I heard the call to missions when I was 16 years old. It was my first time out of the country and my first time on a missions trip. While I was in Costa Rica, I experienced the Lord’s deep love for me like I never had before and grew in boldness and confidence in myself. I slept in an old chicken shed, took ice cold showers, and ate rice and beans for every meal. Despite being completely out of my comfort zone and feeling like I was really “roughing it”, I was thriving in the position I was placed in. As my time in Costa Rica came to a close, I told God that I really loved it there and I didn’t want to leave. I loved what I got to do, I loved experiencing the new culture, and getting to know the people. The Lord spoke to me and said, “Kendra you’re going to keep doing this. This is not just a phase. This is not the end of missions for you.” I said okay and was quite excited!
As my time in Costa Rica came to a close, I told God that I really loved it there and I didn’t want to leave.
Fast forward two years after my first missions trip, things got hard or at least I made them hard. My desire to belong and be loved by others took over and I so desperately clung to that desire. I often turned my back on God and chose to pursue people instead. I wanted them to accept me. I wanted to do what pleased my friends at school and that often led me to live in rebellion.
As my senior year approached, I began to realize I needed to figure out what I was going to do after I graduated. I felt a strong, overwhelming need to go to college. It was what everyone else around me was doing. I needed to fit in. I needed to belong. I needed to go to college. On top of that, that’s what my brother did and he was successful and my parents supported him in it.
I needed to fit in. I needed to belong. I needed to go to college.
I began to ask myself what career path I wanted to choose. I would throw around a few ideas like marketing, being a teacher, or cosmetology but I just couldn’t picture myself doing it and really loving those career choices. I just couldn’t figure out what I would do. In the back of my head was the call the Lord had given me two years ago. I started to feel like maybe college wasn’t the right path for me since I couldn’t even figure out what I would want to do.
I started to feel like maybe college wasn’t the right path for me since I couldn’t even figure out what I would want to do.
As I thought through it I was reminded of the freedom and joy I lived in during my time of serving in Costa Rica. I loved missions. I loved the hope I was able to give to those who were hopeless. I love being able to see how the love of the Father wrecked people’s lives and completely transformed them. I knew this was what I had to do and I wanted to do it!
A year later I enrolled in YWAM Louisville’s Discipleship Training School.
A year later I enrolled in YWAM Louisville’s Discipleship Training School. I was taken on one of the sweetest journey’s of my life so far. Yes, there were challenges but the deeper intimacy I experienced with Jesus far outweighed those. I learned what it looks like to not put my identity in people but in a God who cares so deeply and passionately for me. I learned that I belong to Him as my complete, authentic self. I don’t need to put on a show to belong in His arms. I am already there. For the first time in my life, I wasn’t just consumed about what others thought of me but with the fact that I am loved by my best friend, Jesus.