Click the link below and listen to The GO Fund’s Founder and Executive Director, Luke Womack, discuss student loans, why they keep missionaries off the field, and the solution to this problem on The Missions Podcast. This 42-minute episode aired on 03/18/19.
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.
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.
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.”
*Names have been changed for security.