My Family

My Family

Tuesday, 11 May 2010

What Lies Ahead....


Buenas Tardes Amigos! I am writing this blog update to share with you what has been happening in my life and what is to come. As most of you know I have been in Oaxaca for the last 7 months of so studying missions. This was the most incredible experience of my life which I am so very grateful for. Through this experience God fueled my passion for missions and reaffirmed to me that this is my calling. In Ephesians 4, it tells us to walk in a manner worthy of the calling to which you have been called. I have been called to a life of missions, and I cannot imagine doing anything else.
This leads me to WHAT is next for Ashley Ballard. God has laid it on my heart to go on staff as a full time missionary with Global Frontier Missions (the same organization I have been with in Mexico). Our vision is for the unreached people groups of the world. There are still 1.4 billion people in this world who have never heard the gospel of Jesus Christ. Our desire to see these people come to the knowledge of the saving grace of Jesus. However the majority of these peoples are located in the 10/40 window. The 10/40 window stretches from North Africa to Eastern Asia (China) and is very hostile to the gospel.
This leads me to WHERE I am going, Houston, Texas. This may sound crazy at first, but let me give you some facts on the Houston area. Houston is one of the most diverse cities in the world. It has over 315 people groups represented with over 215 languages spoken. There are 120, 000 Hindus, 100 Muslim mosques and several Buddhists there. It has the highest population of Nigerians in the United States. Houston is home to thousands of refugees from countries such as Bhutan and Burma.
Our vision to reach immigrants and refugees with the gospel of Jesus CHrist in the Houston area. Many of these people will return to their countries at some point. It is much easier for them to take the gospel back to their native peoples than it is for an American missionary. We are excited about this gift that the Lord has given us and do not plan to take it for granted.
We will also be holding our Missionary Training School beginning in August. Houston is a great training ground for those that have a call to reach the unreached in the 10/40 window.
My role will be using English as a Second Language as a tool for ministering to immigrants and refugees. ESL is a great way to establish relationships and get involved in the international community.
I am fully responsible for raising100% of my support while serving with GFM. It will be a full time missionary position. Please pray about partnering with me in fulfilling the great commission and supporting me financially. I am looking for people who can support on a monthly basis. I believe our God is faith and will provide as He guides. Please pray for my financial needs to be met. I will leave on July 1 for Houston.
If you are interested in supporting me or getting together to talk more about my ministry, please feel free to email me at ashleyeballard@gmail.com or call me @ 309-242-0114.
Thank you and God Bless!

Tuesday, 4 May 2010

Jesus is coming! How does that make you feel?

Last night a friend of mine brought up how she felt selfish but she truly didn't want Jesus to return. She wanted to live her life, get married, have kids, and grow old before she went to Heaven. The idea of Christ returning invoked emotions of fear and anxiety more so than comfort or excitement. Her honesty surprised me at first, but then I realized how common this way of thinking is for the majority of Christians in America. I know I grew up with this same attitude. Why is this true? I pondered this for awhile and this is what I came up with.
The majority of American Christians live comfortable unsacrificial lives. We love the luxury and easyness that comes along with our faith. I believe that many Americans view their Christianity as more of a fire insurance. It really is only good for them as a "get out of Hell free card". They may live the traditional Christian life and take the family to church on Sunday, but their faith is pretty much on reserve for when they die or to some as just a moral code to live by. If we were truly IN LOVE with our God for who HE is instead of what he offers, i believe our perspectives would change.

It was interesting that she brought this up as I am in the middle of my Bridegroom fast. The purpose of this fast is gain a deeper longing and mourning for the Lord to return. It is based off Mark 2:19-20, Rev 19:7-8 and 22:17. In these verses the Church, the bride of Christ which is us, is readying herself and saying "Come Jesus". I realized a few months back, how that was not the cry of my heart. Since then I am continuously asking myself if I am yearning for the return of my Savior. 2 Peter 3:11-18 talks about waiting for and "hastening" the coming of the day of God. Imagine waiting for your wedding day. It can't come any sooner. You dream about and pray for it to come quickly. What would happen if thats how we viewed the return of our Bridegroom and the Marriage Supper of the Lamb?

So what does your Christianity really mean to you? Is it a crutch to lean upon in desperate times? Is it a fire insurance? Is it a religious tradition that you just practice? Is it a moral code to live by? OR is it a deep, intimate, passionate, consuming, nothing else matters, He is all I want, ALL I need, LOVESICK relationship between you and your Bridegroom, your beloved Savior?
Regardless of how you view it, JESUS is coming back. Its going to happen. As Misty Edwards would say, I can hear the rhythym of the LION OF THE TRIBE JUDAH! People get ready, Jesus is coming!