Taking Faithful Steps

toa-heftiba.jpg

Anytime Ellie spoke with her friends about the Gospel, she was overcome with an unshakable feeling – that she would one day devote her life to ministering among the unreached.

During her junior year at university, she talked with a friend who would soon move overseas. While he talked about the passion the Lord had instilled in him to go, her eyes were opened to the existence of unreached people groups and her perspective was forever changed. She was unable to forget that feeling of disbelief that there are billions of people who have never had the opportunity to learn about Jesus. After she received her Bachelor’s degree in early childhood education, she became certified as a teacher.

She knew her life was being directed toward seeing the unreached know Christ, she simply didn’t know how. Ellie wanted to obey this newfound calling on her life, but every logistical question was without answer.

She discovered a missions-training curriculum called Launch Global, taught through Austin Stone Community Church in Austin, Texas. She said she clearly heard the Lord’s prompting, “Here’s how you’re going to pursue it.” She applied and was accepted into their two-year program.

Still overwhelmed and uncertain, Ellie asked, “What is it you have for me, God?”

At one point during her training program, she was sent to New York City for a short-term outreach project. As she and her team walked through the bustling streets, they prayed the Lord would present opportunities for them to share the Gospel. 

It was there, walking through the neighborhoods of the city she heard the Lord say, “Pursue this.

She gladly accepted this word but when it came time to decide where and with whom she would go, it was still unclear. The Lord had lead her this far, where was he in the rest of her questions?

After months of patiently deliberating, Ellie met with a couple who had lived overseas for four years and were looking for a team to move to the Middle East. That’s when she heard the Lord say, This is it.”

“I know I’m supposed to be there and with these people.” Ellie said she never once doubted the decision to obey. The last and most difficult question she had left to answer was how she would go when she was attached to years of monthly, student loan payments.

Ellie told the Lord, “I don’t know how long it’s going to take for me to pay off this debt, but I trust you.” Then, she said, “And I had a note in my phone: ‘Apply with The GO Fund.’”

Ellie had put off the idea for months. In a conversation with a supervisor, she was told she should consider this organization that takes on student loan debt for qualified missionaries. She thought there must be some catch or that she would not be selected in the end, but she put her trust in the Lord’s plan and applied.

To her surprise, excitement and joy, she was interviewed and later selected as a partner.

“To be partnered with (The GO Fund) is truly such a gift,” she said. “I can’t believe I get to be here without that weight on my shoulders. Each month I get an email from my FedLoan with a message that says, ‘Your payment was processed today.’ The fact that someone’s dong this on my behalf is amazing and I’m so honored.”

Ellie is now in the Middle East. She and her team are in their first year of language acquisition and are striving to acclimate to their new home. She said God continues to provide generously everything they need.

Lord, instead of asking you to “be with me,” help me to recognize that your presence is already here.

These are the words Ellie consistently prays as she transitions to her new life. When she looks back over the process she endured to arrive at this point in her life, she sees the moments in which God has spoken, moved and arranged everything for her good.

How good the Lord is to bring us to each place in our life and answer us when we call. We need only recognize that he is already there in the details, ready to offer answers like, “Here’s how,” “This is it,” and “It’s here.”

igor-ovsyannykov.jpg

To Be Willing

delfi-de-la-rua.jpg

As eleven-year-old Elizabeth* sat with her family in their Michigan church, a missionary who had traveled from India shared stories from the stage about a far-away land and of people who had never heard of Jesus.

Elizabeth listened intently to the man’s heart for the people he interacted with and the ministry God had set before him. That’s when she heard the Lord quietly ask her, “Would you be willing to go to India?

Unshaken by the question, she thought, “Yes Lord, I’ll go.”

Little did she know at the time where the Lord would eventually lead her but this willingness to go would follow her throughout her life.

While attending Eastern Michigan University, she met Jacob*. They were both involved in student ministry on campus through which they met several international students. These relationships fostered in both a desire to see unreached people groups transformed by the Gospel.

Over one weekend, Jacob attended a discipleship and worship conference while Elizabeth simultaneously participated in a different conference. When he was alone, Jacob sensed the Lord asking him what he wanted to do after graduating from university.

Jacob wanted to marry Elizabeth but wanted to obey the Lord’s calling above that desire. He wanted to know what the Lord had planned for him to do next with his life and was confident He would lead the way. I’ll do whatever and go wherever,” he said.

Then, he knew. Jacob told the Lord he wanted to go to the Middle East.

When the two returned from their conferences, Elizabeth said she knew with confidence the Lord was leading her to full-time ministry overseas. Before Jacob could share his revelation, she told him that she was being called to the Middle East.

I’ll do whatever and go wherever.

Their willingness to go not only affirmed their call to unreached ministry but also their future as husband and wife.

After they were married, they trained for two years. They were equipped and eager to begin life in their new country and yet, their drive to be healthy and effective field workers was consistently overshadowed by their student loan debt. They left anyways, but after one year of living overseas, they had to return to the United States and find a way to cover their costly, student loan payments.

While back in the States, they were introduced to The GO Fund. 

They applied to the student debt repayment program, uncertain if this was how the Lord would bring them relief and still skeptical of The GO Fund’s ability to help.

When they were interviewed and accepted soon-after, they rejoiced in the Lord’s direct answer to prayer and returned to the Middle East completely unencumbered.

Jacob, Elizabeth and their three children are now growing and thriving in their new home. They operate a tourism business with other families on their ministry’s team and have seen many opportunities to share the Gospel with locals in their city.

dvir-adler.jpg

Obedience. Their lives are marked by it. Little did Elizabeth know as an eleven-year-old that one moment of confident obedience would lead her to this ministry. Little did Jacob know that when he determined he would follow the Lord’s leading above anything else he wanted, he would be brought together with Elizabeth to raise a family in their middle eastern city.

What provision and exciting new chapters unfold when the Lord prompts us and we are willing to lean in and respond, “Yes Lord, I’ll go … I’ll do whatever and go wherever.”

joseph-gribben.jpg

*Names have been changed for security.

conquering the storm

robert-nelson.jpg

In southwest China there lies two coffee shops, the only foreign-owned businesses in a city of 500,000 people.

They are operated by Shawn and Megan*, a family burdened by the lostness of the country. In their city alone, there are 190 unreached people groups. They are taking on the charge of making the Gospel known throughout their vast community by drawing people to the only coffee establishments in town.

You believe in God?” 17-year-old Xiong once asked them. He walked into the shop hoping to learn more about the outsiders who had moved to his city. He asked Shawn and Megan why they came. They made small talk, and deeper pieces of their faith seeped into the conversation.

Xiong was captivated by what he heard. “I’ve never met anyone who believes in God before, not my parents or my friends, but in my heart, I always knew there was a God.

Three years later, Xiong is now a bold and faithful follower of the Lord. He attends one of China’s most prestigious universities and can find more direct ways of reaching a generation of China’s lost.

Owning this cafe also allows Shawn and Megan to bring three other missionary families into the country under their business visa, as well as provide jobs for locals. In their city, a church needs to be planted and the team desperately wants to see it built. Their goals and ambitions were on the horizon of possibility one year ago, but it almost came crashing down.

Their student loan servicer would no longer allow them to make the lowest-monthly payment toward their debt. Their earnings from the coffee shops displayed a larger income than what they truly make. Shawn and Megan live on the financial support of a team of people in the United States while every penny from their business goes back into the sustainability of their shops. To close the gap in their suddenly costly, monthly payments, they returned to the U.S. to raise extra support.

Nearly one year after returning to the States, without an answer for how they were going to cover their debts, the Chinese government gave another threat— to revoke their business visa.

In the year they were trying to raise extra funds, the Chinese government grew suspicious of their time in America. It was assumed they took the profits from their business to spend their income in another country, a common problem China tries to monitor.

Losing their business visa would mean the loss of their shops. It would mean the return of the other families in China who depend on the visa to stay. Then, they saw the Lord intervene in a miraculous way. Through casual conversation with friends, they were introduced to The GO Fund.

Shawn excitedly applied to The GO Fund's student debt repayment program and they were called for an interview shortly after.

They had been so faithful to trust the Lord and his provision. They knew he had a plan. They had prayed so often for answers. Just when they allowed themselves to imagine a break in their circumstance’s storm, they were notified by the Chinese government that they had one week to return to China or they would lose their eligibility as business owners. Would the storm overtake them?

Matt Sonke, program director at The GO Fund, was astounded by their ministry’s vision and the results they see from what is already established. Aware of their looming deadline, he rallied together a committee of the organization’s board members to either approve or deny Shawn and Megan as partners.

Two days before Shawn, Megan and their two children boarded their flight back to China, their future in the country still undetermined, they were called and told, “You have been approved! Your debt has been taken.

The storm was broken! They could breathe again and lift their eyes to the warm and radiant sun. Shawn and Megan are now back in the city where their businesses have opened a multitude of opportunities for relationships to form – in their shop and beyond.

They source their coffee beans from surrounding, remote villages. These areas are completely unengaged with the Gospel and nearly impossible to access because of the government’s tight travel restrictions. However, their business provides a legitimate purpose for visiting these villages many times per year. This is one of many examples in which the Lord has divinely appointed a channel for the team to share the Gospel with the unreached.

Thanks to The GO Fund Champions, Shawn and Megan’s family and team are unhindered and ready to continue their ministry for many years to come. They excitedly anticipate meeting many more like Xiong; ready to love them, share truth with them, and all over the course of several, delicious cups of coffee.

*names have been changed for security

If you Hold the Rope

A man stood at the edge of a dark, unexplored cavern. He looked down and wondered what it may cost him to descend into it and away from the life he knew. As he returned to his friends he said, “Well, I will go down, if you will hold the rope.”

A small group of English pastors in the late 18th century looked at what seemed to be an insurmountable task before them. The spiritual darkness they saw clouding India could no longer be ignored and these friends desired to bring the Gospel to the distant nation. William Carey said that he would go if his colleagues who stayed behind would commit to “holding the rope.”

Andrew Fuller was one who stayed in England. He championed for his friend and the ministry to unreached peoples as fund-raiser, promoter and pastor. He continuously battled the western world’s ill-formed doctrines and he visited churches to represent those who followed Carey’s path overseas. He even took the lead role of selecting new missionaries. 

 Andrew Fuller, a pastor, theologian, husband and father.

Andrew Fuller, a pastor, theologian, husband and father.

Fuller never made the journey across oceans to preach the Gospel where it had not been taken. However, because of his efforts to never let go of that rope, he helped shape much of what modern missions looks like today.

The GO Fund wants to emulate this very idea with the, “Ropeholder Event.”

Ropeholder Events can be held anywhere. They can be scheduled at any time and with anyone who is interested to know about how they can be actively engaged in missions to unreached peoples from the United States.

Artboard 34 copy.png

It starts with a box. Those who are interested in facilitating an event will be given one from The GO Fund office. Inside are the leader’s instructions and a DVD guide which leads a group through video discussion. Once everyone is invited, present and ready to listen, the Ropeholder Event kicks off.

Ropebox.jpg
ropebox2.jpg
ropebox3.jpg

At the end of the 90-minute program, event-goers are then invited to pray and create a video of themselves to encourage a missionary partner of The GO Fund. *

This is not another class. Ropeholder Event is an easy way to be around others who want to see unreached lives transformed by the Gospel. It is a convenient platform to learn and pray for God’s work through several missionaries and to bring friends and family into that discussion. While in the U.S., we may not be reaching the farthest ends of the globe, but we can and must be ready to hold the rope for those who are.

Philippians 4:14-19

Yet it was good of you to share in my troubles. Moreover, as you Philippians know, in the early days of your acquaintance with the gospel, when I set out from Macedonia, not one church shared with me in the matter of giving and receiving, except you only; for even when I was in Thessalonica, you sent me aid more than once when I was in need. Not that I desire your gifts; what I desire is that more be credited to your account. I have received full payment and have more than enough. I am amply supplied, now that I have received from Epaphroditus the gifts you sent. They are a fragrant offering, an acceptable sacrifice, pleasing to God. And my God will meet all your needs according to the riches of his glory in Christ Jesus.

Philippians 1:3-8

I thank my God every time I remember you. In all my prayers for all of you, I always pray with joy because of your partnership in the gospel from the first day until now, being confident of this, that he who began a good work in you will carry it on to completion until the day of Christ Jesus. It is right for me to feel this way about all of you, since I have you in my heart and, whether I am in chains or defending and confirming the gospel, all of you share in God’s grace with me. God can testify how I long for all of you with the affection of Christ Jesus.

*All material, discussion and recording instructions are equipped for missionary partners’ safety and security.

At the End of Your Journey

the-enlight-project.jpg

The Celestial City is beautiful. Encrusted with jewels and gold-paved roads, it’s where real treasures are stored and never fade. It’s where the Lord resides and where the main character in The Pilgrim’s Progress journeys to find. He knows he won’t get there right away, but it will be his last destination and the place he can finally see Jesus, the one who took away his heavy burden.

This 340-year-old, allegorical novel follows the story of a man who is appropriately named, Christian. It opens with the author, John Bunyan, who says he fell asleep and dreamed. In his dream, he sees Christian standing with a large weight on his back and a Bible in his hand. Bunyan watches as the man becomes distraught over the reality of his sin and how he might be saved from it.

As Christian commits to his quest toward the City, he experiences a myriad of trials and meets several aptly-named characters – all of which appear as relatable metaphors for any believer’s faith.

Similarly, those who are followers of Christ are woven into an intricate story in which we daily walk a path laid out for us. Unlike Christian, the decisions we make along our individual journeys are not confined to the pages of a novel. We have been invited into a more complex, more stunning narrative, and it’s one in which we know the ending.  

I prefer to be where I shall die no more, and in company of others who shall continually cry, ‘Holy, holy, holy!’

The GO Fund’s annual Vision Dinners are themed after these beliefs. As we move toward the Celestial City, we want to celebrate the ending we know comes for those who put their faith in Christ, the one who takes our burdens. We also want to link arms with brothers and sisters whose paths have lead them to the farther reaches of the world.

Matthew 6:19-21 tells us to store up for ourselves treasures in Heaven where they can not be destroyed. Followers of Christ can rejoice that there will be a reward for the work that often shows little return here on Earth. The beautiful currency we will be given at the end of our journeys are small tokens that further reveal God’s goodness and character – the ultimate provider and Father who delights to give his children good gifts. This truth is paired with the stronger, underlying reason we so desperately desire to reach the Celestial City. It is the same as Christian’s in The Pilgrim's Progress:

“There at the Celestial City, they say there is no death and there I shall dwell with such companions I like best. For, to tell you the truth, I love Him because He released me from my burden, and I am very weary of my inward sickness. In view of this, I prefer to be where I shall die no more, and in company of others who shall continually cry, ‘Holy, holy, holy!’”

thegofund(35of191).jpg

When the Answer is 'Not Yet'

wellington-rodrigues.jpg

Any mention of Christ or a word of scripture would have been a drop in an empty bucket for the small Indonesian village in which Mary* found herself.

While completing a student teaching program at an international school in 2013, Mary made plans to meet with missionaries in a distant village. A van took her through neighboring towns along the route and she absorbed vibrant scenes in the island heat. They stopped at a tribe along the way and she noticed their remote, secluded location. She realized that with no connection to anyone who knows the Gospel in their language, they had never been given the truth of who Christ is.

Broken and burdened, she thought, “I want to be a part of seeing the unreached come to know Christ.” But how would she get there? Where would she go and how long would it take?

She returned from Indonesia with renewed outlook on her future and where the Lord might use her. Excited and eager, she began to think through what it would look like to live as a missionary long-term.

One thing she knew for certain — she would not begin that phase of life without first paying off her student loan debt. “For me, student loan debt is the only debt I have,” she said as she recounted her despair over the one barrier keeping her from being mobilized. “I have this education that gave me the opportunity to develop a heart for the nations. It crushed me that [it] bound me in ties and prevented me from going.”

In 2015, Mary found The GO Fund. She felt ready to go and knew she had found the way the Lord would get her there. She applied to the Student Debt Repayment Program and when she received a call from the The GO Fund, she was told, “not yet.”

She was told to seek further training. The GO Fund saw a potential in her they did not want to lose but with so much at stake, they wanted to know she would not just arrive but thrive.

When she received a call from The GO Fund, she was told, ‘not yet.’

The GO Fund referred Mary to Radius International. Radius, a missions training organization, matched perfectly with Mary’s vision and values. During her one-year program in 2016, she grew and learned many tools, but most importantly, she saw the importance of church planting and how to develop a strategy for it.

Then came the task of finding a sending agency who would pair her with the right team to the right place and would propel her well into long-term missions. She found Frontiers and was impressed by their desire to see Muslim unreached peoples know Christ. It was then Mary knew she was being called to central Africa and quickly developed a love for its people.

Throughout her journey of seeking organizations and agencies who might get her to the field, a common thread she observed were the people who care about sending healthy individuals.

“It’s just helpful to have the structure and administration,” Mary mentioned with a smile. “These people have either been on the field or have interacted with field workers. I’m really just thankful for the support and structure.”

When she came back to The GO Fund in 2017, they gladly accepted Mary as a partner and she saw how everything fell into place.

“Now I’m free to be obedient to the Lord,” she said. “In many ways, The GO Fund has acted like Christ by taking away my debt. I have new life in Him and in a lot of ways it’s like how the GO Fund has lifted this burden.”

Now, Mary is trained, prepared and ready. With The GO Fund, she is being backed by hundreds of Champions who will see her to the field faster than her debt would have ever allowed. She is able to see a lost people in central Africa fill and overflow their empty buckets with the good news of Jesus Christ, whose love will never let them thirst again.

*name changed for security reasons

Two Ends of a Rope

You wake up, brush your teeth, make your breakfast and drive off to work. After you work through the day, you drive home. Then, dinner, plans with friends and family or you may head to bed. The next day, it starts all over again – sound familiar?

In the mundane and routine parts of life, how are we as Christians to keep the Great Commission in perspective?

Patrick and Katie Mullen met at a Bible study through a mutual friend. She said at the time, she wasn’t looking to date anyone, but she caught Patrick’s eye and he said after much persistence, they went out, fell in love and were married soon after.

Katie is a kindergarten teacher. She knew from the time she was young that she would work in education. Patrick works as a construction scheduler, which means when contractors have big projects, they turn to his business to plan out the finite details and logistics so that it gets done on time. Now, the two live in Orange county with their newborn son, Jackson.

Both Patrick and Katie understood their commitment as Christians includes the command to make disciples and to share the love of Christ with others. However, in their first years of marriage, they wondered how they might do more to influence the Kingdom of God with what they had been given. Specifically, how could they be a part of reaching the unreached peoples of the world if they themselves did not feel called to move out of the United States?

“I’ve never had the desire to be an overseas missionary,” Katie said. “I had struggled with understanding where I fit into the Great Commission. I was pretty sure [overseas missions] wasn’t my calling.”

Patrick added that they both work hard throughout the week and can feel like they walk into a repetitious cycle that is mundane or tedious.


Jack and Laura live in the Middle East.*

Both are in their second year of intensive language study. When they are not walking through their city or trying to foster new relationships, they stay home with their one-year-old daughter. Both of their passions involve serving the people of the city in which they now live.  

Originally from Wyoming, Jack and Laura have wrestled with difficult transitions. Laura sometimes struggles being in their new home when she is still trying to learn the language and make friends. Some days, she must watch their daughter without any other pressing obligations or plans and it wears on her motivation.

“It’s hard remembering you do have a purpose when the day is menial or tedious,” she said.

In a land 7,123 miles from the Mullens, the question remains the same: “How will we effect the Kingdom of God in our everyday life?” For Laura, she said she resolves that in the rhythmic tasks of the week she will worship and bring glory to God by singing her daughter to sleep, by studying language and by walking around outside to familiarize herself with her city.

Back in Costa Mesa, California, Patrick and Katie were introduced to The GO Fund as a way to purposefully engage in unreached missions.

“It helped me to realize a piece of God’s plan for my life,” Katie said. “This gave me a tangible way to be a part of participating in the Great Commission.”

In a land 7,123 miles from the Mullens, the question remains the same: How will we effect the Kingdom of God in our everyday life?

Patrick added that knowing his efforts at work ultimately lead to the support and urging of those who are called to move from this country is what gives him motivation. “It gives legitimacy to what we do on a day-to-day basis,” he said.

It’s the answer to a question asked on two sides of the globe: No Christian is more influential than the other regarding the Great Commission. All in the Kingdom of God are equally responsible to see it completed, but uniquely gifted to effect it in different ways. It is as if the Mullens are holding the top of a rope for families like Jack’s, who are at the bottom, descending into the dark unknown. It is a beautiful partnership, one only the King could envision.  

“How, then, can they call on the one they have not believed in? And how can they believe in the one of whom they have not heard? And how can they hear without someone preaching to them? And how can anyone preach unless they are sent? As it is written: ‘How beautiful are the feet of those who bring good news!’” Romans 10:14-15 NIV

This is the point of being a Champion. It is giving of yourself through your talents, your time or your treasure so that ultimately, someone who has never heard the name of Jesus or the truth of his Gospel in the Middle East will know who he is and what he has done. We all effect the Kingdom. The only remaining question: In what way will you choose to do so?

*Names have been changed for security 

 Patrick and Katie Mullen live in Orange County, CA. Their faithful commitment to their God, work, and family is a beautiful representation of all of our responsibility to the Great Commission. 

Patrick and Katie Mullen live in Orange County, CA. Their faithful commitment to their God, work, and family is a beautiful representation of all of our responsibility to the Great Commission. 


 Will you consider impacting The GO Fund’s work as a monthly donor? 100% of your monthly gift will help send missionaries to begin making disciples among unreached peoples.

Meet a Champion: Dr. Michael Whyte, Strategist

Whyte blog.jpg

Colorful Post-it notes on pale walls surrounded staff and board members who shifted in swivel chairs as they awaited the arrival of the meeting’s guest speaker. When The GO Fund was first introduced to Dr. Michael Whyte, it was because changes needed to be made.

Every organization needs to take their grand vision and put it into strategy. As ideas grew at The GO Fund, they desperately needed the boundaries of a plan to execute. So, for five hours, Dr. Whyte led the room in a discussion about how the organization would achieve its goals. “What drew me in the beginning was the confusion,” Whyte said. When he first came in as an outsider, he noticed it was difficult to define what the organization really does and that it needed more focus. “What’s fascinating with most organizations, is all this stuff makes perfect sense to the person who designed it … but you need someone from the outside to come in to show you … what needs to be fixed.”

The way to fix them? – A strategic plan. This is a written, foundational and ever-maturing list of achievements all team members hope to see accomplished within a certain allotted time. It is the blueprint of the company, the thing to look back on when ideas and dreams attempt to trump priorities.

You need someone from the outside to come in to show you what needs to be fixed.

To start, Dr. Whyte asked questions about communication styles and whether those in the room were task-oriented or preferred free-reign on projects. By the end of the morning, he honed on the opportunities for and threats to the entire company’s growth. He created a space for the team to discuss the varied hopes and dreams for success and siphoned it into a step-by-step plan. Whyte transformed the organization’s goals into a clean-cut dish, with bite-sized pieces and a clear idea of what the ingredients were.

“I think we get so busy that we don’t sit down and actually plan out what we need to be and what we need to do,” Whyte said. “We waste a lot of money, resources, and peoples’ lives when we don’t plan.”

Whyte’s sage guidance stems from a rich career in education and management. He holds a bachelor’s degree in international affairs and american politics from the United States Air Force Academy where he later went on to become a senior associate professor. His master’s degree and Ph.D. in Education are from the University of Southern California. He was hired to serve as Azusa Pacific University’s provost for eight years until 2010. Now, Dr. Whyte is provost emeritus for APU and teaches in their leadership department, MBA program, and in their doctoral studies. 

His knowledge in organizational management and his personal experience as professor and provost were proved invaluable as he led The GO Fund team to their strategic plan. “One of my favorite sayings is, ‘if you fail to plan, you plan to fail,’” Whyte said, “And another, which is my favorite, ‘if you aim for nothing, you’ll hit it every time.’”

Now, The GO Fund’s aim is high and direction clear. Thanks to Dr. Whyte’s experiences and talents, The GO Fund team’s own abilities and growth are better utilized. The biggest target the team came away with: Approve 125 missionary units for educational loan repayment by 2020. Praise God for how he uses the members of his kingdom to build one another up so that his is the vision that prevails.

You can see The GO Fund’s entire strategic plan here!

 The GO Fund Champions are the generous people who give their time, talent and treasure to the organization. Without them, the ministry simply would not exist.

The GO Fund Champions are the generous people who give their time, talent and treasure to the organization. Without them, the ministry simply would not exist.

It's happening. She leaves tomorrow.

talal-ahmad-355603.jpg

Tomorrow, Sarah* will move to the Middle East. Her decision to go and the years of planning culminates in one final step – to trust wholeheartedly in God’s promises and get on the plane.

When she looks forward to the moment she will leave America behind, she is reminded of how the Lord brought Abram outside into the dark and said, “Look up at the sky and count the stars—if indeed you can count them … so shall your offspring be.”

In our current timeline, we see the result of this promise. Centuries of lineage followed that conversation and we read about them in the stories woven throughout scripture. However, in the moment, Abram wondered and doubted, “how is this going to happen?”

As a freshman in high school, amid a chaotic time in her life, Sarah from a small town in Missouri devoted her life to Christ. At home, she was exposed to the painful effects of her mother’s battle with Bipolar Disorder as well as her father’s struggle with alcoholism. Her father’s commitments to drop his habits and take her fishing on the weekends were replaced with the reality that he would choose to stay home and continue his normal routine. Sarah learned to not expect follow-through.

However, knowing her life had been redeemed by the Lord, she moved through high school and college with renewed perspective of her purpose.

“The Lord saved me in the middle of it,” she said. “Since I started walking with the Lord in high school, I knew there was something bigger, more than the American dream. That’s not what I want to be about.”

She graduated from college with her bachelor’s degree in physical education and was confident in the Lord’s prompting to seek opportunities in full-time ministry. She applied to internships that took her to North Africa, Texas and Arkansas, all with the aim of exposing her to the possibility of life in missionary work.

While in Africa, she became aware of a desperate need for workers to live among unreached people groups, specifically Muslims. She returned to the States and applied with several sending organizations. She found and was accepted by an agency whose specific goal is to reach the Muslim world.

I knew there was something bigger, more than the American dream. That’s not what I want to be about.

Her path seemed sure. She was confident this was where the Lord was leading her. The only problem – her educational loan debt.

The debt Sarah accrued while earning her degree was necessary to complete it. However, to be sent with the debt on her shoulders would ensure her quick return from the field. To wait until her debt was paid month after month would halt the process for decades. She wondered, “how is this going to happen? Will it actually happen?”

One day, over lunch with a friend, she heard about The GO Fund’s educational loan repayment program. She quickly applied, hopeful and anxious at the possibility this could be the answer to her many prayers. Then, Sarah was contacted by the GO Fund’s program director. She was vetted by a fine-tuned interview process and asked to join a final conversation with a selection committee. 

The day after her final interview, she got the call. “You’ve been chosen. Your debt is covered.”

She was freed to go. God did not leave her in her wondering and doubts. He showed her follow-through and provided a way for her to get to the field, without the burden of educational debt.

“In order to get me on the field more quickly and more efficiently, (The GO Fund) made it happen,” she said. “To have that wider base of support and to have more people involved ... It’s really encouraging.”

Now, she is prepared. She has packed and is ready to see the result of years of patience, prayer and provision. As nerves and expected fears settle before her departure, she clings to God’s voice that once told Abraham and now comforts her, “This is how I will make it happen.”


Two years after Sarah began to attend church, her mother joined her. One year later, her father started to come, and Sarah watched them get baptized shortly after. Today, her father is sober, and he and Sarah’s mother continue to support and love their daughter as she transitions into the fulfillment of God’s promises to keep and sustain her.

*Name changed for security