Hello! My name is Makenna King. I was born and raised in a Christian home, and I was heavily involved in the church and ministry for a very long time. I have been going on weeklong mission trips since my adolescents, however, when I went on an eight-month mission trip to Guatemala with an organization called Global Year, I realized that I had a passion for missions. After my initial experience on the mission field with Global Year, I thought I would transition back to life in the states, but God had other plans. The Lord made it clear to me that it was His plan to keep me on the mission field for the time being, and this led me to my second eight-month mission trip to Guatemala with Global Year, this time as a missions intern. It was during that season that I realized that the Lord was calling me to missions full time!
Although I grew up in a church environment that said I should have an intimate relationship with Jesus, that intimacy was not modeled for me nor explained. I struggled for the better part of my teenage years because I thought that my relationship with the Lord was based on the emotions that I felt in the moment. If I didn’t feel “close” with Him in each moment then I was a “bad Christian.” It wasn’t until my first trip to Guatemala that I was taught that to be closer to God isn’t reliant on an emotion, but in the way that I abide in the Lord day to day. With the help of my directors in Global Year, I learned that a lot of my struggles were rooted in the fact that I desperately craved the acceptance of others in an unhealthy way. I had never realized before that I was going to people to try to fill this need of acceptance, and in this time, I was shown that I don’t need to look to people to fill this need. The Father already accepts me, and there isn’t anything that I have to do to earn it. Learning this lesson was incredibly uncomfortable and scary because I had to be honest with myself about my struggles before I could seek any kind of change. Now, because I was honest with myself and I sought a deeper intimacy with the Father, I know my identity in the Lord. I know that I am accepted and loved and that I’m a new creation. I also know that I’m an ambassador for Christ and that I’ve been entrusted with the ministry of reconciliation.
Because of my breakthroughs in my first year of missions, I was able to develop a stronger sense of compassion for people and the struggles that they walk through day to day. I experienced this not only with the people I was discipling in our ministry, but also with the students I was leading. Whereas before, I always kept to myself and didn’t enjoy branching out and getting to know people for who they are, I now am passionate about walking alongside others and helping them walk through the door towards intimacy with the Lord and helping them experience the same freedom that now have in the Father.
Now, I am excited that God has opened the door for me to return to Guatemala yet again! I will be working closely with Global Year and their directors to serve the local community in San Antonio Aguas Calientes by sharing the gospel and the loveof Jesus with the people who live there through intentional discipleship groups. I will do this in the hope of being able to disciple new believers in the community and help teach them the same things that the Lord has taught me, along with the importance of sharing the gospel until there is no place left unreached by the hope of Jesus.