Courtney first got involved with The Fuller Center in college when her church group in Columbus, Georgia, went on a Global Builders trip to Peru in 2017. In 2018, she was an intern on the Fuller Center Bike Adventure and is now the Adventure’s coordinator.
This week I got an email from one of our Bike Adventure alumnae asking, “What is your story? How did you become a part of the Fuller family?” You would think that I am used to answering that question, but I really don’t tell that story very often anymore.
It all began with Second Story, the college ministry that nurtured me as a young student. 2017 was probably the peak of my involvement in Second Story because I lived on Columbus State University’s downtown campus, just a few blocks away from the ministry building. I was in the Bible Study group, came to Reclaimed weekly worship nights, and volunteered every chance I could.
But when Brandon asked me if I wanted to go with them to Peru, I hesitated. I thought, ‘Don’t I need to feel a call to a mission before going?’ I told Brandon that I would go if my best friend, Thomas, went. Thomas, who is fluent at Spanish, jumped at the opportunity, so I was stuck — I was going to Peru.
After a couple months of working as much as I could at Chick-Fil-A and sending out letters to potential donors, I had the money to go, and I was cautiously optimistic. I had never been on a mission trip, and I was still uncertain about whether or not I’d received the elusive ‘call.’
Finally the time had come to fly to Peru, so I got a ride to the airport from a friend and met up with the rest of the Peru Crew at Hartsfield Jackson. My parents were out of the country, so I left still pondering whether or not I was supposed to be on this trip, and I hoped for the best.
Fast-forward to the summer after my Global Builders trip to Peru, I joined the Bike Adventure as a media intern on the Ocean to Ocean ride. While on the trip, someone called me a missionary. I was stunned by the word because as a child I always wanted to be a missionary. But I had never considered what I was doing as mission work.
I came to realize that if sleeping on the floor, taking cold showers, eating whatever is placed in front of me, and speaking to groups around the country is nothing else, it’s mission work. If there was no mission, we wouldn’t keep doing it.
It’s funny looking back and thinking about how uncertain I was about whether or not God wanted me, of all people, to go on a mission trip. Every Christian is called to missions.
Hear me out: Missions do not always involve hopping on a plane and flying to another country to build homes for people in poverty. Sometimes mission work is prayer. Sometimes mission work is feeding the hungry. Sometimes mission work is biking every day to raise money for a noble cause. As St. Francis of Assisi once said, “Preach the gospel at all times. When necessary, use words.”
At this moment in time, more than ever, we have the unique opportunity to be missionaries in our world. Whether the cause is COVID-19 or social injustice, there are so many souls starved of the gospel, and ignorant of the unmerited grace and love of Jesus Christ. Let’s be on a mission from home for homes, souls, justice, health …
Here is my reel from Peru. I’m forever grateful for the hospitality of Zenon and all of the Fuller Center of La Florida’s volunteers and employees.
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