I have felt the call to foreign missions since sometime in 2003. That year I moved to Seattle and investigated what service abroad might look like. After sitting down with a missions counselor from a local organization I realized a very simple truth: I was entirely unprepared to be a missionary. At that time I had only the roughest and most basic outline in mind of the Christian faith. Although I might have been able to lend a hand in the field, I wouldn't have been the kind of resource for ministry that I wanted to be. I decided to put missions on the shelf.
Over the next few years I pursued a deeper knowledge of our faith. I became a member of All Saints Church and participated in Christian groups and book studies. I found that I was always asking the same three people my deepest questions about our God; two of those three were Fuller Northwest graduates. I enrolled at Fuller in the Fall of 2009 in the hopes that I might one day be a resource for others; that I could walk beside others in the same way that my mentors had walked beside me. In April of 2012, I began living an answer to my call to missions.
The classes I took while earning my MAT at Fuller were excellent preparation for my service in Eastern Europe. It should have been no surprise that even some of my electives turned out to be extremely useful. I had taken a course on preaching and sermon preparation and God honored those efforts in the field. When my Albanian pastor asked me to fill in for him while his wife was in the hospital, I had the tools to perform, and it was a time of great blessing. Fuller's multi-denominational approach to theological studies gave me a grounding in the many facets of our Faith; a greater appreciation for how the Body is able to express its answer to God's salvific call.
Follow Joshua Hughes on his blog: www.albaniacalling.com to see and hear more about what God is doing in his life.