In her youth, seeds were planted that prepared her heart for mission. She heard stories from visiting missionaries at church. She read biographies and other books authored by missionaries. And she went on youth group mission trips in high school and college.
But in 2002, Communitas missionary Hillary C. had in mind a very different future. She was looking toward a potential career in the music industry. She had already taken a year of music theory classes and had applied to Cal State Northridge’s (USA) music industry program. She wasn’t eager to live in Los Angeles, however, and decided to postpone starting the program until after attending a year or two of Bible college at Multnomah University, in Portland, Oregon.
Two years later though, while on a month-long summer mission trip with a few friends from Multnomah, she found herself walking through a park in downtown Bologna, Italy. The Lord very unceremoniously spoke to her heart, saying, “I am going to bring you back here someday to Italy, to serve long-term as a missionary.”
Hillary pondered it in her heart. But it would be another nine years until she would actually be hugging her family goodbye and boarding a plane. With two big suitcases and a heart that was being torn in half, she left overflowing with hopeful expectations mixed with nerves.
The journey toward that airplane was slow and deliberate. Many of the steps to get there were small ones. But the big steps, like quitting her job and joining Communitas, were done with hesitancy, as though her feet were stuck in thick mud.
Hillary thought, “Lord, it’s not that I don’t want to take these steps myself, but they’re too big for me to take on my own.” The Lord gently, but firmly, picked up her feet, and set them down. One step at a time, God led her in the direction He wanted her to follow.
As she trusted in God to lead and provide, she remembered the story of how the Lord fought for Israel against the Philistines. After God led them to victory, Samuel picked up a stone and “named it Ebenezer, saying, ‘Thus far has the Lord helped us’” (1 Samuel 7:12). Now as she collects her own “stones,” in the form of stories of God’s faithful provision, they remind her of Samuel’s Ebenezer.
Each new story Hillary experiences with God offers continual proof how thus far, the Lord has helped her. You can find her stories here: https://faithfulstill.wordpress.com.
Do you resonate with Hillary’s journey? Is the Lord beckoning you to follow Him into missions? Are you hearing God’s voice to “Go?” Our mission mentors would love to talk with you. To have an informal conversation with a coach who won’t “sell you” on anything, feel free to reach out here: https://gocommunitas.org/lets-go/
Hillary Cummings lives on mission in Sicily, Italy, building Godly relationships with people, teaching English, and creating spaces to invite others to join her in following Jesus. And she is looking for team members! Is Italy calling?