Ten years ago I stepped onto US soil, full of dreams and anticipation for my future. I was just 15 years old, and God had opened a door of opportunity that was almost unheard of in my "world." However, it was not about coming to the United States and leaving behind my homeland, a country of great need. It had little to do with learning a new language and adapting to a new culture. Neither was it about seeking a better future for myself. One thing was clear: it was about following God's will and purpose for my life.
It all started with a dream in the night, a dream that changed my life forever. A dream that revealed I would one day leave all I knew - my home, my family, my comforts - to come and prepare for a life of ministry. It was not an easy change for me, or my family. It took a lot of work, determination, and most importantly, obedience. But even at that young age, I knew the safest place on earth was in God's will.
The last ten years have played a crucial part in my ministry development. After finishing high school in Tulsa, God opened a door of opportunity that enabled me to attend Southwestern Christian University. It didn't take long for me to know that was the place God had ordained for me to be. It was here that my dreams began to take shape and form. Friendships of a lifetime were made. The education I received prepared me for a life of ministry. The interaction in the classrooms, the countless hours I spent in the library doing research, reading books, writing papers, after-class conversations with teachers... it all marked my life forever. My time at SCU developed my character and brought focus and direction to the call I already had upon my life. I know I could have gone anywhere to receive an education. There are a number of places I could have chosen to receive a degree in ministry. At SCU, however, I acquired a passion and understanding that I can make a difference no matter where I go in life. SCU helped me understand the principle that "greatness is determined by service."
You see, as a little girl I had one cry, one desperate cry from the depths of my soul. It was, "Lord, send me to the nations...here I am, send me." At the time, I am not sure I understood what all this entailed. The only thing I knew for sure was that my heart was broken - broken for the lost, the least, and the last. When I came to Southwestern, this was my heart's cry. When I left, this hadn't changed. The only difference was that my passion and understanding had been significantly expanded and I was ready to "go!"
How exciting it is for me to say that the dream I had over a decade ago is about to be realized in a greater way! I am going into full-time ministry as a missionary, to pursue the call I have had upon my life. I am honored for the opportunity to work with a ministry that has made a tremendous impact around the world. In fact, Bridge Builders International bridged a gap for me when I was just a teenager. God used BBI to invest in the life of an ordinary girl with a heart and vision for ministry, but limited resources to bring it about. Mine is just one of many such stories.
What do I want to do? I want to raise up a generation of strong and mighty leaders that will turn their world upside down. I want to motivate and mobilize young and old, to recognize, pursue, and fulfill the call they have on their lives. And as I reach out to the world, to meet not only physical but spiritual needs, I also want to make a difference right here, in the United States. By building a bridge between the mission field and the American church, I want to see a contagious passion increase for missions. I want to see young people with a burden for the lost. I long to see our churches gain a greater passion for world evangelization. Why am I so passionate about this? Because I recognize the call is for everyone. If we are His disciples, we are called to be His witnesses, no matter where we go, or what we do. One of my favorite quotes, which has become a personal "motto," says: "If we are not teaching people how to be saved, it is perhaps because we have forgotten the tragedy of being lost" (Max Lucado). I want to do something about this.
I will never forget the first message I heard in my first chapel at SCU. When I heard the challenge "be a world-changer," I knew I was at the right place. My dream, leaving home, it all made sense. I was sure I had arrived to the place God had prepared for me to be. You see, although I didn't have my life mapped out before me, I knew I wanted to be a world-changer, no matter where I went or what I did. Southwestern Christian University prepared me to fulfill my call; it gave me the knowledge, broadened my perspective, and strengthened my determination to become fully equipped for ministry that can impact the world and make a difference. I am indebted to this University. Thanks to SCU, I not only know that I want to be a world-changer, but I also know it all starts with service.
SCU is proud to call Mayra an alumnus. If you are interested in supporting her ministry you may do so by giving through the IPHC World Missions Ministries at either of the following links provided:
Posted on Mon, October 4, 2010
by Jonathan Chasteen