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The music of their hearts

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03.18.2021

Laura’s family moved to Bangkok to serve as cross-cultural workers among the Thai people when she was one year old. Although she spent the majority of her life in the US, Laura has always been aware of the needs of least-reached people and had an interest in cross-cultural missions.

Laura attended Concordia University in Seward, Nebraska and earned a degree in church music. She landed her dream job as the director of worship and music at a church in Indiana where she has worked for the past three years. Despite Laura’s love for her job and the congregation, she knew God was calling her to serve in cross-cultural ministry again.

She began to explore programs and organizations. Laura had served on a GreenLight team with TMS Global in while in college. The group traveled to Thailand and South Asia and served with cross-cultural workers on the field. Laura was able to explore what serving overseas would look like, and last year she decided to partner with TMS Global.

Laura wants to serve through ethnodoxology, which means helping indigenous cultures develop their own worship music. "Ethnodoxology helps emerging churches worship God in the style of their hearts," she said. "God created culture, and God is not Western. God is not limited to the music of Bach or Bethel. God speaks all languages fluently.” The role perfectly combines her skills in music and leading worship with her desire to serve cross-culturally.

Laura originally planned to move to South Asia and begin learning the local language when the COVID-19 pandemic halted international travel. For now, Laura will serve with a TMS Global couple who lived and ministered in South Asia for several years. The couple now serves in Ohio and ministers to the large South Asian population in their city.

Laura plans to develop relationships with South Asians in her neighborhood, study their language and the classical music of their homeland, and teach music lessons.

"I'll go wherever God sends me with the next 50 or 60 years of my life,” she said. “I'm willing to spend those years in a place with less comfort and familiarity than I would like, surrounded by fewer of my fellow Christians than I would like, to see people in new languages and new ethnicities come to know the presence and love of God that has so transformed me."

If you are interested in serving in cross-cultural ministry, please explore opportunities to serve on our Go page. We offer four different terms of service, ranging from six weeks to four years or more.

Photo: Laura, pictured center in green, with the GreenLight:Gateway team in South Asia in 2016.