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  • Amy Mitchell

A Portion of Humility

I'll never forget driving down a rural Texas road in June of 2017, 33 weeks pregnant with my fifth baby. My husband was on a 20-hour flight to Rwanda and I was talking to Emily, sharing my nerves about how far away he would be. She listened, prayed, and reassured me that it was normal to be nervous, and asked if I wanted to hear something that would take my mind off it. They were moving. TO RWANDA. Well, it took my mind off of missing David, and almost immediately, (well, after I got over her moving halfway across the world) because of my love for my friend, I was in. Ready to support, ready to go, ready to pray, ready to give. Just ready to be a part of their new adventure.

Over the years my reasons to pray, give, and go have grown, shifted, and changed. My commitment to The Roots Network began with a love for my friends and what God had called them to do but, as I've watched closely their time in Kigali, it's grown with a deeper understanding of their mission to start, strengthen, and serve.


In 2021 I began serving as the TRN Missionary Care Coordinator. Care packages, prayer updates, reminders to rest, and more fall under my job description. In February I had the opportunity to lead a trip to Rwanda with my second daughter and two of my favorite spiritual directors from Hope Road, a counseling center in Longview, TX. Our mission was to host a missionary care group for six different women missionaries from several organizations in Kigali with the goal of caring for their hearts and souls.


If you've been around Emily Koelling for any length of time, you know she loves her people BIG. I've often listened over the years as she shared her gratitude for the care they are shown as missionaries and her desire to give that opportunity to others. We sat in her living room for three days as Sonya and Joanie (the spiritual directors) challenged the women to engage with their own stories so they could walk more deeply with the Lord and continue to pour their lives out to others.

That week we also had the privilege of visiting a village called Musenyi. I had the honor of listening to the village leaders tell their stories of heartache and redemption, and how they first heard the Gospel. They shared how this good news has changed their lives and is rewriting their community’s story. I was asked to share my story of how I came to know Jesus. It is a much different story of a girl who grew up in a church and who hasn't faced the abuse and hardship that comes with the lives of these villagers but is a broken sinner in need of a Savior. 

On our ride home, as I processed, I asked Johnny (TRN Field Coordinator) all my questions. Did my story even make sense to them? He said, "I was so glad you shared about knowing Jesus as a child. They are learning about the value of teaching their children. You were someone who met Jesus as a child and are still following Him. That's so important". My mixed feelings settled into thankfulness. Thankful when He chooses to use us to encourage and grateful when He allows us to see the bigger picture. 


In 2019 short-term goers from Longview had visited this same village where they knocked on doors, shared the Gospel, and returned home. Johnny and Francine then invested countless hours into strengthening and serving this community. I brought a healthy helping of skepticism to the table as I asked questions about short-term missions to villages. Are they even needed? We just share and leave? Johnny gently answered, "Yes, the discipleship is so important, but maybe what you do not know is how important it is for those trips to happen. Doors are opened when others come that we could not open without you." Oof. My skepticism was returned to me as a more significant, and needed, portion of humility. What a gift that even on the village roads of Rwanda, Jesus is still coming after my heart.  


That day left me thankful that TRN is willing to walk alongside those they minister to slowly, not pushing an agenda. They don't just pop in and leave but facilitate ongoing discipleship and make time for those of us who live across the world to come alongside and participate in the work God is doing. 

As Missionary Care Coordinator, I often suggest ways to care for the Koellings. Today, I recommend going! Sign up for a trip. Take your children if you can! Then, hold your trip plans with open hands. I thought my trip was mainly about the missionary care conference in the Koelling's living room, and it was, but it was about so much more. Let your heart be softened by seeing with your own eyes the work being done by missionaries you care for and experience the struggles they face firsthand. It will be a gift to them, but I'm confident it will also be for you.

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