Thursday, August 18, 2016

A Week's Worth of Missionary-ness





19 August 2016

I've known about Global Outreach International for more years than I'll say right now. When I was just a girl, I volunteered with them in Honduras for three months. It was a life-changing adventure. I came home full of dreams of spending most of the ensuing years on the mission field.

But life...

Life and sin got in the way of those dreams.

It seemed like a crazy number of years later when Steadman Harrison (Global CEO) and I first discussed my digital efforts. "We'd love to partner with you," he told me the first time back in April. "You're a digital missionary," he assured me in June. I didn't know what partnering with me meant, but somehow, he encouraged me along until I was convinced.

I'm still in awe of how God orchestrated this whole process. 

One week after completing missionary orientation, nothing is like I expected it to be. Truly, I assumed I would be working from the comfort of my screened porch, more often than not in shorts and t-shirt.

Every time I walked down the hall at MOT, however, a strange thing happened when I passed the second office on the left. Something in my heart whispered, "That's your office." 

I didn't really want it to be, but the voice in my heart would not be denied. Finally, I prayed, "Lord, if this office business is from you, don't just tell me. Tell Global, too." 

He did.

Late Friday afternoon, that Voice was joined by the voices of Stan May (board member), Rory Tyer (VP of Marketing), and Steadman Harrison (CEO). Suddenly, I found myself as a "funded missionary" at the Home Office ministering in areas of Prayer and Discipleship. 

(In case you're wondering, a funded missionary is one who raises their own support via those who partner financially in order to have a salary and fund their ministry projects)

So far this week I've spoken on prayer to a precious group of believers at Sherman Baptist Church. They joined with me in praying big for this hurting world of ours, and I'm thrilled and encouraged by their willingness to step outside their comfort zone.

I've prayed with countless hurting people here in the second office on the left, and I've prayed with even more out in the community.

I've prayed for and encouraged missionaries around the world via email correspondence on a daily basis. 

I've continued my outreach of discipleship, traveling over the digital highway this week to Germany, France, China, Portugal, Russia, Canada, Switzerland, United Kingdom, Saudi Arabia, Brazil, Costa Rica, the Philippines, Kenya, Belgium, Latvia, and (of course) the United States. 

There've been thousands of views as people have read about the salvation of surrendering to Christ, overcoming a stagnant spirit, sharing the love of God with those around us, and joining in the mission of God to help those in the midst of disaster in Louisiana.

The Hosea study is still ongoing. There have been many views there, as well. Dozens of people have now completed the entire study and even more are still progressing through. 

This "in your place, at your pace" course has allowed people around the world to participate in discipleship training. Since the Hosea study began May 1st, we've had participants from the United States, France, Germany, Portugal, Nicaragua, Ireland, Canada, Latvia, Malaysia, and Spain. 

Discipleship Training has reached literally around the world.

It's been an exciting week, but my life as a missionary has just begun. I'd love for you to join with me as a team member in this amazing adventure.

Here are a few ways you can help:
1) Pray for me every day. If you can only do one thing to help, this is the "one thing" I desperately need you to do. Please pray that I'll be faithful to the work, that I won't be overwhelmed by the need, and that I'll be efficient, compassionate, and creative in how I share the love of Christ.
     
2) Like and share blog posts. This is critical, because it extends my digital reach more than you can imagine. Be sure to pray for the reach of those posts and that they will be like arrows to the heart of the readers, pricking them to move closer to our Lord. 

3) Lend a helping hand. Prayer warriors, I'd love for you to join with me on our knees to pray for the needs of missionaries and for those who are hurting throughout this world. Contact me and we'll schedule a time to pray. (lhollis@globaloutreach.org)

4) Give financially if you can. First, give your tithe to your church. If God moves you to share with this organization or to support my mission endeavors, you can do that in several ways.
online at:  http://globaloutreach.org/north-america#/leanna-hollis/ 
(My account number is 4841) You can donate by bank draft, debit or credit card, or PayPal.
via mail: Checks should be made out to Global Outreach International with my account number (4841) in the "for" line. Mail them to:
     
     Global Outreach International
     P.O. Box 1
     Tupelo, MS 38802

When you give, pray that those dollars yield a harvest of lives that are transformed by the love of Christ. (Global is a 501-C3, ECFA-approved organization, so your dollars are tax-deductible.)

5) Participate in discipleship training and encourage others to participate, as well. It's not too late to start the Hosea study (lessonsindiscipleship.blogspot.com). Don't forget: It's in your place, at your pace. This study lends itself to group study as well, so considering inviting your church to join you in Hosea. An in-depth study on the book of James is scheduled to begin in early 2017, so plan to take advantage of that opportunity.

6) If you need a speaker for an event, consider inviting me. I'm happy to share about what God is doing in this place, teach from Scripture, or help as needed. 

Less than a week into this, I've realized one important truth. 
Being a missionary is nothing like I expected. It's much better. Harder. Sweeter. 

This has been a big change for me, but it's been worth it. I've touched lives around the world from the second office on the left. I've seen God move hearts in ways I could never do on my own. 

Before He left, Jesus told His disciples to go. Make disciples. Teach them to obey. Be witnesses in Jerusalem, Judea, Samaria, and the uttermost parts the earth. (Matthew 28:19-20, Acts 1:8) T
hat's exactly what I, the most unlikely of missionaries, have done. The grace that has made this possible astounds me. I hope I never get over it. 

As I reminisce about the events of this first week, I have to wonder what the next month, the next year will bring.
If it's anything like the last few days, I'm not sure I can imagine what next year will bring. This transition is an exciting time. Thanks for sharing the adventure with me. It means more to me than you will ever know. 

"'For I know the plans I have for you,' declares the Lord, 'plans for welfare and not for calamity to give you a future and a hope.'" Jeremiah 29:11 nasb
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In case you missed it, here's the link to yesterday's post: The Failed Missionary: Loving and Helping Louisiana
Here's the prayer guide link: The Prayer List

#Gospel #Christian