What does it look like to be a missionary? Dictionary.com defines it to be "a person sent by a church into an area to carry on evangelism or other activities, as educational or hospital work." Well, if that's how the world views the life of a missionary, then that would be me! If someone told me that I would one day become a missionary, I would've never in a million years believed them. How can a person who loves clothes & fashion, who enjoys reckless adventures, and who has a colorful past be a missionary? Well, I'm living proof anything is possible with God!
As I chose to live a life completely sold out for Jesus, my life has not been the same. My perspective has been turned upside down, and my purpose in life has been radically transformed. Upon discovering I wanted to pursue the life of a missionary, I set out to Mozambique, Africa to gain first hand experience. It was in those 3 months that I found my calling and was ready to be sent out to the ends of the earth. It was in those 3 months that I learned how to be intimate with Jesus and sit in the presence of God. It was in those 3 months that I embraced and loved all parts of me...including all the ugly truths of my past, present, and future. So where did God call me to go? Although Los Angeles seems like the most unlikely place for a missionary, my heart burns deeply for this city of angels. I see so much hope for the orphaned, widowed, and sojourners, and I believe I am called to be a love ambassador to these people group.
So what does it look like for me to be a missionary in Los Angeles? It is connecting with people using unconventional avenues. It is cultivating a collaborative community that champions one another to persevere in all circumstances. It is curating a dwelling place that works together, creates together, and does life together. It is also about going outside of the four walls of our dwelling place and intentionally and creatively loving on our neighboring communities. It is sitting with them, hearing their story, praying with them, and breaking bread with them. It is helping them uncover hidden talents and affirming them that they are more than enough. It is about persevering through all the ups and downs and being faithful even in the little to carry out a vision.
This entrepreneurial journey as a missionary has been far from glamorous. I continue to make a lot of mistakes, and I often forget that God's grace is sufficient even for me. The early stages of building As We Dwell was a glimpse of God's miraculous provision, and I expected everything else would fall into place in that same manner. Only to discover, God had other plans. More than the space and more than my calling, God cared more about my heart. He wanted to perform heart surgery so I can operate from a place of overflow and not obligation. Each month it was a new thing He was doing...releasing me from feeling territorial over my possessions, revealing I still struggle with judgement of others, rooting out ungodly ideologies of finances, reaffirming that I do hear his voice and to not be consumed with doubt. I have come to fully accept that the list will continue to go on and on until I am sitting alongside Him in heaven, and I am choosing to joyfully suffer through each heart work.
As I was dreaming with the Lord about As We Dwell, my number 1 prayer request was for God to bring a business partner to come alongside me in stewarding this dwelling place. I simply didn't have enough capital or physical power to take on all the responsibilities and to do it with excellence. And soon after starting this venture, I was recognizing all my areas of weaknesses and strengths. It was clear I could not do this alone. After months and months of praying and still no business partner, I finally had a revelation this week that it is possible to have a multitude of partners if I simply reached out to my friends and family. Since this is an unconventional business that is focused on people instead of profitability, I made the decision to humbly and boldly invite anyone that wants to partner with As We Dwell to actively be a part of the process. If you would like to partner with me, these are the ways in which you can support:
If the Lord wills it to be me to carry out this grand vision, my heart is to open up multiple locations throughout the world. As I traveled around to different countries, I would often meet artisans with unique talents and always felt an urgency to support in some way. When you have a safe place to express your creativity, you can release freedom, unlock hope, and increase faith. I would love to see a multiplication of kingdom dwelling places, and it would be a privilege to be chosen to partake in the process of that expansion. If you haven't already visited our DTLA Arts District location, we would love for you to visit us and see all the beautiful work of our Heavenly Father. Thank you for journeying with me and taking the time to read this post!
I'm using this space to simply share the meaningful things that burn my heart and the random things that run through my mind. Simply desiring more vulnerability and authenticity in my life.