Burden & Calling
When my family first arrived to Irkutsk, Russia (Siberia), I was unwilling to surrender to the Lord's working in my life. I thought my parents had made a mistake in taking us children to the field with them. In fact, I originally learned Russian because I didn't want to get laughed at when I went to the market. I thought I needed to prove that Americans aren't stupid.
However, after my first year there, I finally responded to the Lord's tugging on my heart, and I began to fall in love with the country, the culture, and the people. God allowed me to build friendships there that I still have at this point in time. He also helped me learn the language and begin to get a grasp on the Slavic culture.
In 2003, when I went off to college at BJU, my family left the field of Russia and headed to Cambodia. After I graduated from BJU in 2008, I had the opportunity to serve at Camp Joy, in Whitewater, WI, for a few years. During that time, I also began building a relationship with my sending church, Kettle Moraine Baptist Church, in Whitewater, WI.
Then, in 2011, I was appointed with Baptist World Mission. After traveling on deputation from 2011-2014, the Lord allowed me to arrive in Cambodia, where I worked with a team that included my parents, Ron and Tina Fruin, plus the Tom Johnson family and the Jason Carpenter family. I assisted with the children and in music at the local Takhmau church my dad had started. I also taught English and several other subjects at Cambodia Baptist College.
However, through a series of events, the Lord closed the door in Cambodia, and He is now redirecting me to Ukraine. Not only am I already fairly comfortable with Russian (a commonly spoken language in Ukraine and helpful for learning Ukrainian), but I have had experience in working with multiple cultures. The Lord is opening doors for me to use my love for children, my English teaching experience, my time at Camp Joy, my EMT experience, and my desire to see the Gospel spread into places that are more difficult for missionaries to reach.