On a Mission: Chelsi Johnson Perseveres Through Trials on her Path to Spain–March 2019
Faith graduate Chelsi Johnson (’12) has seen her share of trials in the last few years. An unexpected job loss. A car accident. Conflicts with family and friends. Financial difficulties. Sometimes, continual trials like these don’t seem fair, especially when they follow a life-changing decision to serve God as a full-time missionary.
“As soon as I started listening to God’s will, Satan started to push on every front to get in the way of God’s plan,” said Chelsi.
But her heart longs to serve the people of Spain, and she is not letting a few setbacks change her mind.
“The past three years for me have been a crazy journey of waiting patiently for God to act and trusting Him,” said Chelsi. “In 2016, my church sent a short-term team to the Friendship House in Spain, and He allowed me to be a part of that group. It was on that trip that I knew that this is what God had been calling me to do.”
Chelsi grew up in Rochester, Minnesota. She chose Faith Baptist Bible College upon the recommendation of her youth pastor and after she visited FaithFest her sophomore year of high school. She graduated from Faith in 2012 with a four-year degree in Office Administration and Women’s Ministries.
Some of the most influential people in her life have been Mrs. Martha Hartog, and Mrs. Sharon Gutwein. Chelsi says that Mrs. Hartog really helped her understand how to put devotionals together and Mrs. Gutwein (as Dean of Women) helped her to understand the importance of staying focused on things that matter most in life.
Her first taste of missions came in 2008 on a trip to Peru with her church. She believes that God used this experience in her life, along with every trial and circumstance throughout her childhood, to prepare her for a lifetime of Christian service.
Following her decision to become a missionary in Spain, Chelsi joined WorldVenture—a missionary organization based in Englewood, Colorado. She has been raising support since April of 2018 and her hope is to reach the mission field sometime this year.
She notes the spiritual climate in Spain as one of the most challenging issues of the mission field there—a climate that is dominated by Catholic churches and an overall “spiritually poor” population. Another large challenge, according to Chelsi, will be to learn the Spanish language, along with some Arabic, as she will mostly be working with North African families at the Friendship House in Madrid, Spain.
“The Friendship House is a community-based outreach to North Africans, mostly from Morocco,” said Chelsi. “Providing kids clubs, adult classes, and a clothing closet are just some of the ways that the missionaries and local Spanish church together use to build relationships that will lead to spiritual conversations.”
Chelsi asks the Faith community for prayer as she juggles a full-time job, church ministry, and raising support needed to get to Spain. She also asks for prayer that God will continue to bless the Friendship House in Madrid, and for the ministry team that is already in place there.