Just a Spark

guestblog

Just a Spark

Olivia Hefner is eager to serve the Lord by participating in E-TEAM through IM. A member of Fairview Free Will Baptist Church in Spartanburg, South Carolina, Olivia is a junior at Broome High School. She is active in cross country, student government, Beta Club, and the debate team. An active honorary member of the Women Active for Christ Ministry at Fairview since she was a very young, she listened intently each month as the lives of our missionaries unfolded during meetings. Missionaries visiting Fairview stirred a passion in her heart as they shared burdens about the countries where they minister. Her interest in missions deepened further at summer camp, where she was exposed to E-TEAM.

The first place she served was St. Croix, Virgin Islands. She looked forward to the preliminary events at Welch College, preparing for the culture, and connecting with her teammates and others. Her faith never wavered when she thought about the cost of raising her funds.

On her last Sunday before leaving for Welch College, my husband and I noticed Ronald, her dad, crying after Sunday School. We were both concerned, knowing he had been hesitant to let Olivia fulfill her dream to serve with E-TEAM and travel so far away from home. We approached him, thinking we could comfort him in some way. We explained we understood his reluctance in letting his “little girl” go so far from home. He hadn’t visited St. Croix to make sure it was going to be a safe place for his daughter.

After we had said what we thought he needed to hear, he looked at my husband and I and, with big tears flowing down his cheeks, said, “You don’t understand; I’ve already lost her.” Tim and I glanced at each other; we really didn’t comprehend what he meant. He added, “I have already lost her to the mission field.” He explained that he knew she was burdened for the regions beyond, for people who need to hear the gospel. Tim and I finally understood his tears.

Olivia served on E-TEAM Brazil this year (second from left). Her enthusiasm has been contagious to our congregation and among the teens at Fairview. Another girl from our church saw Olivia’s passion. Raegan Price spent her first E-TEAM experience in Chicago. Olivia is proof “it only takes a spark to get a fire going.”

About the Writer: Pam Hackett is an alumnus of Welch College and the University of South Carolina Upstate. Pam was recognized in 2013 for more than 25 years of teaching by the South Carolina Association of Christian Schools. She has been the South Carolina WAC coordinator for ten years and a member of the WNAC board since 2009. Pam has served as mission study chairman for her local WAC ministry for 28 years. Her husband, Tim has pastored Fairview FWB Church in Spartanburg, South Carolina, for 28 years.

Originally published in ONE Magazine.

Print Friendly, PDF & Email

Let Them Go

Stacie Compton

Let Them Go

“What do you want to be when you grow up?” I asked my daughter as we drove through town.

“Well, maybe a doctor for animals or a teacher, or maybe a missionary” she answered.

“Oh, wow! Those all sound fun,” I replied nonchalantly. “Wait…a missionary? That would mean you would have to live far, far away from Daddy and me. Are you sure you want to do that?”

The truth of the matter was I wasn’t sure I wanted her to do that. Sure, I meant all the things I vowed when we stood before the church and committed ourselves to see her discipled and raised in the nurture and admonition of the Lord. However, in that dedication service, I’m not so sure we meant that.

The deeper reality is, we at IM find parents all too often want their children to serve the Lord whole-heartedly—just on their terms and near their homes. People around the world are dying and going into eternity without hearing of Jesus Christ. And, quite honestly, it’s our own fault. We have the answers they need. Yet, we often hold tightly to the reins of those gifted with the opportunity to go.

Never in my wildest dreams, when they laid my baby girl against my skin in the delivery room, did I imagine she might one day walk through airport security with the intention of boarding a plane to a far-away land to share the gospel. Our girls are only seven and 11, but this reality hit me right in the heart.

Mommas, hear me loud and clear: it’s our duty as parents to let them go.

The call is clear: “Go into all the world to preach the gospel.”

Each summer, hundreds of teenagers are given an opportunity to go. We must support them in this. Their Heavenly Father is calling. Our obedience matters as much as theirs. Will you let them go? Eternity is at stake. Your son or daughter might be the one who shares the life-changing message of Jesus’ love for the world.

Pray hard, hug them tight, and let them go.

 

Excerpted from an article by Stacie Compton in ONE Magazine. Use the link to read the full article. Learn more about ETEAM and other short-term opportunities or about career missions.

Print Friendly, PDF & Email

Hanna’s Journey

Dr. Neil Gilliland

Hanna’s Journey

Hanna didn’t grow up Free Will Baptist. Her family had been out of church for quite some time but started attending a small Free Will Baptist church in Hector, Arkansas, where her great-grandmother attended. When her family moved to Wichita, Kansas, they attended the Westside Free Will Baptist Church. It was there Hanna actually accepted Christ and started her journey of faith.

A couple of weeks after her conversion, a young man in her church gave a presentation on his recent E-TEAM mission trip to France. Hanna was so impressed she said, “I want to be a part of that.” So she applied to E-TEAM, searched online to find other information, learned there was a Free Will Baptist college in Nashville, and signed up for Senior Days in January. She was accepted to E-TEAM Spain.

“I still remember opening the acceptance package and seeing I was going to Spain. I was thrilled.” The young man who did the presentation reapplied for E-TEAM and was assigned to E-TEAM Cuba. Eventually, he had to drop out and was replaced by a young man from Michigan.

Hanna attended Senior Days at Welch College in January. In June, she arrived at the Nashville airport to report for E-TEAM. Met by a former E-TEAMer, the husband of the E-TEAM coordinator, they waited a little while, because the boy from Michigan was about to arrive. Hanna’s trip to Spain was life-altering. She went home for the rest of the summer, then left in the fall for the only college she applied to…Welch.

Four years later, she graduated with a degree in psychology and a passion for missions born on E-TEAM. The day after graduation, it was the young man from Michigan’s turn to wait…for Hanna as she walked down the aisle to become his new bride.

Today, Hanna, with her husband Dakota Mott, demonstrates her contagious passion for Christ and missions. The young man (Heath Hubbard) who picked her up at the airport now serves Christ in Japan with his wife Joni, the former E-TEAM coordinator.

Guess who replaced Joni? That’s right, Hanna Mott. The high school student who knew very little about Free Will Baptists or missions is now responsible for E-TEAM.

Please pray for Hanna and our ten teams that will circle the globe this summer. Who knows…some of them may one day serve overseas as missionaries or join the stateside team.

Print Friendly, PDF & Email