Called to GO
- What am I doing now?
I am the youngest of 4 children, my sister being 4 years and one
month older than me, with the 2 brother between us.
My family all went to church when I was growing up, But I did not
have a very happy childhood.
I remember wanting to, and allowed to be baptised when I was 5,
after professing to be saved at around 4,
but I don’t remember this profession.
My Mum walked away from the church when I was around 6 or so, I
never knew why,
but my Dad continued faithfully taking us for as long as we wanted
After Mum walked away from the church, I suffered emotional neglect.
We all lived together but we never talked, rarely argued, my parents
were there but emotionally absent.
I was on my own. I did not know it the, but at this time, a cloud
anger and helplessness was settling over our house. It still amazes
me to learn all that was happening in my family
at this time of my life… but that’s not my story to
In primary school I was never popular, rarely having more than one
ore two friends,
but extreme bullying occurred in grade 5 and 6.
At age 12, I remember coming home from church and not knowing if
I was saved or not,
climbed on my bed, and said to God, “if I’m not saved,
save me now, I know you’re real and that you
died for me. Please save me!” Peace washed over me. I’ve
never doubted my salvation again.
My God and His salvation are forever. (Romans 8:35-39)
Again in high school I received bullying in year 7 and 8, I was
extremely unpopular and awkward,
and I really struggled in my studies. Through yr 9 – 11 this
tapered off and I gained a group of good friends that
encouraged me to do well in my schooling and built my confidence
in myself and my abilities.
At home my life was turbulent; two of my siblings were into the
three majors… alcohol, drugs, and sex.
They both moved in and out of the home on a regular basis, both
arguing with everyone else…
I never really saw any resolutions.
My Mum moved out when I was 15 saying that she loved Dad but wasn’t
in love with him.
I was crushed and devastated, but not surprised.
Life calmed down now for about half a year. It was just Dad and
sibling #3 and me at home.
We got along well, I felt safe at home, I read my bible often, I
talked with God all the time and my studies
were going well for the first time ever. I was happy. It was late
in these 6 mths that
Mum called one night to tell us that she was gay. I was a mess.
No one at Church or school could ever find out!! I hid my life from
the world. I wore a mask.
Then my eldest brother moved back in, and life was extremely difficult
He was heavily into drugs, and sold them from our back yard.
Verbally, he could (and did) crush me,and physical violence was
a real threat. I was dieing on the inside and contemplated suicide
often, I had to leave.
In the summer between year 11 and 12 God heard my cries, and made
a way for me to move to Ballarat,
Where I was discipled and baptised. I completed my final year of
high school and then
spent a year working in fast food…that was all I was good
2. Career paths
In 2001 I was eighteen, and God had already been tugging at my heart
for some time.
I knew that I would never be content with a normal life, with church
on Sundays and work all week.
I knew that God would require more of me and I was happy to give
but I wasn’t sure in what direction God was going to take
After a long time of soul searching, I was reading a page from “our
daily bread” called “the value of a child”
the verse was Mark 9:37. Whoever receives one of these little
children in My name receives Me.
And I heard God speaking to my heart “That’s it Jenny,
That’s what I want you to do.”
The next year I began my studies at TAFE toward a certificate three
in Children’s services,
which I completed three years later.
During that time I worked as a Live in Nanny to a boy with Autism,
and later as a relief worker in several day care groups. After my
was complete God moved me to nanny work for the next two years,
where I was also given the opportunity to work with some children
the South Australian Foster Care System. (A very rewarding and challenging
The work of a Nanny is rewarding but financially limiting. So I
look into ways I could balance my passion for working with children
with financial stability, my church ministries, and my desire to
go on a mission trip.
This led me to study in Business Administration, for which it turned
out I had quite a knack.
And so I entered the period of my life I call…“crazy
I worked as a Nanny, most days, then at McDonalds (for stability)
three nights a week, and the other nights I spent at TAFE. I loved
administration studies, and couldn’t wait to get into the
field. And it seemed
that God was keen on it too. Around about the
same time that I felt God calling me back to Melbourne, all my nanny
work dried up,
and people who were offering me administration roles just months
were now saying there was no work.
Within a week of beginning my search for work in Melbourne, after
of searching in Adelaide, a potential employee offered to fly me
for a one week trial. During this time I interviewed at ANZ, and
at the end of the
week was offered both jobs. I started with ANZ two months later,
in early 2007.
I am viewed by the management at ANZ as a useful and reliable senior
member of staff.
This full-time permanent work with ANZ, allowed me to embark on
ever elusive mission trip that I had always wanted.
3. Spiritual Development
God has always had His hand on my life, for which I am so thankful.
Though I don’t always understand His ways or timing, I know
he is good, and he has a plan,
and he is faithful to complete it for the willing heart.
From the time I was in year nine, till almost the end of year twelve,
I was convinced that God wanted me to go to Bible College after
Then at the end of year twelve, my pastor decided that I shouldn’t
I was devastated. I don’t know why for sure, God has never
told me, but
I was obedient (crucial for that church), and I still believe that
the obedient. I continued to be faithful to church and my ministries
to the children of the church.
When I moved to Adelaide in 2002, I saw God’s faithfulness
me his ways, and growing my faith in him. In my five years there
able to learn under amazing men and women of God, and I made a
real family for myself there. There were many struggles too, including
several times of extended unemployment, with it was periods of not
having enough food on a daily basis, and homelessness.
(Though God always provided a roof over my head and a bed to sleep
in. He is my faithful provider.)
I thrived in the church at Aldinga Bay and undertook several ministries;
Sunday school, Youth group, Music ministries (singing and audio
control) and one blessed home group.
All the while being lovingly and patiently guided into a deeper
relationship with our Father.
As well as this I joined Shine Choir. This vibrant God loving and
group of young people really fostered my passion for singing praise
and leading others to worship Him. Also Shine fostered my professionalism
in ministry and the desire to give my all in every service opportunity
God gave me.
I learned about planning a worship service and ministry trips, and
showing the grace of God to hungry souls.
After God so clearly led me back to Melbourne I immediately began
searching for a church where I could be active, and get good teaching,
and that would foster my desire to invest in a mission trip. Suburban
a hard choice. The first 2 months of sermons met me right at my
need and I knew God was there. Once I was settled I began looking
opportunities for a mission trip, and finding none, in early 2008
I began saving and planning my own.
4. Experience 2009
As I planned my mission trip, I asked every missionary I could find
the same question
“So, how did God show you where He wanted you to go?”
answers came back as many and varied as the people themselves.
So I learned that God will use many ways to have His will known,
and no one way was better or more right than the other. This is
how God chose to show me.
I had to first define what I wanted to do? What did I want to achieve?
What was the best way I could help? And of course I needed to decide
where to go.
When I shared with a wise friend my dilemma over where to go
he said this “just choose, step out in faith that God will
and if you’re headed in the wrong direction, He’s in
control, He’ll get you on the right path.”
So I made some simple decisions. Africa, Orphans, to simply show
God’s love and care to children who have no one to love them.
After making enquiries at several orphanages, I had a response
from one where I thought I could live out my call to serve God
through serving these children. So I began planning my 8 week stay
at Sanyu Babies Home,
in Kampala, Uganda.
As time went by, there were many changes in my
I made the decision to quit my job upon my return to Australia.
Then one day the thought occurred to me, if the only reason I
was limiting my trip, time wise, was because of work, why limit
Why not quit before I go, extend my trip, travel and minister for
long as I can afford, then come home and look for work when I’m
It was a great idea, fully supported by everyone I spoke to, including
He could see that I was unhappy, however he could see that perhaps
for a while it would be beneficial to me to still have a job when
I returned home.
He put in the application for and supported me in gaining a career
This is where ANZ “holds your job” for you for a set
time, then when
you come back you enter at the same level, if not the same position
you left. I felt that I could afford to live and travel for eight
on my savings. So all I needed to find now was…“what
would I do for the extra six months?”
I had no intention of ministering in Asia, but I had already booked
my tickets, and they travelled through Thailand, so I began asking
around for Orphanages I could work in. My sister suggested I go
to work with a family she supports in Thailand, so I contacted them
and filled out all the forms, and I was set for a two month stay
the Schmidt family beginning in April 2009. I was running short
time at this stage before I left for Uganda, so I decided I would
in Thailand after my two months with Baan Jai Dee, and while I
was there I would look around for another place to go after my time
My time in Africa was amazing, the adventure of a life time. I was
able to really get to know how the orphanage worked, the staff
(all Ugandan) and the children were just so precious. The office
would come to me with computer problems, and would often just
want to chat about the children and life in general. They were kind,
and supportive, and would often ask “which child are you taking
my response was always the same “I wish! But Australia won’t
” By the end of my stay I could see that the Children were
and healthy. The management was doing a wonderful job of raising
own support, and actively finding “forever homes” for
Sanyu is a Babies home that was started by a British missionary,
but was now very successfully being run by Ugandans.
As much as I loved them, they did not need me, this is not the place
God was calling me to.
Psalm 27:10 Even if my father and mother
abandon me, the LORD will hold me close.
So I travelled to Thailand in April 2009, to begin my two months
with Baan Jai Dee, in Chiang Mai. After a rocky first few weeks
(Thailand took some getting used to) I settled in nicely, and we
that I could best be used in the office, relieving Sam of some of
many office tasks, and freeing her up a little to spend more time
the children, and on developing the home. As time went on I also
filling in wherever needed, with the children, and household tasks.
I found that I loved my time with the children, and I loved my
time in the office, a perfect balance. I felt completely fulfilled.
Psalm 72:12-14 For he will deliver the needy
who cry out, the afflicted who have no one to help.
He will take pity on the weak and the needy and save the needy from
He will rescue them from oppression and violence,
for precious is their blood in his sight
I was still looking for another orphanage to work with after
Baan Jai Dee, but not getting very far. While this was a little
discouraging, and frustrating, I was confident that God would work
it all out.
One night during one of our many chats Sam said “Allan wants
tell you that you are welcome to come back here any time you want.”
I was flattered, and encouraged. This meant that they were happy
with my work and I was being useful. I praised God, and went
about my work. Another night a few weeks later, again in a late
night chat Sam said “We are really happy with your work, and
would like you to come back one day” and on another night,
be happy to have you stay for as much of your six months as you
can give us” This was agreeable to me, as none of the other
I had enquired at had responded positively. So we made arrangements
for me to stay till mid October. A few months later Sam asked me
“We’d like for you to come back”. I said that
I would have to pray
about that and see what God did. I began to question God about what
life as a missionary would be like, and how could I do it on my
(Husbandless that is). Through sermons and bible readings, and chats
with other missionaries God impressed upon me that he would be
my provider, and comforter, and reminded me of a verse I learned
years before. John 16:32b “… yet I am not alone,
my Father is with me.”
So I slowly made steps in the direction I feel God leading
5. Called to GO
Is 6:8 Then I heard the voice of the Lord
saying, “Whom shall I send? And who will go for us?”
And I said, “Here am I. Send me!”
When I returned to Australia I continued to develop my plan on how
begin service with Baan Jai Dee, and I kept in close contact with
Allan and Sam.
I could see how he had been moulding me my entire life to do this
In consultation with Pastor Tim,
I began searching for a Mission Agency. I spent a considerable
period of time searching for an appropriate Mission Agency that
would be able to partner with to return me to Baan Jai Dee permanently.
Baan Jai Dee is an independently originated group, which now
has a Thai board and is a fully registered Thai, not for profit
In total I contacted around 7 or 8 agencies, and the outcome
was not as positive as I had hoped it would be.
The basics of the problem is twofold:
1. Agencies are saying “we don’t have the recourses
on the ground
to care for a missionary who is not working towards developing our
2. Baan Jai Dee began as an independant project, and is now a registered
not for profit foundation in Thailand,
Agencies do not want to send a missionary to work in a place that
they do not have control over.
What am I doing now?
After many setbacks and prayerfully seeking God's
will over the last three years, an opportunity came across my
path to minister at Sahel Academy in a desperately needed administration
(Sahel Academy is an International Christian school located in Niamey,
Niger Republic, West Africa).
Within five weeks I have been accepted, medically cleared, and appointed
to go through SIM Australia (Serving In Mission).
SIM has requested that I arrive in Niamey before the school term
starts on the eighth of August 2012,
which leaves only ten weeks to prepare.......eeeeek !!!!!
Lord willing, I plan to be working at Sahel for
a minimum of twelve months.
I believe this is an amazing opportunity to serve and learn while
and I can see God flinging the doors wide open as I step out in
He is blessing, comforting and guiding. There is much to be done
in the coming months and years.
So that's me up to date… if you’re the praying type,
please pray that God will provide everything
I need in order to go to Sahel. Pray that God will prepare my heart
to minister to this community
and give me wisdom during this (all so brief) preparation stage.
Pray for my family as they come to terms with their Aunty/Sister/Daughter
living so far away.
My needs are large and the time is short, so if you are the giving
type and you would
like to partner with me as I join Gods work in Niger please go to
the Support Tab above.
Head to the Link Tab to explore more about the amazing work God
is doing in West Africa through Sahel Academy.
If you woud like to be involved
there are soooooo many ways, please contact me for further details.
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