I Am a Missionary
In my opinion, North American Missions (NAM) is one of the ministry’s greatest experiences. I have been a part of this endeavor the majority of my life. In fact, from a newborn until the age of ten, we were establishing a new church in Asheville, North Carolina. At the age of thirteen, we moved to Colorado and have started two more churches. That is where we are currently.
My family has spent close to twenty years involved in North American Missions, and I can honestly say it is a rewarding and challenging effort all at the same time. When I was younger, I often thought being in home missions was unfair because your family is always together with very few friends and new converts. I felt unfamiliar with my surroundings, including school. As a child it is hard to see the reward in this. But as time goes on and the church begins to grow, you start to see why your family was called to such a place.
At first I thought the only reason I was helping in the church plant was because of my father’s vision. But after a while, I began to realize I was also invested in the process. As time continued, more and more people started to come each week, and I started seeing the progress the church was making. I also experienced firsthand a little of the burden my parents possess. There is nothing like the joy and happiness felt when a new person comes to church and experiences new birth described in John 3:5 and Acts 2:38. Repentance of sins, baptism in Jesus’ name, and receiving the Holy Ghost is the ultimate reward. Then seeing that same person become a leader and enjoy restoration in their life is amazing. I also had to walk through the hurt that comes along when people don’t come back after investing time and effort into them.
Being a part of NAM has been such an eventful journey for me. It has taught me no matter what each person has faced in life, everything can change when they come into the church. It has also taught me no matter how lonely the path gets, it does get better with time. There are moments you feel extreme loneliness, but when you start to see the efforts you’re putting forth, it makes the difference, and those feelings quickly disappear.
Through the years, it took time for me to realize the vision of NAM was not only my parents’; it was also mine. When I was thirteen, church planting was really just my parents’ dream, but now that I am twenty-one, it is so amazing to see how much the church has grown and the people in it. I almost didn’t go to college out of state because I felt the burden of our churches and wondered who was going to do all of the things I did once I left. When I realized it would be okay to go and someone would be there to help, I felt at peace.
Coming home there are so many new people greeting me. It makes me feel better knowing that each week the church is growing and prospering. I clearly see my parents’ hard work and investment into each life throughout our congregation, and it makes me respect them even more for hearing the voice of God and listening to His call. When you are called into a NAM endeavor, at first it can be scary, new, exciting, nerve wracking, busy, fun, and tiring, but if you continue to fulfill God’s purpose in your life and really search out why He placed you there, a greater reward will come when you see the change that takes place in each individual’s life.
If it were not for my parents pushing me out of my shell, I probably wouldn’t know the name of one person in our church. Being an introvert doesn’t work well in church planting; my parents were a constant support to me. It is so fun now to come home and meet the new faces in our congregation and help where it is needed, knowing someone needs a break from the position where they serve. North American Missions has changed my life and made me a better person, from all the behind the scenes effort, to the work in front of the congregation, the reward can be just the same for every person.
My name is Meghan Mitchell, and I am twenty-one years old. I was born in Asheville, North Carolina while my parents were church planting. I have an older sister and younger sister, who reside in Denver, Colorado with my parents. I am a student currently at Indiana Bible College in my senior year as a worship studies major. Currently I am seeking the will of God to work in a church as a music minister or wherever God opens the door. I have been a part of NAM for twenty years and have enjoyed every experience it has given me.