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On her two-and-a-half month trip to Ireland during summer 2023, Kelsey’s ministry assignment was pretty open-ended: it was to join meetups and build relationships in hopes of having spiritual conversations. At first, she wished her assignment had more structure, but she was inspired by a quote she heard in a sermon that said, “Sometimes you just need courage over clarity.” That helped her dive right into whatever God had for her each day with a willing heart.
“The cool part about being super lonely in a different country is you just kind of say ‘yes’ to anything and everything,” Kelsey said. “I met this one girl at church who asked me, ‘After this, do you want to go to—?’ and I said, ‘Yeah! You don’t even have to tell me where it is.’”
One of her first memories in Ireland was opening her eyes from a nap to see her roommate’s outstretched hand offering a handshake. Based on how late her roommate stayed out at night, Kelsey didn’t think she was a believer, but she went to church with Kelsey every week. After returning to the States, Kelsey said, “My roommate still seems to be going to church, which is cool, because I was kind of skeptical if she would still go after I left.”
Another life that God impacted through Kelsey was that of Zoran.* Zoran wasn’t a believer, but it seemed like God had been exposing him to Christianity, and certain parts were sticking. As they got to know each other, Kelsey learned that Zoran used to buy bread from a Christian baker just because he enjoyed interacting with the Christian. Zoran also enjoyed discussing Christian philosophy at meetups hosted by Encompass global workers. And he had even read the book of Genesis and loved it!
Zoran seemed to be drawn to Christianity, yet he remained hesitant to embrace it. He would ask Kelsey questions like, “How can the Bible tell us how to live if we develop stem cell research, and we can live 300 years?” The two would go back and forth about Zoran’s skepticism a lot, but one day Kelsey bluntly confronted him and said, “Zoran, I think you’re making a lot of assumptions about a book you haven’t read.” That must have grabbed his attention, because he then admitted, “Yeah, maybe I should read it.”
After returning home to the US, Kelsey learned that Zoran ended up meeting with an Encompass global worker to discuss Christianity and wants to meet with him again. Kelsey said, “I didn’t do anything extravagant, but it’s an honor to water the seed a little bit. Zoran has a lot of growth ahead of him, but I got to sprinkle that day, and it was great.”
We’re so glad Kelsey didn’t let the open-ended structure of her ministry assignment hold her back from making an impact. She stepped out in trusting God, and God rewarded her faithfulness. She said, “I don’t have to know; I just have to say ‘yes’— because that’s what faithfulness is.”
*Name changed for security