My name is Ashton and I come from a family of mixxionaries. My grandparents have gone to several nations including Spain, Costa Rica, Peru, Kenya, Ghana, India, Mexico, USA, Guatemala, Israel, and many other places on mixxion trips. My parents have gone to several nations including Ghana, India, Mexico, Guatemala, and others. So for me to want to be a mixxionary was not a foreign idea to my family.
Ever since I was 12 years old I've felt called to full time mixxions in Asia and the 10/40 window. This desire is never something I could've conjured up on my own but rather a G-d given desire and vision for my life. I'm called to give up comfort, ease, and stability to lay down my life for loving the people G-d loves. Is my calling any better than someone called to the marketplace? Surely not! People called to generate income to be able to support those in foreign lands unable to generate income have just as much inheritance in the reward of the work as the mixxionary doing the work. The body of Chr-st needs each other and depends upon each other. Sometimes that includes financially. In reality, your mixxion field is wherever G-d has called you, whether thats a foreign nation, your office, your high school, or your backyard. We are called to be a light wherever we are and proclaim His imminent return as we are moving through life. For me, it's the foreign field.
When I was 9 years old, I went with my mom and grandparents to Guatemala on my first mixxion trip. I quickly found out that mixxions was not always glorious and a dream. It's hard work and things don't always go as planned! One Sunday while at ch-rch close to my 12th birthday, a lady named Deborah Xu came to speak at my ch-rch. She was part of the underground ch-rch in Ch-na and talked about the Back to Jerusalem movement. Listening to her describe how the Ch-nese people were making a point to go through the hardest places to travel to Jerusalem to have the Israelites welcome home their King Jes-s struck my heart. I wanted to somehow be a part of joining with them to see Jes-s return to earth.
Later when I was 12, my parents took my sister and I with my grandparents to the nation of Ghana in West Africa. While my parents were seeing how my sister and I fit in Africa as they felt called to full time mixxions and felt G-d's direction to move there, for me it was really the awakening in my heart of living a life laid down for love long term in foreign lands. My sister and I were both in tears leaving Ghana because the mixxionary life was a deeply embedded desire in both of us. G-d's direction became more clear to my parents and we moved to IH-PKC to be intercessory mixxionaries where we have lived for the past 5 years.
When I was 18, I traveled to Taiwan and Japan with a family from my dance studio. It was my first experience of Asia and immediately stepping off the plane, I knew Asia was my home. I loved ministering through dance and the relationships that were built.
The next summer when I was 19, my chief desire came true. I was going to Ch-na. I got to spend 7 weeks there traveling to unknown villages in Tibet, working with underground ch-rches, dancing in the park with the people, teaching B-ble studies, teaching English, going to pr-yer meetings, loving on the Ch-nese people, and falling in love with the G-d given desire inside of me. Leaving that summer was one of the hardest things I had ever done. Coming home, I plunged straight into a 4 year program at a B-ble college. Currently I'm still in the school getting my degree in prophesy, healing, and deliverance. These are tools I felt would help me to be able to love G-d's people well.
When I was 20, I went to Taiwan, Japan, and New Zealand for 6 weeks again with the dance family. Ministering in several dance settings to several different audiences, my heart longed to return to Ch-na. I didn't think it would be possible until after I finished school in 2015, but G-d had a surprise for me up His sleeve.
Taiwan/Japan/New Zealand 2012
Late this fall (2013) I was approached with an opportunity to live in Ch-na for 5 1/2 months (that's right-months!) as a mixxionary. I am going to be participating in a dance program at a local University as my cover story for being there. I also will get the opportunity to build relationships with the students as I learn Ch-nese culture/history and take Ch-nese language classes so I can talk to the people of the land. Being able to live life in Ch-na and get to be a shining light as I live life with the Ch-nese people is more than I could ever ask for. I'm so thankful for the dance training that G-d has had me grow up with so that this opportunity to be a mixxionary could be possible! I'll be dancing about 25 hours a week as well as training/teaching 20 hours a week while keeping up with my B-ble college classes from home online. G-d is so good to my heart!
It is exciting to see how G-d's desire and plans for my life continue to become more clear and take shape. These next 6 months will be stretching, a period of learning and growing. I know it will be hard and not always fun, but following and obeying G-d's voice is always rewarding.
Only 16 more days!!!