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.
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