Western Mission with Sarah Grace B.
Today, we are featuring our friend Sarah Grace, who is embarking on a new journey to England, very soon.
MW: You are about to embark on a pretty big mission and life transition. Tell us about that and share with us why you are personally passionate about reaching those in the post-modern Western world?
SGB: I was recently accepted to participate in a Discipleship Training School (DTS) and a Creative Writing internship with Youth With a Mission (YWAM) in London, England! This was no run-of-the-mill acceptance into a program; for me, it was the answer to three long years of prayer.
In 2016, I went to England with my college’s choir to sing in a cathedral, and while we were there, Jesus told me I would be coming back to England one day to serve Him and shine His light to the British people. This tied into a passion I already had to reach first-world nations with the gospel of Christ. A first-world nation is a well-developed country, such as America or England, in which the majority of the population has its basic needs of food, water, clothing, and shelter met daily. Often, this causes those who live there to believe the lie that since they have everything from a material standpoint, they don’t need anything, including a relationship with Jesus.
This self-sufficient, me-centered attitude can tend to lead to a mentality of, “It’s me against the world, and I can go through life without help from anyone else.” Almost without realizing it, this way of thinking can isolate a person and starve them for the deep connection with Jesus and others they were hard-wired by God to have. One of my greatest desires, both in England and at home in the States, is to model the grace and love of Jesus to everyone I meet and offer them a place of fellowship and belonging in the Kingdom of God.
In addition to doing this in my personal life, I also aim to use my writing as a vehicle to carry the encouragement and truth of Jesus to those I may never meet, face-to-face. I was thrilled when the Lord directed me to the YWAM London Radiant base a few months ago, which will equip me to both write intentionally and serve locally in England. My YWAM base is mainly arts-focused, so each DTS student chooses a specific type of art to utilize as a tool for spreading the gospel in addition to taking general missions and ministry classes. Of course, I chose the Creative Writing track, so I will be creating poems, blog posts, spoken word pieces, devotions, and magazine articles that I will put on display at an arts expo for the city of London at the end of the program. In addition to honing my creative gifts, I’ll also be doing evangelistic outreach in London, throughout England, and in other countries within Europe.
The Creative Writing internship will focus on the same things, with extra time devoted to creating gospel-inspired art. I know this upcoming year will be a big adjustment as I move overseas for the first time, but I’m so humbled to see Jesus’ promises to me come to pass, and I know He’ll be with me every step of the way!
MW: What is something you are looking forward to regarding your work with Youth With A Mission (“YWAM”)?
SGB: As I mentioned, I’ve been praying for the nation of England and for the opportunity to go back and serve there for years, but I’m most excited to finally be able to put names, faces, and personal stories with those prayers. I’m also really looking forward to meeting my classmates who will be coming from around the globe!
MW: What is something your are praying about as you prepare?
SGB: For the nation of England, I’m praying that the people there would experience the freedom and revival that comes from having a relationship with Jesus and that the Lord would continue to raise up missionaries who will share the gospel until all in England have had a chance to hear about Him. For my YWAM team, I’m praying for a united creative vision among the students and leaders, discernment to know how best to reach Londoners with our art, safety as we travel, financial provision for each student, and for deep friendships to be forged that will carry on long after the program ends. On a personal level, I’m praying for a smooth transition as I move overseas, health and energy as I spend long hours serving, safety as I interact with people from all walks of life, financial and logistical provision, and discernment as I determine where the Lord is leading me after the internship ends in May 2020.
“I think it’s important not to box ourselves in when we think of what being a missionary looks like.”
MW: Why is mission to developed nations and what are considered “first world” nations important?
SGB: I think it’s important not to box ourselves in when we think of what being a missionary looks like. For most of my life, I assumed that you were only a missionary if you went to a village in Africa, taught them the Bible in their native language, and lived in a hut (and if that’s what you’re called to do, I am SO grateful for you. This girl is way too scared of bugs and way too easily sunburnt to thrive in a situation like that!), but as I’ve learned more about the Father’s heart, I’ve come to realize that He asks us to be on mission for Him wherever we are, whether that’s our neighborhood, our school, our friend group, our workplace, another state, or another country.
In fact, Jesus’ Great Commission in Matthew 28:18-20 is actually translated, “AS YOU GO, make disciples of all nations…” If you don’t feel a burning desire to jet off across the globe to share Jesus with people a world away, that’s totally okay! I know the Lord will use you to shine His light to the people He’s placed around you and that you’ll make more of a difference in their lives than you know, just by loving them well.
“I’ve learned more about the Father’s heart, I’ve come to realize that He asks us to be on mission for Him wherever we are, whether that’s our neighborhood, our school, our friend group, our workplace, another state, or another country.”
And if you’re like me and are considering doing cross-cultural missions, I’m SO excited for you, but I want to encourage you with this hard-earned piece of advice: Please don’t get so focused on taking the gospel “out there” that you forget to start by sharing the love of Jesus right here, today. I used to be so passionate about reaching the people of England that I would unintentionally overlook friends, family members, and co-workers that the Lord had placed right in front of me to love and encourage. Some of my closest friendships that have offered me the most support as I prepare to leave home are relationships that I made when I listened to the Lord’s leading to stick around for a little while longer and be fully present right in my own hometown.
“Please don’t get so focused on taking the gospel ‘out there’ that you forget to start by sharing the love of Jesus right here, today.”
MW: For those who want to support your personal mission, what is something he/she can do to support?
SGB: For my upcoming trip, I’m asking for both prayer and financial support. If the Lord is leading you to give to what I’m doing to spread His love and shine His light in England, you can send a gift of any amount to my Venmo (@SarahGraceBloyd) or PayPal (email@example.com).
My goal is to raise $13,200 by the time I leave on July 11th to cover the cost of housing, meals, school books, my visa, and transportation for both the DTS and the internship. At the time of publication of this post, I have raised $3,000 towards that goal, but any additional amount will help me greatly.
If you are not able to support me financially, I would love to have your support in prayer just as much! If you would like to receive updates about what I’m up to and what the Lord is doing in England, feel free to follow me on Instagram (@sarahgracebloyd) or send me an email at firstname.lastname@example.org letting me know that you’d like to be added to my email newsletter!
MW: Thank you, Sarah Grace, for sharing with us. If you would like to support financially, the info is above. Please pray for her and all of the others who will be on this team.
May we remember to pray, every day, for our body of believers, and the impact we have on our communities, around the world.
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