Author: Brier Scott, 2014 Togo NS Participant
The dream began at fourteen years of age when I started to feel the burden for missions tugging at my heart. I remember receiving an AYC flyer and wanting to go so bad on a missions trip, but I was two years too young at the time. I still remember how hard it was for me to wait those two years until I could apply. After what seemed like an eternity, I turned sixteen and was finally old enough. I was technically still too young to go on an international trip since the age restriction was seventeen or up. But, I was determined to go overseas so I went ahead and applied for an international trip anyway. I thought “it’s worth a shot.” I am so glad I did because I indeed was accepted to go to on the AYC Switzerland/Lichtenstein trip.
I applied for this trip with no money saved, no source of income, but with great faith! I just knew God would provide somehow. And He did. I sent out letters, I sang with my guitar at Pikes Place market (in Seattle), and began to make connections with different people through my fundraising efforts. All these things provided some income, but not nearly enough for the amount I needed to raise. I had never had a job before, but I knew in reality I would need to get one. While I trusted God to provide, I knew I would need to do everything I could to raise the funds for my trip. So, after applying for a few jobs, it was only about two or three weeks until I got a call back for an interview. I went in for the meeting and started working at Taco Time NW three days later. With that job I was able to raise most all the funds I needed. It was a sacrifice and stressful at times since I worked full-time while trying to stay caught up with full-time online high school and having to miss out on many church-related events. But, I knew that job was a God-given opportunity for me so I was thankful for it nonetheless.
However in the midst of God’s blessings and provision, things weren’t always easy. Working at this job was difficult because I was constantly surrounded by poor, worldly influences that began to wear at me. During that time I learned that even though I was taking these God-given opportunities so I could do His work it didn’t exempt me from having to experience trials and trying times. Yes, God provided, but it was up to me to continue to do my best to live righteously and according to His word.
So I went to Switzerland and got to experience the mission field there and I was hooked. I was already anticipating applying for my second trip because I felt the burden so strongly. I think I would have applied for Next Steps if I would have known about it since I felt a burden so heavily for missions, But, then I wouldn’t have had the wonderful opportunity to experience all that I did while in El Salvador. I am so thankful I did.
I had quit my job upon the return from my first mission’s trip so I once again had no money saved, no source of income, but great faith when I applied for my second trip to El Salvador.
Since this trip was not as costly as my first, I raised the majority of my funds through letters and other fundraising methods. But I still didn’t have enough for my third payment. So I did what any reasonable seventeen year old full-time college student would do, I sold my car praying and believing that somehow God would provide other means of transportation for me. I was willing to take the bus to college if I had to (long commute). But God came through for me once again and provided me a new car shortly after and enough funds to get me to El Salvador.
After my second AYC trip, I knew that my missions work was just beginning. I was ready for more, and I felt the call stronger than ever on my life. I didn’t want to settle for another ten day trip, but something more long term to give me a deeper glimpse of what being a missionary is really like. So I went on the AIM website and stumbled upon Next Steps.
I do not think it was by coincidence that I came across this program, but I believe it was by God’s hand and after much prayer and godly council, I made the decision to apply for this trip.
And for the third time (and probably not the last), I had no money saved, no source of income, but great faith knowing that God WOULD provide the financial means for me to go and continue on my journey of fulfilling Gods greater purpose in my life.
God once again, like I knew He would because He did it before, provided me with an excellent job that allowed me to have the time off I needed and that was God’s blessing of meeting my financial means so I could go on Next Steps 2014 in Togo.