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Being Jane Doe on the missions field

by Staci McCoy and Allie Murray | Photo by Josh Crow

Graduates of ORU scatter all over the world. Most accept secure careers while few land in careers that are only safe when they remain anonymous. A certain ORU alumna, who will be referred to as Jane Doe, evangelizes in South Asia where current laws make spreading the gospel and converting to Christianity extremely dangerous.

Jane says she felt God calling her to missions when she was 12 years old, so she stayed involved in her church’s missions programs and, eventually, joined ORU Missions.

When Jane signed up for ORU Missions, she was initially disappointed when she was placed on an education team to Thailand. Looking back, she is grateful for the experience because it is when she fell in love with South Asian culture.

“Trust the Lord,” said Jane, in regards to ORU Missions. “It might not be what you had imagined, but it will be what the Lord has in store for you.”

In 2016, she graduated with a degree in elementary education. After talking with the mission’s director at her church, an interest sparked within her to join No Place Left International Coalition.

“I just fell in love with it and really saw the practicality of it. You can easily empower local believers in other countries,” said Jane.

The No Place Left movement gets its motivation not only from the Great Commission, but also from the Parable of the Growing Seed in Mark 4:26-29. The parable tells of a farmer who sows his seed and watches it slowly grow over time.

Jane explains that the goal of No Place Left is the same: to sow seeds and watch them grow.

She puts it in terms of “four fields,” a method used by No Place Left to share the gospel. The first is “entry,” which is going out and finding people who don’t know Jesus. The second is “gospel,” which is like planting the seed of God’s word. The third is “discipleship,” which is watching that seed grow in someone and nurturing it as it grows.

The last is “church,” which is what eventually forms when enough people come to know Christ, according to Jane. No Place Left gives the power to Christians around the world to partner with other Christians and work toward discipleship programs.

“The first level of training makes you comfortable with evangelizing. You identify those in your own life who might not know Jesus,” explained Jane. “You practice discipleship together in the way you will be doing with others. It’s working together with everyday Christians and passing it on to others.”

Alongside the vision of No Place Left, Jane and her boyfriend partner together in making disciples through house churches that are based on accountability, which boils down to each person praying for those in their life and seeking the lost to disciple.

No Place Left is not a single organization but is an organic, everyday Christian movement fulfilling the great commission, according to Jane.    

After years of missions work, Jane encourages students who feel called to missions not to wait until they are overseas to begin sharing the gospel. The entire world is a mission field and that includes neighborhoods and workplaces in hometowns. If a student cannot cross the street to share the gospel, there is no way they will cross an ocean, according to Jane. One of Jane’s favorite encounters over seas was when she prayed with a family and each one came to know Christ.

While praying with them, she avoided leading a prayer for them to recite, due to the culture’s belief of words holding sacred powers.

A man simply prayed in his own language, “Jesus, make me like you,” and all he knew was the simple gospel.

Countries in South Asia require checks on Visas every time one goes in and out, making it crucial for Jane to avoid any noticeable connections with Christianity, even on social media accounts. Throughout her mission’s process, Jane’s family found peace with her call to share the gospel in a dangerous area.

“I am not worthy of redemption, but He did it anyway,” said Jane.

Jane plans on moving indefinitely to South Asia in 2019, following personal life events. Her passion and sensitivity will not waver even though her methods must change due to the country’s laws.

As she prepares for a total life change, Jane encourages others to make the most of each mission field God places them in.