As many of you may know, I have been working at Adventures In Missions in Gainesville, GA for the last 7 months. I’ve been an Interview Specialist in our Admissions Department, and I’ve loved it. I spend my days pouring over online applications for trips like The World Race, Passport, and Ambassador, reviewing medical information, and calling applicants for an over-the-phone interview about where they are in their current seasons. I hear stories of redemption and relationship, and I hear stories of pain and brokenness and addiction. And I spend time asking the Lord what He thinks about each applicant, before attempting to make a decision about whether or not each applicant is spiritually and emotionally healthy enough to go on one of our trips. Sometimes we say yes and sometimes we say no- always encouraging next steps like counseling or spiritual mentoring before allowing the applicant to re-apply. Our heart is not to fill up our trips, but to fight for the personal health and freedom of each soul applying to our trips.
And I have loved it. It has handed me skills and tools I didn’t know I needed, and grown me in ways I was desperate for. I walked into the department with a need for affirmation or approval, a need for applicants to agree with me that going on a trip is not the healthiest step for them right now… and I am walking away a stronger, wiser, more confident and more compassionate person with a much better understanding of health and freedom.
I hope you picked up on that.
My time in the Interview Department is at a close. Today, actually.
I have been recruited by the Center For Global Action, our discipleship school here at Adventures In Missions. They are creating a position just for me, based out of their current and projected needs and my current and potential skills.
My official title is CGA Admissions, Discipleship, and Community Coordinator.
I know. It’s a mouthful.
The job is a huge step up from my current role, responsibility-wise. I’m taking on much, much more responsibility and leadership, and a wider array of tasks to manage. But the thing I’m most looking forward to is getting to see the end of the story.
That’s what I have been missing while being in Interview. We only get to see a brief moment in the lives of our applicants and participants. We get to speak life over them, and speak health into them, but after our conversations it is rare to get more time with them. While in CGA, I will have the chance to see their stories from beginning to end. Let me tell you a little bit more. Better buckle up, it’s certainly going to be a ride!
My first task in my new position will be to steward each aspect of admission, including interviewing and mobilizing applicants, for all second-year programs at Adventures In Missions. This includes CGA, our Fellowship program, and Kingdom Journeys- a gender-specific 6-month missions trip focused on a specific ministry in various areas around the globe. Essentially I will get to see our second-year program participants from the very beginning of a new season in their lives to the end of their time with us, especially the apprentices who will be entering our CGA program who I will be working with face-to-face during each semester. I will help them find housing, apprenticeships within our organization, and the focus of their training- orphan care, field leadership, worship, or long-term missions.
I will then spend my time coordinating two aspects of the CGA: discipleship and community. Hopefully I will be able to create and implement a new discipleship program, I will match apprentices with spiritual mentors, and oversee their spiritual development. Further, I will coordinate their community time- helping them to understand what it looks and feels like to live in and contribute to a community of other believers for the specific purpose of building relationships. So many of us grow up without an understanding of what it looks like to live with other people in a healthy way, to serve others, and to build healthy connections. This is just one of many development opportunities that we offer.
I will also be in charge of member care for the staff CGA, the people who lead and teach our tracks (sort of like a major in school) and classes, and any guest speakers who come and teach the apprentices. With two semesters already under my belt, I will continue teaching my own CGA class on Identity- all about emotional health and spiritual maturity.
Last, I will manage the planning and execution of events like Welcome Week and Graduation, and provide up to a year of care for apprentices who graduate our program, making sure they feel supported in pursing their next chapter and steps.
I told you it would be quite a ride.
My first official day is Monday and I am breathless with excitement. I truly believe the Lord has created me for such a time as this. I have a good balance of relational and administrative strengths (thank you, All My Years At Starbucks), and a heart that burns for discipleship. I have received such incredible, intentional discipleship and I know exactly what it feels like to be poured into- a feeling many young Christians have missed out on.
While our discipleship school is focused on equipping our apprentices for future work in the Kingdom of Heaven, my heart is not only to hand them a tool, but to help facilitate healing and reconciliation in their lives and stories. We’re all broken people looking for a little grace. Even those in leadership need a little love in their lives. And that’s the biggest and most crucial aspect of my new job- to love and care for the apprentices that apply to our program. We have them under our wings for between four and twelve months, and every day is an opportunity to love and serve them well.
Other cool things I’ll be doing outside of this job: training coaches to facilitate small groups at our re-entry conference, Project Searchlight; teaching breakout sessions at Project Searchlight and World Race Training Camps on self-care, healthy boundaries, and Sabbath; and continuing to be trained in Inner Healing by Jim and Pat Banks, who have an incredible ministry traveling the world to teach and facilitate inner healing. Their purpose in training us is that we can go and facilitate healing in the people around us- even within our own organization. You can find more about their awesome ministry here.
It’s been an incredible season in my life, and the next chapter is only beginning.
Many of you have contacted me and asked how you can help in some way. I finally have an answer.
While I truly believe the Lord has called me to this new position, I have accepted this position under the condition that I will double my support-raising for our organization. In moving to the CGA Department, I will need to raise $18,000 per year on behalf of Adventures In Missions. This is a pretty standard practice amongst non-profit organizations the world over. Nearly everyone who works at Adventures In Missions raises support, and I am no different. I believe in the product and the experience we offer, both on our trips and in our second- and third-year programs, like the Center For Global Actions. When we as employees agree to raise support for the organization, we’re keeping costs down for everyone who participates in any of our experiences, including the CGA. We are able to offer life-changing experiences at affordable prices because we, the employees, raise support.
This is where you come in. Raising $18,000 per year is no small task, but it is nothing that the Lord cannot handle. Even now, I am confident that He is working on specific hearts and minds to come alongside me in my mission. So many of you supported me financially as I traveled the globe doing missions with The World Race, and my life has changed because of it. Hopefully the lives of all the people I met and ministered to were changed as well. You can continue spurring on that change now.
I need to raise roughly $1500 per month in order to keep my job here at Adventures In Missions. That’s only 15 people at $100 or 30 people at $50 a month. So doable! We are all called to be missionaries in God’s kingdom. Some of us go, some of us stay, and some of us hold the rope for those who repel down the cliff of ministry. Which is it that you are called to?
If you are interested in helping support my job here, pouring into a group of 30-50 new missionaries every four-to-six months, you can do so in many ways.
#1. Pray for me! Prayer is the most beneficial support I can receive. Pray that I’m focused, that the Lord is speaking constantly to me, and that the apprentices who show up for our program are receiving from the Lord in deep and profound and radical ways.
#2. Send me love notes! Long days and long hours with arduous or emotional tasks can take a toll. Just because I’m not in Africa doesn’t mean I’m not on a huge mission field.
#3. Financial support. This is huge. Can you be a monthly supporter? Can you donate even once or twice? Anything you feel the Lord pressing on you is enough. You can visit my work blog at andibruinsma.myadventures.org, click on the link “Support Me,” and donate directly on my behalf. He is The Great Provider and I trust in Him to equip me where He has called me. I’m so glad you get to be a part of that! And BONUS- any donations are 100% tax-deductible!
If you would like more information, I would love to give you a call or send you an email! Want to sit down and have coffee with me? I love answering questions about what it is the Lord has called me to do, and how I’ve seen Him work in huge and transformational ways. You can email me at email@example.com. If you have more pressing questions and would like an immediate response, send me your phone number and I will carve out time during my day to sit down and chat with you.
Last, because my sweet new husband and I are both support-raising for our respective jobs (he just got a new promotion, too! He’s the new Director of Talent Management- whoa!!), we will be creating a newsletter together with information about our lives, our jobs, and our needs here on the mission field. If you are interested in receiving this newsletter in the future, leave a comment with your email below.
I believe in what the Lord is doing here. Won’t you partner with me?