Hailey (name changed for security reasons) says that her entire faith journey is one of her following the next step that God lays before her—and those steps have already taken her to unexpected places.
“God is weaving my life together and it is my job just to listen and follow,” said Hailey. “He truly knows best.”
A recent graduate from Calvin Theological Seminary, Hailey originally believed that she was called into a pastoral position for a congregation in North America. Still, her willingness to keep an open mind about this calling led her to a short ministry opportunity working in Toronto with a Muslim population.
“It was only a few months after that internship that God completely changed the direction I had set myself on,” said Hailey. “He put it on my heart to continue ministry in this new direction [toward Muslims].”
Next, God led Hailey to learn more about Muslim ministry in a different context—the Middle East. She traveled along with other members of a Resonate Global Mission (then Christian Reformed World Missions) volunteer team in 2013, where she gained a new understanding of the conflict in the Holy Land. This was Hailey’s first introduction to the Middle East.
Again, God changed her direction of ministry.
[The trip] completely ripped my world apart, challenging everything I believed,” Hailey says.
Hailey spent her next years at seminary piecing back together her beliefs and worldview, while also discerning her calling for ministry. When it came time to choose her summer-long pastoral internship, she knew that she wanted to explore an opportunity overseas.
Ultimately, Hailey returned to the Middle East, this time in a different region, as a seminary intern with Resonate. During this time, she led Bible studies, preached, and spent time in fellowship with two English-speaking congregations while also spending a lot of her time with an Arabic-speaking church.
Seeing how God could use her further in this context, Hailey realized that she was being called to serve longer in the Middle East after her final year of seminary. Although her initial plans to serve as a youth pastor fell through—yet another opportunity to trust God’s calling for her, she says—she is serving in the greater Toronto area while awaiting another position in the Middle East.
“This time has been one of rejuvenation and preparation,” says Hailey. “I believe that this work in Toronto is a reaffirmation of my call and a great opportunity to grow prior to entering the mission field.”