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.”