Every Christian has the opportunity to do something bold for Christ. As sojourners in a fallen world, we are surrounded with endless opportunities to impact those around us with the Gospel. Christ’s Great Commission challenges us to make disciples of the nations and proclaim the name of the Lord to all. Rebecca Fuller and Jessica McBride, two recent graduates from Biola University, have taken this challenge seriously in their own lives. In the month of June, they went on a summer missions trip to Cambridge, England with an organization called Friends International. Friends International is a nonprofit organization that helps facilitate relationships between Christians and international students in the UK. Fuller and McBride each have their own personal testimonies that have ultimately led them to partner together in planning this missions trip.
“Looking back on my life, I can see how this ministry is perfect for me, in light of the type of ministry my dad does,” said Fuller.
Fuller’s father is a pastor of a multi-cultural and multi-ethnic church in Washington called ONE Church. Fuller believes that her father’s heart and passion to see the nations come together under Jesus Christ has influenced her own heart for the same thing. Growing up with her father’s strong devotion to issues of reconciliation in the church, she too has developed a great passion for uniting the nations under one God. Fuller finds it fitting that she would do International Student ministry in Cambridge, as thousands of students from countries such as Germany, Japan, and Greece, come to study the English language and culture.
“My heart is full of joy when I am able to see people from every nation and tongue at a Bible study, or even playing volleyball at the local park, because it is a small reflection of heaven,” said Fuller.
McBride’s heart for ministry has also been cultivated during her college years. Over the course of her four years at Biola, the Lord placed several ministry opportunities in front of her. She joined a ministry called the California School Project (CSP), which involved sharing the Gospel with strangers and mentoring high school students. Although she initially felt unprepared for such ministry, she was obedient to this calling on her life and was able to discover her love for ministry. At the end of 2012, she was given the opportunity to lead a mission trip to the UK with Fuller in the summer of 2013.
“My heart is full of joy when I am able to see people from every nation and tongue at a Bible study, or even playing volleyball at the local park, because it is a small reflection of heaven.” -Fuller
“These different opportunities have been gradually expanding my desire for all people to know Christ and helping me learn to actively and verbally share his love with others” said McBride.
While Fuller and McBride’s unique backgrounds have shaped them into two very different people, God united them in this task and calling to serve the people of Cambridge. Fuller went on this same mission trip to Cambridge with Biola in 2012 and knew that the Lord was not done using her in Cambridge. As time progressed and opportunities were presented, Fuller was elated to find herself leading this year’s team to serve in Cambridge. This summer was McBride’s first mission-related trip to Cambridge, but she had been interested in ministry in the UK for the past two years. With these two passionate women partnering in ministry, God’s presence has been felt.
“I was most struck by an awareness of God’s presence in this trip during a team meeting where we got to hear from the director of our university’s Muslim ministry. We had invited him to speak to us since we will likely encounter many Muslims in Cambridge, and wanted to know more about their beliefs. It was at that meeting that a real love for people I haven’t even met yet began to grow in me as I realized that every person we will encounter on this trip has a face and a past and a family and their own set of worries and burdens. God spoke to our whole team that evening through the Muslim ministry director, giving us hope and important truth as we prepared to represent him in another country,” said McBride.
From personal epiphanies to financial providence, God was abundantly faithful in directing the details of this trip and making it happen. Through this partnership, McBride and Fuller have developed great appreciation and respect for each other. Their skill sets complement one another very well, which made the planning process and the trip itself smooth and manageable.
“…a real love for people I haven’t even met yet began to grow in me as I realized that every person we will encounter on this trip has a face and a past and a family and their own set of worries and burdens.” -McBride
“Rebecca is more gifted in encouraging and motivating people, and I have more experience in sharing the Gospel with people from all walks of life, so we make a good team. We are both gifted administratively, so that helps everything run smoothly,” said McBride.
The joint story of these two women encourages me to consider what bold steps I can be taking for Christ. Serving the Lord does not always mean traveling to another country; some of the most powerful witnessing we will ever do will be in our everyday decisions and lifestyles. Even so, consider the ways that you can step out for Christ and live the Gospel to the people around you. Ministry looks different for each person. Through prayerfully assessing your ministry abilities, God will direct you in reaching out to other people.