by Hanna Schulz
My journey to Georgetown, Texas has been made up of many small moments that were, at the time unknowingly, leading me toward this path. Andy and Erin Comer have always been a big part of my life, starting out as my youth pastor and moving to lead pastor at Davis Street Baptist Church. These were also the years where, through a couple of overseas mission trip experiences, the Lord began showing me that missions is a huge passion I have in my heart. As I went on to college at Ouachita Baptist University, I began digging deeper into my faith and discovering what it truly means to be a follower of Christ, and understanding the necessity and joy it is in being a part of a community of believers.
I remember receiving distraught messages from my sisters that “Andy’s leaving!!!” This was such a weird time. Even though I had transitioned into my church at college, Davis Street Baptist Church was still my home, and Andy had been a part of that home for the most pivotal points of my life. However, when I heard about his vision and heart for the people of Georgetown, Texas, I was extremely excited for him. The first time he talked about needing a team to be a part, I thought, “I could totally be a part of that.” But, my heart had always been to go overseas after I graduated, and I was pretty dead-set on that. (So I thought).
I spent the semester of Fall 2016 overseas in Central Asia in a 99% Islamic country. It showed me so many new things about who Jesus is, who I am in Him, and His cry for those who are lost. My eyes were opened and my heart was burdened in realizing that a huge part of this world doesn’t actually know Jesus in His full truth. During this time, I read a couple of books about church planting and the desperate need for the church. I knew that God was putting church planting on my heart and I said “Yep, this is what I need to do with my life.” I felt pretty confident in that, but I wasn’t sure what exactly that looked like. While I was there, Georgetown was always in the back of my mind. When I felt this call to plant churches, I felt a strong urge to pray specifically about joining the Georgetown team. Even as I prayed over it, I knew in my heart why the burden was there.
When I got back to the States in December, I realized the future of post-college life was no longer a distant place, but it was actually happening in five months. While in Central Asia, one of my local friends made a comment that stuck with me: “Nobody really lives like they’re a Muslim. We’re Muslims because we’re [Central Asian], just like you’re Christian because you’re from America. We’re the same.” Wow. So many things unfolded while overseas that made me see the need in America; the need for my own neighbors to seek Christ wholeheartedly, and to receive true and genuine fellowship among other believers.
I’m taking a Perspectives class this semester, which teaches about the different aspects of missions, God’s work among the nations, and what we can/should be doing as God’s people. A couple of weeks ago, they were sharing the harsh statistics of unreached people groups among the world, represented by red dots on a map. Over half of the map was covered in red dots and I pleaded, “Lord, what can I even do?” And The Lord said, “Start here. My people are among you.” Duh. Even before this moment, I had already began speaking to Andy about coming to Georgetown, but there was still a part of me holding on to the thoughts of going overseas. This moment was very affirming, and I realized my desire for my own people to know Jesus and truly seek after him.
The Lord says, “You will be my witnesses in Jerusalem and in all Judea and Samaria, and to the ends of the earth (Acts 1.8).” I had been so focused on “the ends of the earth,” that I missed my very own Jerusalem and Judea and Samaria, which is exactly where The Lord wants me to be. Big things are coming to Georgetown, Texas, and I’m excited, humbled, and grateful to even get to be a part!
Thanks, Hanna! I guess I am sort of understanding a little bit better (now) some of the changes that have occurred in these past few years. I could have SWORN that you were going to end up as a missionary in a foreign country… but now I understand more about what is being revealed to you. I love you and appreciate your willingness GO FOR IT. And I also know that you need to GET A JOB. That is, a PAYING JOB. So I will be very happy when THAT happens too! 🙂 🙂 🙂