher living at home.
Before dating Jodie, Josh said he had only two loves: “Basketball, and being right.” But through his time on the Cedarville men’s basketball team, and through his pursuit of a biblical studies degree, God taught him valuable lessons about teamwork, friendship, and that “I was wrong, and He was right.”
Josh began to consider missions on a trip during his sophomore year of college to Bulgaria with Athletes in Action, where the American missionary family who hosted Josh’s team shared with him about their ministry in theological education. Josh immediately felt pulled towards pursuing the same kind of ministry.
Though they had known each other in college, Josh and Jodie’s relationship did not begin to grow until after graduation. After they were married, they moved to Dallas so Josh could attend seminary. The time they spent serving in India at a Bible college for his internship opened their eyes to the great need and desire for theological education overseas.
“Matthew 10:8 says ‘Freely you have received, freely give’,” Josh said. “In His grace, [God] taught me His Word that I did not deserve to learn. And now He is asking me [to go] teach this Word to others.”
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