student loan debt

Thank you and Happy New Year!

The last 12 months have been full of growth at The GO Fund. There is a myriad of things to be thankful for and look forward to as we move into 2019. One way The GO Fund staff recognized both 2018’s triumphs and 2019’s excitement was by meeting for the second annual “Dream Meeting.” It’s a time for the team to share implementable, culture-improvement ideas, which have positively changed the direction of the organization forever. Here’s an inside look at the 2018 Dream Meeting.

IMG_8633.JPG
IMG_8638.JPG

Staff members took time to reflect and appreciate all that is happening within The GO Fund. Some are listed below!

Luke Womack, Executive Director:

As we reflect on what God has done through our Champions’ partnership with The GO Fund in 2018, we are in awe of the growth He has provided. Here are eight of the biggest accomplishments from this year:

  1. Growth from 17 to 43 missionary partners

  2. Growth from 4 to 7 team members

  3. Hosted two vision dinners for the first time

  4. Exposure in media outlets such as World Magazine and Pilgrim Radio

  5. Launched our first ever end-of-year campaign

  6. Launched the Ropeholder Event

  7. Launched a brand-new website

  8. Built a team culture of deep accountability

While we have significant prayers and plans for 2019, we pause to thank our Champions for their part in the accomplishments of 2018. Praise God for blessing the vision of The GO Fund in 2018, and for the countless champions who supported the work!

Matthew Nolen, Development Associate:

Launching the Ropeholder Event was definitely the most exciting project. I have never helped develop something and then put it out to the public in that way before.

What am I looking forward to in 2019? The GO Fund is growing fast and I think its super exciting to see how quickly things are changing. I truly believe we will look hugely different as an organization by the end of 2019, obviously our mission is set in stone, but how we creatively achieve the mission will change, and I think for the better.

Ashley Costelow, Director of Special Events:

I’m so excited for our 2019 Vision Dinners! being a part of them in the past as a volunteer was one reason I wanted to work for The GO Fund in the first place, so getting to actually plan them now and to see how God could grow them to invite more people into what He’s doing is amazing.

Jin Gill, Office Manager:

I love that I get to take care of administrative tasks so that the whole staff can do their jobs!

When I came into the position, I'd like to think that I brought order and organization to help The GO Fund run more smoothly. I also love going above and beyond my daily tasks and helping others with their projects. It's motivating because I know it's ultimately helping accomplish our vision to send the gospel to the unreached.

I particularly enjoy special projects where I can use my legal research and writing skills. I drafted a company holiday policy, researched state and federal laws to make sure TGF is in compliance and helped Luke with drafting documents for the Board of Directors — among other exciting things!

Chase Burns, Program Associate:

I am stoked to officially start my position in 2019. The last half of the year has been a challenge and a blessing. I have been support raising in order to begin working at The GO Fund and I look forward to this next year as I begin my new role. It is exciting to join an organization at a time of great growth and movement! Big things are in store this next year and I am honored to be a part of that. 


Thank you from all of us here at The GO Fund. May you all know, remember and rejoice in the reason we have our success and our hope this holiday season and as we move into 2019 – That the God of all creation and triumph is making his great name known among the nations and he lovingly and graciously invites us to take part. Happy New Year!

She Will Never Be The Same

crabtree.jpg

Anaya’s overwhelmed breathing subsided and was replaced with peaceful inhales and exhales. Her entire demeanor changed. Ellie saw a calm come over her friend as Anaya took a moment with her eyes closed, soaking it all in. Anaya described how Jesus was reaching for her. Her life was changed forever.*

Ellie lives in the Middle East. She recently celebrated her one-year anniversary of living in her new home and praises God’s provision of relationships and opportunities to share the Gospel in such a short time. One such connection is with Anaya, a woman who is from another Middle Eastern country but was living in Ellie’s city for work. The pair began spending time together in a bigger group of women who regularly meet up to make new friends in the city and do fun activities.

Many women in the group, including Anaya, have expressed to Ellie their unique experiences of encountering either Christianity or Jesus himself. “Each girl is from somewhere different in an unreached people group,” Ellie shared. “What a gift to walk alongside them in friendship and point in them in the direction of what their heart is unknowingly longing for!”

Ellie shared that one girl had a dream of Jesus when she was 9 years old but didn’t realize who he was until Ellie’s teammate showed her evidence in the Bible. Another woman learned about Jesus in the past while she lived in the States for a time with believers and seems to be open to learning more. Ellie asked a different woman in the group if she felt like she was in right relationship with God, or if she felt stuck in brokenness and she responded with, “I feel like I am always trying to live up to something and to be good, but I still feel lost.”

In the last year, Anaya lost her job and was unable to find another in their city. Shortly after she formed a friendship with Ellie, she was informed that she would have to return to her home country as she was unable to obtain a work visa. Anaya struggled with fear, anxiety and paranoia from the stress of her circumstances as well as relational hurts she carries from her past.

Two days before she was supposed to leave the country, she was overwhelmed from the demands of packing for her return. Ellie and one of Ellie’s Christian friends invited Anaya to store some of her belongings at Ellie’s apartment. Anaya accepted the invitation and arrived at her apartment, filled with worry and anxiety.

Ellie and her friend invited Anaya to stay for coffee and before she needed to leave, the girls asked to pray over her. After they laid hands on their friend, they prayed and repeated the Gospel to her. They asked God to reveal himself to Anya and they rebuked the enemy in Jesus’ name over Anaya’s pain and fear.

Anya wept as the two women prayed. They knew God was moving in Anaya’s life. They told her how it says in scripture, “If you declare with your mouth, ‘Jesus is Lord,’ and believe in your heart that God raised him from the dead, you will be saved.”  

Through tears, Anaya said she believed! Ellie and her friend were overjoyed! They were amazed to see how God was moving right in front of them. Ellie asked Anaya what she was thinking and feeling in that moment.

Her breathing calmed, and she responded, “I see Jesus coming towards me like a light. I see him putting his hand on my head like he is protecting me … I feel like he is hugging me … I feel so light … I feel like all of the weight on my shoulders has been lifted and that I never have to worry again - that everything is going to be okay because of him.”

Ellie shared that it was a moment when God reminded her of his control, “That he gives us the gift of being a part of watering the seed, but that God does all the growth. I could have never convinced her to follow Jesus, it was all God.”

Anaya had to return to her home country two days later. Ellie and her friend will reach out and find a community there who will disciple and care for Anaya. They ask for prayer over this new sister in Christ and her growth as she steps into her new life. Praise and honor be to the one who uses us as instruments for his purposes. How gracious he is for using Ellie at the perfect time, bringing her through one year of life in this place just like he brought Anaya, so that in his time, another sister would hear, believe and know his immense love for her.


*All names changed for security

Is It Really That Simple?

As Jasper lay in his hospital bed, he knew he was taking his final breaths. He looked to Charlie and asked, “Is salvation really that simple?”*

Charlie was taken aback, completely stunned. He had been visiting his new friend in the northern Canadian hospital for some time now and did not think he would get to present the gospel this way. Knowing Jasper loved stories, Charlie responded by sharing scripture with Jesus’ words. “When a group of people asked Jesus what they must do to perform the work God requires, Jesus responded ‘The work of God is this: to believe in the one He has sent.’” Charlie wanted to take the focus off what we as humans think we can do and on what Jesus has already done for us. What saves us is God’s work to give us faith in his Son.

Jasper’s view of Christianity up until this point was a result of severe trauma inflicted when he was young. As a boy, he and many other First Nations People were taken from their families and placed in Indian Residential Schools. While there, he was forced to stop speaking his native language and only use English. He was malnourished. He was beaten physically and abused sexually. All his pain was caused by men who called themselves Christians.

Jasper had not known the true gospel and how Christ came to save and redeem all nations, tribes and tongues. He saw, turn the Indian into a white man because that’s what God wants.

By God’s immense grace and love, in that hospital room, as Charlie shared more of God’s truth and the gospel of Jesus, Jasper heard and understood. One week before he passed away, he accepted the gift of salvation.

After hearing his father’s decision, Jasper’s son asked to meet with Charlie to read through the scriptures. Last month, he was baptized. God is moving through this tightly-knit community of First Nations People. Charlie and his wife Joanna are there to see it happen, but this was almost not the case.

People of this secluded town are wary of foreigners. They rarely see them and prefer to trust the community in which they were raised. The way Christianity was portrayed by those who abused their families left deeply-rooted hurts and tarnished the legitimacy of the gospel.

When Charlie and Joanna were first introduced to the town, it was because a native elder from the community had visited their church to present the needs of the people and how they needed to hear who Christ is. Charlie and Joanna knew where the Lord was telling them to go.

Their student debt would have precluded them from moving for many more years. They could not have known it at the time, but this would have been too late for Jasper.

They partnered with The GO Fund and this allowed them to leave unhindered and able to focus on the difficult tasks ahead.

Three years have passed since the family first arrived and much of their ministry has grown in ways they did not expect. They’ve learned the Native language of their community and Charlie has established summer camps where kids can learn activities like swimming, archery, rock climbing, and crafts. He is also able to share Bible stories in-between busy sports.

While teaching and caring for their three boys at home, Joanna has started a cake-decorating business. What began as one, widely-loved cake has turned into weekly requests for cakes of all shapes, sizes and themes. This allows her to enter local’s lives and foster relationships that otherwise may have taken longer to cultivate.

The couple prays to see a self-sustaining and reproducing, Native-led church founded on the gospel in their new home. It has not and will not be easy, but they continue to hope in the one who provides our faith and desires to see all peoples, nations and tongues know and worship Him.


*All names changed