Erin Paul is a 20-year-old college student who is investing her life in cross-cultural missions at home and abroad. She ministers in the US during the school year and takes short-term mission trips while on school breaks.
I was first introduced to Erin when she spoke at our church a few weeks ago. She felt called to go on a mission trip to Kenya along with a group from our church and shared about her experiences for a few minutes.
While she's in the US, Erin ministers as an intern with Community Servants, a local ministry that partners with the Wherry Housing cooperative to provide low-income housing as well as a wide range of educational opportunities for children and adults.
However, I consider my life worth nothing to me; my only aim is to finish the race and complete the task the Lord Jesus has given me—the task of testifying to the good news of God’s grace.
This past Christmas break, Erin spent some time in a refugee camp in Thailand. Because of some things that changed, she was the only English-speaker there. She faced some challenges that really made her depend on God.
On a mission trip to Northern Thailand, Erin saw what life was like for many of the people she ministers to through Community Servants in Smyrna, TN. That experience really changed her perspective and how she approaches ministry to the Karen people from Burma (Myanmar).
She is now very intentional with forming relationships and looking for discipleship opportunities.
In a couple of weeks, Erin will begin teaching an English class for adults. She has a heart for education and is really looking forward to meeting the new students as well as reconnecting with returning students.
Significance in the Marketplace
One thing that was really meaningful for Erin was when people would reach out to her by email, Skype, or Facebook. It can be lonely and hard, so it's really nice to know that people care about you and what you're doing.
She shared several ways to do that
- Really build relationships; talk if you can.
- Find out what is going on and how God is working there.
- Let them know you care and are praying for them.
- How hard it is to have her heart in so many places around the world.
Personal Success Habit
- Constant communication with The Lord. Finding out what he wants her to do and thanking Him in everything.
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Shifts in Society
What's happening is definitely a God thing. What's been happening in the international community Wherry Housing has been a huge blessing.
Erin says that a great first-step is to simply get to know people from other cultures. Be brave enough to step out of your comfort zone and just get to know them.
- Go to their house
- Try their food
- Love on their kids
- Try to learn a little of their language
- Pray for them
The first thing Erin would do is to spend some time in the Word, with The Lord. Then she would get out and look for opportunities to bond with the culture and become as much “one of the people” as she could.
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