Miranda Sprague, Freedom Challenge's new missions coordinator shares her story, her heart for missions and how being a new mom is showing her how God can use every season of life for His purposes...
“In the Bible, we never find Jesus telling us to pray for more money, only to pray for more laborers.”
These words, spoken by a Brazilian Missionary, are the words that the Lord used to bring me on the Freedom Challenge team as Missions Coordinator.
Hello there! My name is Miranda Sprague and I had the honor of participating in the Freedom Challenge Climb in Wyoming during the summer of 2016. It was there that I heard this powerful statement.
During one of the conference days, a panel of missionaries updated us on Freedom Challenge projects in the countries where they work. One was a missionary from Brazil. With tear-filled eyes she informed us of the great need for laborers. She said God can always bring the resources and they have plenty of vision for their myriad of needs, but they don’t have enough people to help make them happen. The mission field is in desperate need of more laborers to help reap the harvest.
Her cry for help brought tears to my eyes. The Lord has so many people to reach and so many things He wants to do. He has chosen to use His children to execute His will on earth as it is in heaven... but what are His children doing? Are they actually going? Are they actually participating in the Great Commission as all Christians are commanded to do (Matt. 28:16-20)? Sadly, I think not.
Many of us, me included, get wrapped up in “MY here-and-now” which distracts us from the bigger reality of a hurting world in desperate need of the Gospel and people to be the hands and feet of Jesus. We go to church, we raise our hands in worship, we pray before meals, we give to charity, but we often don't stretch beyond that safe Christian lifestyle. We don't get uncomfortable. We don't put ourselves in those unfamiliar places, situations, and cultures. We don't allow God to really use us beyond our safe circles.
Now, I'm not saying the only way to fulfill the Great Commission is to literally go to the ends of the Earth; we can fulfill it in our homes and our communities. But are we even doing that? Are our ears receptive to hear the call to go abroad and across borders if He asked? My spirit has been challenged and convicted by this missionary’s statement ever since.
The Lord doesn't just ask for my money; He asks for me.
Jesus pleaded for His disciples to pray earnestly for laborers to be sent. What if I AM the answer to that prayer? What if YOU ARE?
God wants to use us in every season of life
I have an eight-month-old baby boy named Jeremiah. It’s been an AMAZING journey so far as a mother; one of the greatest joys already! But being the mom of a little one has made me feel like I'll need to be ‘on the benches’ for a while when it comes to missions. I feel that traveling abroad and doing missions at this stage of life just isn't possible. For the most part, that may be true, and the Lord honors my role as a mother and holds it in the highest regard. But the Lord is also amazing at making ways in EVERY SEASON to fulfill the Great Commission.
So, when Tracy Daugherty, the Freedom Challenge Director, asked me to prayerfully consider taking on the Missions Coordinator position, I was hesitant. But the Lord brought me back to the verse which that missionary’s statement was inspired by: "Then he said to his disciples, ‘The harvest is plentiful, but the laborers are few; therefore pray earnestly to the Lord of the harvest to send out laborers into His harvest.’ ” (Matt. 9:37-38). And when I read that, the memory of the missions’ panel came flooding back along with the conviction. I felt a firm YES from the Lord that He wanted me to take this position.
Using God-given gifts
After talking with Tracy more, I realized that this position would be a way I could fulfill this conviction and the Great commission. I will not necessarily be a physical laborer going out into the literal fields, but I can help SEND those laborers. By using my God-given gifts of coordination, organization, and leadership, along with my passion for missions, I can help plan and coordinate these trips so laborers can be sent. The Lord was working everything together.
And, to make it all so completely clear that the Lord wanted me here, when I met with the former Freedom Challenge Missions Coordinator via Face Time, I realized she was the SAME WOMAN at the conference who said that first statement! Gil Moromisoto from Brazil, one of the sweetest and most inspiring women you'll ever meet, was the one on the missions’ panel at the Wyoming climb. She has done an amazing job starting up the Freedom Challenge Mission Trips and coordinating them all thus far. So, as you can see, God is at work here and has been in all of this.
Now, I say all this for a couple reasons. First, to explain how God brought me on this team and how faithful He is, working all things together for good in every stage of life. Second, I hope to stir up your spirit and maybe even bring about some Holy conviction that would not lead to guilt but to grace-filled action. To encourage you to reflect on your current spiritual state when it comes to fulfilling the Great Commission and to see if just maybe God is calling you to the harvest, whether that be local or abroad. If so, I’d love to invite you to join us as a laborer on our Freedom Challenge Mission Trips.
Freedom Challenge Mission trips 2018
This year we have two short-term Freedom Challenge mission trips. In July we will be going to Cebu in the Philippines to serve the Freedom Challenge projects. Then in November we will have the opportunity to serve Freedom Challenge projects in Moldova (more info to come).
Our trip to the Philippines will be an amazing opportunity to see firsthand where some of the funds the Freedom Challenge raises goes to support. One of our projects here works with underprivileged children to give them education and skills to set them up for success. This is a preventative project. It aims to keep these children out of Human Trafficking by enabling them to go on to university, get jobs, and provide for their families in freedom. We call these children the "young scholars".
During this trip we will serve the children of this program as well as do many other outreaches with them. The team will spend five days participating in hill trekking, visiting schools and communities, prayer walking through the red light district, sharing or giving sessions on life skills and crafts with youth who are not in school, and much more. By going on this short-term trip, you'll help meet the needs of our projects and hard-working Missionaries, needs that can only be met with more laborers.
Most importantly if the Lord has called you, He will equip you for specific powerful and good works through the power of His Spirit and the message of the Gospel for the people of the Philippines. It is His Gospel through your actions and words that will transform the lives of these people and bring true and everlasting freedom. That is what it means to use your freedom to give freedom!
We so hope you can join us this summer or fall on one of these trips. If not, we hope you hear from the Lord and see the doors He has opened in front of you to share His Gospel and participate in the Great Commission.
Find out more information about these trips and register here. You can always email me if you have any questions: firstname.lastname@example.org
The harvest is plentiful my friend, but the laborers are few! Are you the answer to this prayer?
Freedom Challenge Missions Coordinator
Miranda Sprague lives in Southern California, with her husband Joey and son Jeremiah. Miranda studied Biblical Studies at Calvary Chapel Bible College and Life Pacific College. She and her husband served on staff at the Father’s House Church in San Diego as the directors of the School of Ministry called Immersion for a few years. Miranda has participated in numerous mission trips throughout Mexico, Central America, and the Caribbean. She and her husband have always felt called to go on trips and support missionaries as God leads them.