Heart for Mission
25-year-old Global Mission pioneer explains why she planted a church in a closed country.
Editor’s note: Joyce is a 25-year-old Global Mission pioneer who, with another female Global Mission pioneer, recently planted a church for young people in a city of 10 million people. Because she lives in a closed country hostile to Christianity, Adventist Mission is not publishing her full name or her location. Here’s what Joyce said when asked by Adventist Mission editor Andrew McChesney, “Why did you decide to be a missionary?”
I have one sister, Sarah, and she was born with a congenital heart defect.
My grandmother was very worried, and she looked and looked for the best hospital. But the doctors couldn’t help Sarah. So, my grandmother visited our traditional places of worship to ask for help, but no one there could help my sister, either.
Finally, the doctor told my parents that there was nothing more that he could do.
“Take care of Sarah as best as you can,” he said. “If she wants to something special to eat or a new toy, give it to her to make her happy.”
One day, when Sarah was 7 years old, a Seventh-day Adventist relative came to visit from far away. She saw that my grandmother was worried about Sarah, and she said, “If you believe in Jesus, you will be blessed.”
So, the next Sabbath, my grandmother took me to church. I was 3 years old. Grandmother told the church members about Sarah’s heart, and the church members gathered in a circle around us and prayed for us and for Sarah.
Just a few days later, Sarah was healed! Her heart was perfect! The doctor couldn’t believe it. He ran several medical tests, and he couldn’t find any problems with Sarah’s heart. It was a miracle!
The miracle changed my family. My grandmother and my parents started going to church every Sabbath, and soon they were baptized. Then my parents decided that they wanted to tell other people about Jesus. So, they quit their jobs, received church training, and became Global Mission pioneers. When my sister grew up, she also became a Global Mission pioneer. Last year, I decided to become a Global Mission pioneer.
As a missionary, I give Bible studies, I pray with people, and I preach. I work with a partner, another Global Mission pioneer who is 23 years old, and we just opened a new church for young people in this city.
Some of my relatives who aren’t Christians don’t understand why I am a missionary. They tell me to look for another job. My aunt even invited me to work with her, saying I could make good money and send some to my parents to help them.
Sometimes I feel discouraged when I hear such negative words, but my parents pray for me. My mother even fasts and prays for me on Sabbaths. My parents remind me that I am not working for man. I am working for God.
My parents are right. I am working for God. God is so wonderful and powerful in healing my sister. I believe God is leading me every step of the way.