“Come, follow me,” Jesus said, “and I will send you out to fish for people.” At once they left their nets and followed him. -Mark 1:17-18
Hi everyone! First, I’ll tell you a bit about myself! I have grown up as a Christian and have always felt passionate about missions and loving people. In 2021, I worked running the high school ministry at a church which rekindled my love for ministry. I started to see the call to ministry in my life, but I was unsure what that would look like, so I figured I would cross that bridge once I graduated from university. Of course, God had other plans and in January of 2022, I felt strongly convicted to take time off of school even though that was never something I would typically consider doing. A few months later, after getting connected to local AJM missionaries and seeing that it is possible to do ministry and missions as a young single woman, I applied to join AJM. This was a couple of months after the Russian/Ukraine war began, and *very* soon after I joined I was asked to join the crisis response team in Romania working with refugees from Ukraine. I hopped on my first international flight and jumped right into working alongside a local Romanian church. I served in Romania from May to September of 2022 doing a kids program five days a week with Ukrainian families who had settled in Romania along with transit refugee care. (My time in Romania is talked about in more detail in the video below!)
After Romania, I spent six months in California, then headed back overseas in March of 2023 for a missionary care trip with one of our missionary families. We spent time in Romania, Hungary, and Ukraine until the end of April before going to Kosovo to serve with our team there. This trip was initially supposed to be until the end of May but God had other plans and I ended up staying in Kosovo until the first week of July!
Kosovo offers a very unique approach to sharing the love of Christ. There is a coffee shop called Newborn Brew opened with the goal of creating a community center for students right in the heart of Pristina, Kosovo. They have been able to create a beautiful, vibrant community that offers countless opportunities to build relationships, love people, and share the gospel in a place with not many believers. The team hosts several events at Newborn every week including bible studies, trivia & movie nights, art club, skate club, and various outdoor activities. In the time that I spent there, I was able to form deep relationships with local Albanians along with the team there. I have grown to love the culture and my friendships with locals have become some of the most special relationships in my life. I saw God work in so many amazing ways and it truly felt like home. It is such an amazing ministry model to do life with people and simply be a light for Christ in the way that you live.
Leaving Kosovo in July was a struggle all on its own. It’s hard to leave a place that seemed to become home so quickly. I prayed for so long for God to show me where I was meant to be and He did that by making Kosovo feel like home to me. God has continually solidified my heart for Kosovo and the people there even while I have been back in the States. However, I know that if I want to be in Kosovo long-term, I need to do the necessary work to do so in the best way possible. This process has looked like diving into discipleship/counseling with AJM’s missionary care director, Diana. We have two-hour weekly meetings to work through anything mental, spiritual, or emotional. This is to push me to know Christ more and ensure that I am in a good mental and spiritual place to serve others in that capacity. I am also participating in other Bible studies and events with our local missionaries. I want to prove that I am consistent and dedicated to growing closer to God and investing in relationships as this will be essential as I am devoted to full-time ministry. I have also gotten involved in a local church and I serve with their unhoused and refugee outreach ministries. To prepare more for Kosovo specifically, I am trying to learn more of the Albanian language along with increasing my knowledge of other aspects of their religion, culture, and social standards. In addition to my personal preparations, I need to raise financial support to move to Kosovo full-time. I trust that God will provide in His perfect timing but join me in praying for this fundraising process!
If you are willing to partner with me in prayer or feel compelled to financially support me monthly, please reach out! I would love to share more of my heart for Kosovo and why I feel called to move there!
I am super excited to see where God takes me in this next step of life and I am eager to follow the call that He has put on my heart! Thank you for being on his journey with me!!
Then he[Jesus] called the crowd to him along with his disciples and said: “Whoever wants to be my disciple must deny themselves and take up their cross and follow me. For whoever wants to save their life will lose it, but whoever loses their life for me and for the gospel will save it. What good is it for someone to gain the whole world, yet forfeit their soul? Or what can anyone give in exchange for their soul? If anyone is ashamed of me and my words in this adulterous and sinful generation, the Son of Man will be ashamed of them when he comes in his Father’s glory with the holy angels.” -Mark 8:34-38