A few years ago, on a trip to Thailand with her family, Kendall’s eyes were opened, and her heart grew a burden for the people of Thailand. She saw poverty and what was more troubling for Kendall was the people’s desperate need to hear about Jesus.

“In Thailand there are so many homeless and unfortunate people who have no way to help themselves and who have no opportunity to hear about Jesus,” Kendall shared. “Less than two percent of the people who live in Thailand are believers in Jesus. If they never hear about Jesus, they can be lost to hell forever.”

“I feel like God is showing me how all these lost people need help and need to have someone to show them Jesus,” Kendall proclaimed.

With this understanding, Kendall felt the Holy Spirit leading her to be a missionary. She asked her parents and they offered encouragement and prayer.

Recently, Kendall had the opportunity to meet with Heather Williams who is currently serving with her husband on the mission field in Southeast Asia. Kendall’s heart expanded even more with this new knowledge of global missions.

“I learned that missionaries are regular people just like me and my family,” said Kendall. “Missionaries have to be patient. Missionaries have to trust God and be strong in their faith.”

According to statistics, more than 70% of current missionaries were called as children to serve in global missions. To become a long-term cross-cultural missionary, one must be at least 19 years old.

Kendall is 12.

For the next seven or so years, she will use this time as an opportunity to learn, pray, and serve in her local church and community.

“Jesus can use anyone- even kids,” declared Kendall.  “We can all help in our own ways because there are ways that kids can help that even adults can’t.”

When asked what parents could do to teach and encourage their kids, Kendall offers this bit of advice:

“I would say to parents that if your child wants to be a missionary you should encourage them and give your kids opportunities to meet missionaries and maybe even help serve with them on the mission field- at home or overseas.”

God has uniquely created each and every one of us with gifts and strengths for His purpose. For some of us, it takes time to understand what those are. For Kendall, she has been given the understanding to what those are and how to use them at an early age.

“I feel like serving these people in this country is somewhere my skills could be put to use and I know that it’s a place where God can use me,” confessed Kendall. “There are lots of people and even small children who are much less fortunate than us.  I am particularly drawn to the vulnerable and hurting like widows and orphans, or those who are homeless or sick.”

We all have some sort of superhero or professional athlete or our mom and dad to look up to. For Kendall, well, along with her mom and dad, it’s the missionary who is sharing the good news of Jesus.

“Missionaries are valuable…their work is so important!” Kendall said with a smile. “Without them a lot of people who are currently Christians might never have even heard of Jesus.”

At the end of the book of Matthew, before Jesus ascended into heaven, He said to the disciples “Go therefore and make disciples of all nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit, teaching them to observe all that I have commanded you.”

As believers, we are called to be disciple-makers. Kendall explains what this means to her:

“Each of us is made special and God can use us in our own ways- we can all make a difference; you don’t have to go overseas to be used by God.”

“We can serve God by being kind to others and being good examples.”

It is apparent that even at such a young age, Kendall has been given a burden for people and an understanding that we are all commissioned to be part of God’s mission, right where we are and to the ends of the earth.

For more information on local and global missions, email robin@citylightomaha.org

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