The Sending of a Dear Friend and Partner in the Gospel
"For by grace you have been saved through faith. And this is not your own doing; it is the gift of God, not a result of works, so that no one may boast. For we are his workmanship, created in Christ Jesus for good works, which God prepared beforehand, that we should walk in them." -Ephesians 2:8-10
The week of Heidi Ansiel’s departure for Slovenia has arrived after months of preparation and support raising. I was inclined to write this post from the perspective of a friend, but as I began I was struck by how many different roles she has played in our life as a church. First and foremost, her role as daughter and sister in the Ansiel family--as well as Aunt to her nieces in Ohio. Her job at Grace Church with the office staff as Communications Assistant. Her relationship to the Junior High and High School students as a youth leader with Renew. Her friendships in the Kerdos ministry. And I’m sure there are many other ways she has been a loved member of our church family that I haven’t mentioned here. In each of these areas we have observed and been impacted by Heidi’s love for the Lord, His people, and His call to Gospel ministry. It has been a blessing to watch how this call has not been limited to just one area of her life. Praise be to our God and Father, who does not limit Himself to transforming one small portion of our lives, but calls us to a whole-personed worship and service to Him! And praise God for the opportunity we have had to witness this in the life of Heidi.
As she writes in her latest update, it has not been easy preparing to move away for six months--leaving home, church, job, and friends. “It's been a whirlwind of: reflecting on God's goodness here in Warrenville for the past 4 years, seeking him to finish out this season of ministry and work strong, learning how to say goodbye, fighting and surrendering and receiving his forgiveness and grace, while also looking forward to and anticipating the goodness I'll be stepping into over in Slovenia with Josiah Venture and the local church there.”
The Global Outreach team encourage you to be in prayer for Heidi as she flew out today, on May 15th. She will be living in Celje (sell-yay) with Gwynne--her JV Communications Team Leader. They have already skyped several times and are very excited to finally be living and serving together in Slovenia. About two weeks after Heidi’s arrival she will take part in Intern Training with other Josiah Venture interns and her teammates on the Communications Team.
Heidi’s role is twofold:
She will be serving in the local church in the city of Celje to disciple youth and equip them to fulfill the great commission (especially through Fusion). Please be in prayer for these students and their hearts.
She will also be working on a communications team to support their work of inviting students in the community to evangelistic outreach camps (Fusion music and English camps) so students can be invited to respond to the gospel.
There are so many things we could be praying for Heidi as she sets out on this new assignment from the Lord. But she had two specific ways that she asked for prayer in her newsletter. She asked that we would pray Psalm 86:11 for herself, our church, and our Slovene brothers and sisters. She also asked that we would pray the themes of Philippians 1 & 2 which she has summarized below.
"May the Lord grant us one mind and heart as we strive side by side for the faith of the gospel. May he grant to us the same love, the same mind, full accordance with one another, and one heart in our citizenship under King Jesus who is living and active among us to rule and reign forever and ever, amen."