Amelia Beaumont is a former Stepper, who now serves as a Mobiliser, in South West England.
Growing up, I used to read stories about missionaries – people like Gladys Aylward and Amy Carmichael – who went on to change nations because they followed God’s call on their lives, and as a 10-year-old I saw myself going on to do something just like that. I would get my own calling and, through me, God would change the world. I certainly received the calling, but not one bit of it looked as 10-year-old me expected it to.
When we started our Step placement, I for one did not expect to be forming any lasting relationships with anyone outside of our Step team. My task-orientated brain thought of it as ‘doing a job’, perhaps not as cut and dry as that, but that’s the gist.
“Instead, what I found was family.”
I was genuinely amazed at how much the churches we worked with in Peru and in Bolivia wanted to serve us because we were family. We received meals, invitations into people’s homes, free transport, accommodation, all of which was given with so much joy. We were only at each of our projects for seven weeks, but during that time we were fully embraced by these communities.
It was a long way away from what I had imagined mission to be like, and what God has really shown me over the last few years is that the heart of mission is relationship, firstly with Him, and then with others.
“The Bible makes it clear that human beings are meant to be in community with one another, and going on mission doesn’t change that.”
Since coming back, however, I have realised that this community-centred outlook doesn’t stop mission from being a global thing. In fact, the two concepts work in tandem with one another. Recently, I ran a Spanish Worship Night and for the prayer time, I went
through the Latin Link website and put together prayer points for Striders and Stay members across Latin America and the UK. Reading about the work of each of these people was so inspiring, not just because of their fantastic ministries, but the way in which each of them love their local communities so much and serve them wholeheartedly, even in some pretty difficult circumstances.
“God is using this incredible intercontinental collective of community-focused people to reach people for his glory, and to be called into that is a privilege we all receive in our individual ways.”
Whether He sends you to a remote Colombian village for the next two years or to your own community at home for the next 40, God has a part for each of us to play in His global mission, we just have to be available Amelia and her Step team to Him with open minds and open hearts.