“I believe all Christians are called to live a life of mission,” Heather explains. “It shouldn’t just be that a church sends someone overseas to be a missionary to the unreached, but we should each reach out to those around us, and come alongside others in their journeys.”
Today, that’s exactly what 27 year-old Heather does as the Global Talent Send Team Leader in OM’s Tyrone, Georgia headquarters. Though Heather’s role at OM doesn’t fit the traditional mold of an overseas missionary, she facilitates the service of short-term and long-term missionaries around the globe.
Three years ago, when Heather worked at a diner in the northeast, she began to consider what might be on the horizon for her. She loved working with people and seeing them grow. Heather heard about OM through a missionary in her home church and she began poking around OM’s website to find opportunities to serve. There weren’t fireworks or neon signs to guide her, but Heather describes the application process with OM as “a quiet assurance from the Holy Spirit to keep pushing forward.”
As Global Talent Send Team Leader, Heather leads the team that supports and sends missionaries who serve with OM for any length of time. Beginning the moment missionaries are accepted by OM, all the way through their time on the field and to the final details of their return, Heather and her team support OM volunteers and staff to do all that God has called them to do — from building relationships with new recruits, to budget-tracking support, to understanding the details of visa applications.
As she considered serving in OM’s home office, Heather initially felt ambivalent about leaving her home. But she dismissed that concern during her first visit. “Everyone was very welcoming,” says Heather, “and I liked the area.” That experience wasn’t the only signal that Heather was meant to serve with OM. She says, “I remember my parents telling me—during the process—that they had been praying all my life that I would grow up to serve the Lord in full time ministry, specifically missions.” She adds, “Everyone in my life has been extremely supportive of my desires to be involved in full-time ministry.”
Initially, Heather was not enthused about the idea of raising support. But she offers, “As I engaged with the process, I began to realize that it was actually a privilege to have people join me in my ministry by partnering with me.”
“It’s not about asking for money, but truly about inviting people to partner in an investment with eternal rewards.”
When Heather’s efforts stalled, she and a leader at OM decided to establish deadlines for raising the support she needed. On April 14, Heather had reached 64 percent of her support goal, but she knew that she needed reach 75 percent by the next day. That evening, Heather spoke in a local church and she left with commitments that brought her support to the 75 percent she needed. “I cried tears of joy all the way home,” says Heather.
Today as she considers her transition from a secular work environment to a Christian one, Heather recognizes both the blessings and the challenges. One of the blessings, Heather reports, is starting every meeting with prayer. The challenge, she says, is to continue to live missionnally. “Working with non-believers,” she says, “kept me on my toes and kept the need for missional life in my face.”
A highlight of Heather’s work is the opportunity to encourage people through the process of going to the field. She explains, “It’s often a time God uses to grow people, as it takes a lot of patience and trust. It’s a joy for me to be able to see growth happen in people and I enjoy getting to be a part of that.” She also delights to hear about God’s provision for OM’s missionaries — churches who come alongside missionaries in mighty ways, support or visas that process at the last minute, and even homes that sell for more than asking price!
Not only has Heather had the joy and privilege of seeing God do amazing things for others, she’s seen God provide for her as well.
“Raising the support to work at OMUSA was something that I could not have done on my own,” she reports.
Of God’s final provision Heather explains, “It wasn’t that I suddenly found the magic trick to raising support, it was that God touched people’s hearts, and stirred them to partner with me on this journey.”
Though Heather’s missional service took her far from her home, it didn’t take her overseas. Her domestic mission service challenges stereotypes of mission life and it has even stretched the ideas Heather herself once held.
Heather affirms, “Missional life can happen doing an office job in the U.S.”
Lord, we thank You for Your heart of compassion toward the lost and forgotten. For us You sent Your only Son. We ask You, in Your great mercy, to shine Your light into the darkest corners of this world. Use us as You will, Father, to bring the beauty of new life in Christ to those who have not yet heard, that they might also believe and follow Him.
Join one of our many short-term trips or view our long-term opportunities.GO