MEET HANNAH MCLELLAND: committing to full-time ministry has shown her the undeniable love of Christ.
How did the Lord call you to be a missionary?
I was sure of my call to the mission field in November of 2016 while on the ground in a rural community about an hour outside of Tegucigalpa, Honduras. I was leaving the house of a national, a lady named Paula, who makes the BEST coffee in the world. One of my sorority sisters, Racheal, was a permanent missionary there. This was my fourth short-term mission trip, and the Lord solidified my calling there. Through the unimaginable faith that Paula displayed in Jesus, though she has hardly any worldly possessions and lives on a dirt floor, I heard the still-small voice of Jesus louder than I ever have before. And I knew that I couldn’t wait to be obedient to His call.
What was one fear you had when saying yes to your calling, and how did the Lord help you overcome it?
I think that I was most afraid of the fundraising. My association requires each missionary to raise 100% of their support. Looking at numbers on a page, it seemed unattainable. BUT GOD, who is rich in mercy, carved streams out of the desert to make a way for me and only FOUR MONTHS after I was released to fundraise, I am fully-funded!
What are some ways your friends, family, and church have loved you well and supported you as you pursue a life of missions?
I was constantly reassured of my calling from those who heard me speak at churches. However, the ladies of my sending church were the ones that ushered me into exploring this calling and equipping me for it. 99% of what I know about tangibly walking with Jesus in the mundane, everyday life is accredited to them. They took me alongside them, shared struggles and wisdom with me, and are actively supporting me while on the field (both financially and prayerfully). Also, at my send-off party, everyone that came also brought me a hand-written letter for me to read on days when mission life is hard. After all, scripture tells us that “we will overcome by the Blood of the Lamb and the word of our testimony” Revelation 12:11.
Furthermore, I count myself extremely blessed that I’ve made such good relationships with people that have been missionaries or are still active on the field. Their stories of spiritual warfare, burnout, and the depth of dependence on Jesus have better prepared me for the “true life” of a missionary and helped to remove the “glorified life” that so many people think missionaries lead.
What did you learn through fundraising?
That JESUS IS WILD! The crazy, unbelievable things that happened in the four months of fundraising will forever be evidence of His love for me. I have heard that “if He calls you to it, He’ll carry you through it”. And now I fully believe it, because He did it for me and continues to do it for me every single day.
What’s one thing you wish everyone knew about life as a missionary?
Following His plan for your life often requires you to do things that make you uncomfortable. HOWEVER, the life He has planned for His children is so much better than anything we could come up with on our own! Who am I that Jesus would ask me to come on this adventure with Him?
Truthfully, evangelism STILL makes me nervous. I have days when I don’t pray and I don’t read my Bible. I still struggle to give Him parts of my heart. Bottom line: I don’t have it all together. My walk with Jesus isn’t some super-holy experience. YET HE LOVES ME despite my resistance to Him. He loved me when I wondered if moving to another country was equivalent with abandoning my family. He loved me despite of my doubt and loves me when I continue to doubt Him. So, here’s the thing: I have learned (and am still learning) that Jesus’ saving power doesn’t just stop at salvation. Quite contrary, He saves us from addiction, self-hate, abandonment, and continual doubt if only will we let Him. And friend, He is always worth it.