MEET SARAH WELLS: she followed His call to serve in Australia and learned that He uses everyday people to build His kingdom.
What led you to want to serve in Australia?
I am involved with Cru at the University of Delaware! For the summer of 2019, I was on a summer mission with Cru in Clearwater Beach, FL, and I realized that I love living my life on mission. I love being in Christian community and around people who share my values. I love living my life for Jesus! I came back to campus for the fall of 2019 feeling that "mission high", and God worked in my heart and so many others that semester. I felt Him calling me to go on the first ever Delaware Cru "Winter Mission" with our overseas partner- which is Melbourne, Australia. I knew raising more support would be a challenge, but I felt God calling me to serve Him with Cru in another country!
While in Australia your focus was on serving college students. What did you learn through serving this specific demographic?
Wow- that trip was hard and amazing. I think I learned more about myself and my faith than anything. The Australian culture is almost non-religious. There is no national religion, and no one really prescribes to religion or faith, especially not evangelical Christianity. We basically went through college campuses looking for people to share the gospel with, and out of the thousands of people our team talked to, we did not have a profession of faith. That was hard- but I really learned what it meant to be the hands and feet of Jesus and have these hard conversations and plant seeds.
For all my life, I have taken everything about my faith as it was taught. I haven't asked questions, dug deeper, or really explored beyond the words written in the Bible or the teachings of my pastors. These conversations forced me to dig deeper, learn more, and ask harder questions to my leaders who know more than I do. I learned apologetics tools and tricks that allowed me to dig into conversations with people. As I was frustrated about the lack of fruit that was born, God ignited a passion in me for Him and who He is. I learned how to ask questions and not just take my faith at face value- our God is an incredible Father and Creator that deserves our attention and praise, and that trip gave that part of my relationship with Him back to me. College students are exploring, and I learned to do that as well!
What has serving internationally taught you about yourself?
While we were there, we were able to attend some amazing churches. The very small number of people who are Christian in Australia are like on fire for Jesus 24/7. There is no "Christmas and Easter" Christians. These people are so devoted to Jesus, and He is going to use them in big ways. I think if anything, it taught me how broken the Christian society is in America. We have lost this spark- this full reliance on God. I think God is taken for granted here. I yearn for that deep, loving, gospel-centered community that I found in those churches in Melbourne--that spark for Jesus and for loving other people well. Sure, the Christians there are few and far between, but my goodness they are on fire for our incredible God. Just being able to experience that changed my heart, and I realized I wanted that and needed to be praying over my Christian community at college. God has answered those prayers, and I feel like Delaware Cru is full of warriors for Christ.
What advice do you have for someone preparing to fundraise?
My advice is as follows:
- do not compare yourself to others! God has a specific plan in fundraising. It may be "easy" or "hard" to raise the support, but look for opportunities for growth in that season. Spending time praying and preparing for a trip is an incredible time with God. Lean into Him and HE WILL PROVIDE!!!
- Spend time making personal connections with people- send out letters, make coffee dates (following COVID restrictions), call people. Talk to them about your mission, let them see your passion and spark for Jesus, let them in on your fundraising!
- SELL T- SHIRTS!!! This is a great way to get a bundle of smaller donations! T-Shirts interest all ages and they make a great talking point. It is also a gateway to talk to some non Christian friends and get them to wear your Jesus related tee!
- I think the most important thing is to trust God through this process- I have fundraised for a handful of trips, and I have seen Him work when I just feel I have hit a massive wall. His grace and blessings abound!
What advice do you have for someone who wants to go and serve but is afraid to step out of his or her comfort zone?
For anyone who may think they aren't equipped or are not ready to serve, I will share this: God equips the called, but He does not necessarily call the equipped. If you do not feel ready, first sit down and have a conversation with God. Just pray, journal, worship, and see what He says. If you feel the Holy Spirit nudging you- follow it. Trust that God is calling you for something greater than yourself. To be used for His glory. There is no perfect human being, aside from Jesus, so there are no perfect missionaries. I promise you, if you step out in faith on a trip like this, you will be so surprised at how God will change your heart. I came out of this trip with some heartache- I was aching for that city and for the people who aren't saved, but I came out confident in my God and in His power and glory. God uses everyday people to build His Kingdom. Seek Him first and He will provide the confidence and strength! Philippians 4:13