A Call to Ministry:
Seeing How God Can Use Us, Even When We Take Our Time to Answer
By Paola Ferro
When someone calls you, we usually respond: “Yes?”, or “Did you call me?” or a plain “What?” What about when God calls us? Do we answer quickly? For me, no – my response wasn’t an immediate one.
Growing up I never had “a” church, I used to “church-hop” every Sunday. One Sunday, I got invited to a Hispanic UMC church and it was then I found a home church. After that invitation I was able to get connected to the youth group and in different ministries that the church had.
While serving in my local congregation I was given the opportunity to start working in ministry with the Wesley Foundation at Florida International University (FIU) and Miami Dade College (MDC) in the Miami area. I experienced ministry in a whole new level. I served with the homeless, experienced life with a diverse community and served in different local and international missions.
During my experience in Haiti and Costa Rica as a missionary/volunteer, I began to see God’s love in a different ways. I realized that the world was a lot bigger than what I had always thought. People all over the world had different life stories, challenges, experiences and their hearts were full of an abundant joy and endless love. The world was bigger than my local community, bigger than Miami and a lot bigger than the state of Florida.
For a few months, I wrestled with God about what exactly I was going to do when I graduated. I finally applied to be a Global Mission Fellow. My placement site is in Buenos Aires, Argentina with CREAS (Regional Ecumenical Advisory and Service Center). CREAS is an organization that promotes the ecumenical movement, social and economic rights, rights for women, children, youth, young adults, and environmental justice. CREAS is also an organization that works with Act Alliance, Bread for the World and others to provide financial support to grassroot organizations.
In CREAS I will be working in communications, supporting the team with the small project funds and working with the different organizations collecting stories and sharing them on the website and social media, in order to promote and share all the information with the ecumenical movement in the region.
Life in Argentina for the past six months has been a life-changing experience. I have been blessed to be in a great placement site working with passionate group of people, beginning new friendships, and connecting with an amazing local church that has become my family in Argentina. Serving as a missionary was something that I never thought that I would be able to do – but God calls us in unexpected ways.
When I first experienced the never-ending flame to become a missionary, I kept trying to cover it. But, God’s fire never ceased. Like Moses, I gave a lot of excuses on my call. I said that “I” wasn’t going to be able to do it, or that I wouldn’t be able to take this journey. But, as the saying goes…God doesn’t call the equipped, he equips the called.
If you are a Global Mission Fellow and would like to share your experiences
serving around the world, contact Channels.