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For the next two years I will be a part of Word of Life's Cross Cultural Internship (CCI) in Belém, Brazil, which is a program that allows hands-on experience in both support raising and being involved in ministry in another country. I will be spending the first three months in Sao Paulo, Brazil, learning the language and getting adapted to the culture. After this, I will be spending the rest of the two years in Belém. During the week I will spend most of my time helping around the Word of Life Bible Institute property in Brazil. On the weekends I hope to participate in the amazon river ministry there. This is where people travel to the communities along the river and minister to the individuals living there. My desire with missions is to reach those who have never heard the gospel. There are actually tribes farther down the amazon river who have never had access to the gospel. This experience would will give me the opportunity to share the good news of Jesus Christ to people who desperately need it. Whether I am on the Word of Life property or out ministering to people in the community, my goal is to form relationships with each and every person I come in contact with in order to share the love of Christ. I am beyond excited for all that God is doing in Brazil and cannot wait to jump on board and be a part of it!
Hello, hello! I was born and grew up in a home with parents and siblings who loved the Lord. From a young age I knew who God was and was presented with the Gospel. I prayed when I was around six years old that the Lord would save me because it seemed like the right thing to do. That's how I grew up living my life - doing the "right" thing in the eyes of others. I was all about being that "good kid," thinking that as long as I didn't do much bad, the Lord would have to let me into heaven. How tainted my view of salvation was! It wasn't until I was around the age of twelve that I finally understood what it meant to trust Christ at a Word of Life campfire service. The speaker talked about how salvation had nothing to do with I could do, but simply what Christ had already done for me. For the first time in my life I realized that no matter how hard I tried, Christ was the only one who would save me from my sins. Throughout my high school years I struggled greatly with comparison and never feeling like I was good enough to be used by the Lord. I felt like if there were better qualified and more talented people, then why would God ever use me? During my senior year of high school I decided to attend the Word of Life Bible Institute for a year, and then ended up going for a second year as well. While God is the one who changed my life, He definitely used Word of Life as a tool to do that. I came to learn that my faith wasn't just a part of my life, but my faith was my life.
It was during my second year at Word of Life that the Lord greatly put a burden on my heart for those who have never heard the gospel. Here I had this awesome gift that could give people everything they were searching for in life (happiness, fulfillment, satisfaction, worth, etc.), and yet I was selfishly too scared to tell anyone. The reality that people are dying every second and going to hell became a reality in my life. It was towards the end of my second year that I realized I could never go back to the life I had been living before. If Christ had sacrificially given His life for me on the cross, then there was no way I could live my life content in knowing that but not doing anything. It was also during my second year that I was taught a class called "Missions Reality," where I was able to learn God's heart for the nations. In this class I was convicted with the idea that going should be a believer's first instinct, rather than a rare calling. Around this time I was learning more about an opportunity to do a two-year missionary internship in another country. I pushed it away pretty frequently simply because I just didn't think that was something that practically I would be able to do. One of the final weeks of school my discipler, Janessa Schuring, greatly convicted me of my reasoning behind not pursuing this opportunity and changed my perspective. So here I am, desiring to go and serve God in Brazil! I have come to realize that God doesn't need talent and ability, He simply needs availability. If you're wiling to be used by Him, than He most definitely will use you. I am beyond thankful for God's grace in my life. I don't think I'll ever understand grace, but i'm learning more and more about how it applies to me on a daily basis. How cool is it that we serve a God that could have anything and everything He ever wants, and yet all He desires is our hearts.
Leah's Life Verse
Acts 20:24 "But I do not account my life as any value nor as precious to myself, if only I may finish my course and the ministry that I received from the Lord Jesus, to testify to the gospel of the grace of God."