My name is Rachel Anderson. I am 22 years old. I have lived the majority of my life in Mora, MN where I am currently living with my parents and 4 of my siblings. I am the oldest, and I have 2 sisters and 3 brothers, one of which is currently away studying at college. I just recently graduated from the University of Wisconsin River Falls with a degree in TESOL (Teaching English to Speakers of Other Languages) and Spanish. I enjoy running, reading, embroidery, crochet, drawing, gardening, and learning languages.
I grew up in a Christian household and was blessed to be introduced to God and the gospel early on in my life by my parents. Church was always important to us, and we made it a point of going and being involved in Sunday school and AWANA. I made the decision to place my trust in Christ when I was around the age of 7. However, I don’t think I truly understood the whole scope of the gospel and what it means for me until I was older. Around the age of 12, I started to make my faith my own and came to a fuller realization of what it means to have a relationship with God. I realized that my life was not my own and I decided to serve God for the rest of my life. I was baptized when I was 14 years old. Since that time, I have sought to know God more through the study of His word, fellowship with other believers, and prayer.
As I entered my senior year of college last fall, I began to really think about the future and what life after college would look like. Missions was always something that was in the back of my mind of something that God was maybe calling me to. Since the first time serving on a missions trip with my church, I felt a desire to continue serving God by loving non-believers and sharing the gospel with them, wherever I am living. Based on my life experiences and the gifts, interests, and abilities God has given me, I felt that long-term cross-cultural missions may be what God is calling me to after college. After a long period of discernment (seeking wise counsel, prayer, fasting, studying God’s word, etc), I knew that God was calling me to missions. Then came the question, “where to?”. I believe God is calling me to be a missionary in Ukraine.
My story with Ukraine starts very early; actually before I was born. My mom was the first person in my family to go to Ukraine. She first went in 1996 to her church’s sister church there. At the time, she was dating my dad. Her experiences in Ukraine sparked an interest in Ukraine in my dad. In 2002 he went to Ukraine for the first time with a team from my home church, and he has been there many times since. My parents both love Ukraine and the Ukrainian people. In 2010, my parents brought me and my brother along with the team from our church. So, at the age of 9, I went to Ukraine for the first time. We did VBS-type camps for the kids there with Bible lessons, games, crafts, and snacks. I loved every second of playing with the kids and making new friends. We all went again as a family in 2011, 2012, and 2013. We stopped sending teams in 2014 when the war started. I also started learning Ukrainian during those years. So, I have been steadily working on that for almost 10 years now, although I have only been studying seriously for about 5 of those years. In 2019, my dad and I went to Ukraine again just to visit our friends there who we hadn’t seen for a very long time.
I believe that from the beginning, God has been preparing me and calling me to be a missionary to Ukraine. From the love for Ukraine that He gave my parents which transferred over to me, to the life experiences with Ukraine I have had, to learning Ukrainian, to various connections I have made with others who have ties in Ukraine, it seems that He has been directing my path towards missions in Ukraine.
Ukraine has an ancient history and culture. Long renowned for its fertile soils, its territory has been the desire of many nations. The Ukrainian people have survived a long, traumatic history. Just in the last 100 years, Ukrainians have had to endure famine, nazi occupation, the oppressive communism of the Soviet regime, political unrest, and multiple wars. Since the collapse of the Soviet Union in 1991, the church in Ukraine has grown as the opportunity for evangelism increased with the religious freedoms that came with independence. Additionally, the collapse of the Soviet Union revealed a Ukrainian society that was searching for truth, which led to a great opportunity for the spread of the gospel. The majority of Ukrainians who consider themselves to be Christians or religious belong to the orthodox church which has historically and traditionally been very influential in Ukraine. However, protestant churches have been growing as well and gaining influence. Now, Ukraine is ripe with potential for evangelism. The war has caused many to think about death and to question the meaning of life. The Ukrainian church has been very active in seeking to meet the needs of people during the war and many Ukrainians are coming to Christ in the midst of war.
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It is no secret that from the very beginning of the church Christians have taken an active role in being missionaries and sending missionaries. Yet not all are called to be missionaries. (we are all called to make disciples)
Being a missionary is a calling, but have you ever considered that sending missionaries is also a calling? So what is your calling are you the missionary or a missionary sender?
All Kontaktmission staff live on support, meaning we believe that God will provide for his mission, through his church.
Please consider joining our sending team by partnering with us in prayer and partnering with us financially.
- That God would continue to prepare me in every way to serve Him well in the ministry He has called me to.
- Peace and protection from doubts and fears
- That I would learn well in the training and schooling ahead of me and be well equipped for serving as a long-term missionary.