From Mission Minded to Missionary
As Christians, we are all called to be mission-minded, seeing ourselves as everyday missionaries wherever we happen to live and at whatever life stage we happen to be. The three testimonies below highlight that we Anglicans have “an embarrassment of riches” when it comes to the support of dozens of mission societies, ministries, missional parishes, and resources to help us discern God’s calling on our lives and to support us in all the various mission fields we serve.
Anne, missionary in Europe, serving with EE, from St. Andrew’s Anglican, Mt. Pleasant, SC, (for security reasons her last name, photo and location are withheld.)
“As a young professional in the summer of 2015, I’d accepted the call to full-time ministry and now needed to decide if I would join EE abroad. During 40 days of discernment, someone counseled me to go to the next New Wineskins for Global Mission Conference in April 2016. It sounded like something I’d love, but started during the work-week. A few months later, another couple recommended I go, but I’d already used my three personal days to go to Europe as part of the discernment process. When a third couple recommended that I go and even offered to pay for me, I acknowledged that the Lord seemed to be leading me there and agreed to go.
Not only was it good for my soul to connect with so many with a heart for missions, but it also settled my spirit which had been wrestling with the call. Perhaps the best part is that is where I met my sending agency, Society of Anglican Missionaries and Senders (SAMS) who I had sadly never heard of! Others had been praying for months with me for a good sending agency, and, literally overnight, I found them at New Wineskins. It was a blessed weekend to say the least! Now, I’m funded, trained and supported in my work with EE in Europe, reaching the unreached with the saving message of Jesus Christ!”
Sarah Mims Kwolek, Global Teams, Advancement Director
“Missions was calling my name from childhood. Growing up in an intentional residential community at Church of the Redeemer in Houston, TX, we hosted people from all over the world. My fascination with culture and delight in relationships grew from there. I went on short-term mission trips to Latin America with St. Philips in Charleston, SC, and lived six months in Kenya during college, exploring a long-term mission call. Then, after several years attending Truro Church in Fairfax, VA, and St. Matthew’s in Richmond, VA, I moved to Ambridge, PA, to attend Trinity School for Ministry. A year-long internship in Uganda with the Diocese of Kigezi solidified my sense of call.
I returned to Ambridge to finish my Masters of Mission and Evangelism degree and took my first development job with Uganda Christian University Partners. I graduated in 2002 and worked for New Wineskins Missionary Network planning the 2003 conference. Rather than moving to Africa for the rest of my life (my plan), I married Mark from Ambridge and we waited to see where the Lord would call our family. We are members of Church of the Savior in Ambridge and Mark teaches underserved kids in Pittsburgh Public Schools. After years serving secular non-profits, I now work for Global Teams providing partner development training and coaching to new missionaries and raising up partners to help us equip and mobilize disciples who make disciples who make disciples, primarily among the unreached all over the world. Clearly, ‘it takes a village’ to accomplish the purposes of God!”
Clark & Carol Rogers Smith, founders and full-time missionaries with E412 Ministries
“Go from your country, your people and your father’s household to the land I will show you.” (Genesis 12:1). At the New Wineskins Conference in 2007, Clark and I heard this scripture used by Missionary Bishop Derek Eaton of New Zealand and Bishop Rennis Ponniah of Singapore in back-to-back Bible teachings. We knew the Lord was asking us to step out, to sell our Executive Recruiting business, downsize our home and start a new ministry. We were already involved in missions and inspired by the leadership and teaching of our rector, The Rev. Marc Robertson, during our parish Christ Church’s call to defend the gospel.
To prepare for the mission field, we took courses at Trinity School for Ministry, learned Healing Prayer from Christian Healing Ministries, and short-term mission leadership from SOMA and Gateway Missions Training. E412 Ministries (based on Ephesians 4:12) www.e412ministries.org focuses on “equipping the saints,” leading conferences for parishes and dioceses on evangelism, healing and discipleship in 22 countries. So many AGMP ministries have been an integral part of our call, our equipping and our ministry. Between us, we serve on the SAMS, New Wineskins and American Anglican Council boards and are AGMP members. Savannah is home, but we are often out of the country on mission. We can’t imagine a more exciting, challenging and humbling call than to be constantly packing up to join the Lord’s mission to reach the nations.”
Anglican Global Mission Partners invites you to join us at the next New Wineskins for Global Mission Conference, September 26-29, 2019 at Ridgecrest Conference Center, Black Mountain, NC! Registration is open at www.newwineskins.org.
Discerning a call to missions? Try our Mission Match tool to help you find the mission agency that best fits your calling @ www.agmp-na.org.