"Come near to God and He will come near to you..." James 4:8
Drawing near to the heart of God brings about an indescribable building of one's own heart in life-changing ways. Austin White would affirm this truth because he has experienced it first-hand.
In January of 2020, two months before COVID -19 invaded every fabric of our world, Austin chose to begin reading the Bible daily. Over the months that followed, Austin began to experience new compassion for people. The reality that there were so many in the world who's destiny was eternal separation from the God who loves them, stirred him to do something about it. He grew passionate about the need to make sure others know that God wants so much to have a relationship with them that He died in their place. Austin didn't think it was enough to write a check to someone who was doing something about this, God's Word was leading him to be that person doing something.
By June of 2020, Austin was looking into ministries that could equip him to effectively share the vital message of the gospel. He discovered Youth With A Mission (YWAM) and began to explore options of where to go for his training. Through a series of circumstances, he decided on Northern Ireland. This was an interesting fingerprint of God because Austin and a friend had planned to go to Ireland before the pandemic's restrictions made that impossible. Now, he would be going to the same place but for very different reasons.
Ventura Missionary Church helped to support Austin's first step of obedience, and off he went to the other side of the world. This particular opportunity wasn't at all what Austin anticipated, but it did end up being exactly what he needed to prepare him for where God was leading him. Throughout the trip, God continued to build Austin's heart and reinforced the call to do something.
Back in Ventura now, Austin is brimming with excitement about the path unfolding ahead of him. He believes his next step is to participate in another training through YWAM, potentially leading him to a more long-term mission to a place where sharing about faith is very limited, and consequently all-the-more needed.
Submitted to the One who steers the path toward what is best, Austin recognizes that what he sees ahead may be adjusted along the way. However, he is ready to take the next step and to get on board wherever his "Pilot" wants to take him. After all, he is learning more and more about the heart of God and knows he can trust Him. And, Austin is grateful that he gets to cooperate with God to show others how to draw near to His transforming love.
Editor's Note: Austin has now been accepted to a next level school through YWAM where he will learn how to reach the unreached with the transforming love of Jesus.
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