Amanda traded the comfort of her own home for an apartment in order to live the gospel with Iraqi refugees.

n506953129_226My story is really God’s story,

in which he is letting me participate. My testimony of God’s grace and goodness begins with my personal salvation in Christ during my senior year of high school. Shortly after salvation, God called me to a lifetime of serving Him in the mission field. Over the next year God broke my heart for the Middle East and He led me to change my major to Middle Eastern Studies and Arabic. The next few years of college God took me abroad to the Middle East and to North Africa to study and to share His love with a lost and deceived people. I am so convinced of God’s heart for the nations and I still want to go live in the Middle East, but you don’t become a missionary by flying over the ocean. You become a missionary by knowing Jesus more and reaching the lost right where you are.

I once read a story

about a guy who wanted to go reach Muslims, and he sought wisdom from an older Christian man. That man asked him two questions,

What are you doing right now to reach the Muslims in your life? And if you can’t reach the lost Muslims here, what makes you think you can reach them abroad?”

I determined that no matter where I go or what people God brings into my life I have to be intentional and share the Gospel with them. Now that I work for a corporation, my mission field is the lost people I work with on a daily basis. Jesus has also placed me in an apartment complex to live in community with Iraqi people to share His truth.

Three months ago I was transferred

by my company to Fort Worth. I have been living with a family that so graciously let me stay with them until I got acclimated to the city. I knew that I wanted to be active in the lives of lost people in and out of work, so I started volunteering at a local church to teach English to adults. It was no mistake that God took me there because there are many Iraqi families in need of the Gospel. I met one lady named Basma and we have become great friends. After visiting her several time in her apartment, I starting thinking about living in her apartment complex. God has placed so many Iraqi refugees in the complex. After talking with several people who know the area I decided it wouldn’t be safe to live there. I kept looking for a place to live and nothing felt right. I just didn’t have peace about living anywhere and I was getting discouraged. After visiting Basma again I started praying about moving to the complex where she lived. God was really moving in my heart, so one afternoon I went to the complex to drive around and pray. I was still worried about safety though.

One night during theGATHERING,

Luca was teaching on Deborah and Barak, asking questions about our fears. I started praying about what fears inhibited me from serving Jesus. I had to trust God with my safety. In no way am I condoning stupidity or ignorance, but I am saying that we cannot be so scared of what people can do to us that we stop serving God or doing His will. The next day I drove by the complex, knowing my one requirement was I wanted a washer and dryer. I spoke with the manager and she offered me a discount making the apartment right in my budget, but no washer and dryer. I was disappointed, thinking I would not live there. God spoke to me that night asking me, “Really? A washer and dryer are going to keep you from sharing the Gospel?” I knew that I had to die to myself so that I can share the Gospel to the Iraqi people. I spent the next week praying and seeking godly counsel from friends who encouraged me to follow God. Even my unbelieving mom thought it would be the best fit for me since she knows my heart for Arab peoples. God granted peace and it was very clear that I needed to move to this apartment complex to share the Gospel with the refugees living there.

A week after being in the complex

I look back and see only His provision and kindness to me. He provided friends to help me move, money when things were tight, and discounts when I didn’t even ask for them. Not one time have I felt unsafe in the apartment which only comes from the peace that Jesus provides. Beyond His provision He has placed six Iraqi families in my life with which to establish community. Jesus is a sovereign God who has a heart for the lost of this world even those who so adamantly deny Him. Jesus wants me to die to my selfishness and get out my bubble to infiltrate the Iraqi community with the love of Christ. It isn’t out my righteousness or my kindness that I would live in such a place. However, it is out of God’s transforming grace and love in my life that I can even care about these people. I cannot explain my heart for the Iraqis, but when I spend time with Iraqi friends I am blessed and I am often moved to tears because of God’s intentional pursuit of these people.

Praise Jesus for His work on the cross!

Amanda

The idea behind being a Trader isn't a new one; yet, it is one that is challenging a generation to reject the American Dream. You'll hear a lot about being a TRADER around theGATHERING, as we mobilize 18-35 year olds to trade it in for the pursuit of Christ. We're joining with RightNow.org in this pursuit. Stay tuned for more TRADER stories.