Two Sundays ago, May 6th, The Church at Brook Hills introduced, prayed for and sent out 35 members of our faith family to spend 2 months to 2 years of their life serving around the world. Last week we began to introduce you to these Mid-Termers and show you ways to pray for them as they prepare to leave. We want to continue this process of introduction and encourage you to commit to praying for these individuals this summer.
COURTNEY – Zimbabwe
Courtney Dunkerly is a native of Hubbard, OH but moved down south with her family a few years ago. She is currently finishing up her third year at The University of Alabama in Birmingham where she is studying psychology with the hopes of serving special needs children after graduation. Courtney volunteers at an intervention program for children with special needs. Courtney has been a member at The Church at Brook Hills for almost two years and started thinking about going Mid-Term after hearing Katie Davis speak at Brook Hills about her experiences caring for children in Uganda. “I just remember thinking how wonderful it would be to pour into a child’s life that has experienced so much pain and loss in the world”, said Courtney. Through prayer and encouragement from the Brook Hills’ global team, Courtney decided to take an opportunity this summer to serve in Zimbabwe. It has been exciting for Courtney to learn how to trust in the Lord and see His perfect plan develop through her obedience. “I definitely don’t have any idea of what is going to happen next and it’s humbling to know that I am not in control of any of this”, says Courtney of her experience. Courtney has had experience on short-term trips but has always desired the opportunity to stay for extended periods of time. This summer she will have that opportunity while she serves elementary and middle school age children living in an orphanage. Her main role will be to tutor the children for school and engage them with Bible stories so they can hear about Christ. Courtney says, “I am most looking forward to investing in a new culture and forming relationships with the children at the orphanage and teaching them about God and His Word”. Courtney will leave at the beginning of June and serve for 2 months in Zimbabwe.
Courtney enjoys being outside, being active and playing Frisbee or any other sport for that matter. She also loves hiking and mountain biking.
Ways to Pray for Courtney:
- Pray for Courtney’s family as they are fearful of the unknown. Pray that they would trust in Christ with their lives as well as His calling on Courtney’s life to go and serve.
- Pray for God to unify Courtney and her teammate while they serve together on the field. Pray for God to give wisdom in how best to minister to the children’s needs.
- Pray for the children and people at the orphanage Courtney will interact with daily. Pray for God to open their hearts and for opportunities to share the gospel.
BRITTANY – West Africa
Brittany Yates grew up in Birmingham, Alabama and is currently in her last semester of school at the University of Montevallo. Brittany has been a member at The Church at Brook Hills since 2006 and since that time has been encouraged and challenged to think through the command to make disciples and how the Lord is calling her to do this. Brittany spent last summer living in another context, building relationship and in awe of the way God was working among a people who had never heard of Christ. “That summer challenged the way I prayed, my dependence on the Lord and the way I served people”, says Brittany. Through experiences in Short-Term mission trips, her time last summer in Honduras and her upcoming summer in West Africa, Brittany is seriously exploring the calling God has placed on her life to go Long-Term. These experiences are helping expose Brittany to people groups around the world who have never heard the gospel and give her opportunities to see where God may be calling her full time. Brittany will be spending the summer among an unreached people group. She and her other teammates will be living in a village among the Housa people group. The terrain is very difficult and life is not easy in the village. When asked what she fears the most about her trip, Brittany answered, “I am most fearful about the physical effects of living in the village. But I can’t imagine sharing the gospel any other way than by living among the people, getting to know their lives and gaining respect and trust to share about Christ”. Brittany will leave the last week in May and serve in West Africa for 2 months.
Brittany enjoys reading a good book, learning about different cultures, spending time with her niece and doing something adventurous every once in awhile.
Ways to Pray for Brittany:
- Pray for her family back home who do not believe in Christ to see her life as an example of the gospel. Specifically pray for her ailing grandparents to be comforted by God’s promises while she is away.
- Pray for God to give Brittany opportunities to build friendships with the women she is living among. Pray for Brittany to see ways to really serve their needs and have opportunities to share the gospel.
- Pray for Brittany and her team to be unified with one purpose to serve others and see God’s name glorified among the Housa people.
ELISA – West Africa
Elisa Coker is a sophomore at Jeff State in Birmingham, Alabama. She is currently working towards her undergrad in English/ Language Arts with an ultimate goal in teaching English as a second language on the mission field. Elisa has been a member at The Church at Brook Hills since 2007 and serves as the children’s leader with Brook Hills’ partner church Divine Faith Missionary Baptist Church in Gate City. Elisa starting thinking about serving overseas a few years ago while praying through Matthew 9:38 and Isaiah 6:8 while leading a vacation bible school in inner city Birmingham at her apartment complex. At the time she had no idea what that might look like but that she was willing to go and participate in sharing the gospel to those who had never heard. After experiencing some challenges, God provided an opportunity to go Mid-Term. This summer, Elisa will be serving with a team living in mud huts in a West African village. According to the Joshua Project, Elisa will be serving in area that is home to 37 different people groups with 0.1% Evangelical Christians (Joshua Project). She and her team will be serving among the Hausa people. The Hausa number more than 20 million and is the largest ethnic people group in West Africa. Most Hausa live below the poverty line and have little to no access to the gospel. There has not been much work from missionaries among because of the difficult terrain and extreme climate conditions (Operation World). Elisa and her teammates will have an opportunity to live the life of a Hausa, learn their language and culture, and engage them with the gospel with recorded audio bible stories. “I am so thankful that God has included me to serve among a group of people where hopefully one day God’s name will be glorified among this people group”, said Elisa. Elisa and her teammates will leave at the beginning of June to serve for 2 months among the Hausa.
Ways to Pray for Elisa:
- Pray for God to open the hearts of the Hausa people and for them to be receptive to the Word of God. Pray for many Hausa to see their need for Christ and repent.
- Pray for the field partners and handful of Hausa believers currently serving to be encouraged by Elisa and her team.
- Pray for God to unify Elisa and her teammates as they serve in the midst of culture shock, language barriers and the harsh environment they will be living in.