The following article was written by me and originally appeared in the Crossings Spring 2009 newsletter. I thought I’d share it here.
From Staffer to Missions:
Former summer staffer and Crossings employee called to missions in Moldova
“Give me a one, give me a five, what does that spell? Nothing, it’s a number!” Since my first year on Crossings summer staff in 2003, I have been learning and telling others about a small, poor country in Eastern Europe where it only takes $15 to send a kid to camp to hear the gospel of Jesus Christ. How could I have known then that six years later Moldova would not only still be on my mind, but would become the focus of my family’s ministry?
After working on summer staff at Jonathan Creek for three awesome summers, I married my best friend, graduated from Murray State University, and moved to Louisville so that my husband could finish school at Boyce College. While in Louisville, I was offered a job working in the Crossings central office, and happily accepted.
Last spring, my husband asked me to prayerfully consider spending at least a couple of years doing missions overseas after he graduated in May 2009. We have each individually felt a missionary call on our lives since high school and had discussed the possibility of overseas missions, but we always thought that time would be further down the road.
As we spent the next several months praying and exploring our options for service, he felt particularly fitted for a role where he would be teaching and training indigenous church leaders so they could better reach out to their native people. However, it seemed like door after door slammed in our faces for various reasons. We felt sure that the Lord was calling us in this direction but had no idea how he was going to accomplish his purpose.
Then a few months ago, Eric Chapman, founder and director of the camp in Moldova, happened to be passing through Louisville and stopped in the Crossings central office to give us all an update on how things were going. He shared with us that many of the kids who had accepted Christ at the Moldovan camp in the past are now college-aged men and women who feel called to be pastors and missionaries in Moldova and across Eastern Europe and Central Asia. Although they seek to be more fully equipped for ministry, little opportunity for Christian education exists in their home country. So, Eric told us that God was leading him to start a Bible Institute at the central camp property.
At the Bible Institute, the same 72 students will live at the camp for 3 years, receiving a theological education, building a foundation for ministry, going on short-term mission trips, and being camp staff in the summers. Eric said he was praying God would send them a man who would come teach Bible and theology classes at the school and help run the summer camp. I couldn’t believe my ears. This was an opportunity that combined my husband’s gift and passion—teaching—with mine, camp!
After much talk and prayer on all of our parts, Eric extended an invitation for us to come to Moldova for my husband to teach at the Bible Institute, and we accepted. We are excited to have the chance to partner in this way with Crossings, the staff in Moldova, and all of you who have prayerfully and financially supported God’s mission there over the years. It is amazing to consider how just $15 can not only change one child’s life by giving them the opportunity to go to camp, but also has the potential to change the lives of so many across Eastern Europe and Central Asia through these young people who are surrendering their lives to be a part of God’s mission.