by Martha Krienke
Holding her plans loosely and saying “yes” to Jesus are two big reasons why Becca* now lives in Central Asia as an Alliance international worker.
The timing and final destination of her ministry overseas are not what she expected. But God did, and for that, she’s grateful.
Laying It Down
A pastor’s daughter, Becca put her faith in Jesus Christ at an early age. She went on her first U.S. missions trip when she was 16 and felt God calling her to be a missionary.
“I didn’t know what that would look like,” she remembers. “I just knew the Lord was speaking to me to sacrifice my life and lay that down.”
Two years later, Becca traveled internationally and fell in love with missions. “It became real to me that there are people in the world who don’t know the name of Jesus, and that is not OK,” she states with conviction. “Jesus changes everything. To get His name out for His glory and His namesake is paramount.”
Though full of passion and drive, Becca didn’t go on another missions trip until her early 20s. “[The Lord] really put the brake on,” she says. “Looking back, [I see that] He had me ministering in the local church to get some experience under my belt. And I felt like He was telling me to get an education.”
Becca enrolled at University of Texas in Tyler and pursued a journalism degree. “By my senior year I was the editor of our school newspaper, had an internship—the whole nine yards. Yet I always had missions in the back of my mind. I didn’t know how these two [interests] would combine. I tried to figure that out in my 20s.”
Time of Preparation
After graduation, Becca was hired as the newspaper editor in Kemmerer, Wyoming, where the majority of the population is Mormon. As is the nature of community journalism, she got to know the residents well, and they were interested in her. “[I treasure] that whole part of my life,” she says. “Having [my job] as a platform for talking about Jesus was awesome.”
After nine months, Becca was promoted to be managing editor of a biweekly newspaper. “I moved to Evanston, Wyoming, and thought I was moving up in the world. They had a Walmart,” she laughs.
To find a church in her new community, Becca browsed the Yellow Pages. “That was still before Google really came on board,” she says. An ad for Evanston Alliance Church stood out because it mentioned having a women’s group.
“I actually went to their ladies’ Bible study before I went to church on Sunday,” Becca notes. “I fell in love with these ladies who were just amazing women. To this day, they are some great mentors in my life.”
The congregation quickly came to love and accept Becca as part of the family. Some folks also challenged her. Pastor Ron Lotz encouraged her to become a member. Paul Huneycutt, the youth pastor, suggested she become a youth sponsor. During fall 2009, she helped to lead a youth missions trip to Burkina Faso, Africa.
“Paul and his wife, Lorie, were very influential in showing me how The Alliance does missions and how they take care of their people. Seeing so much care for each other—that it’s a family—that was huge,” Becca says, holding back tears. “As soon as I got back from that missions trip, I felt the Lord saying, OK, let’s do this.”
Put to the Test
After completing the online form Next Steps, Becca met with Rev. Mark Lynch, director of the Candidate Development Office. He challenged her to test her calling to career missions by first doing an Envision internship.
“As a 28-year-old journalist who had been working professionally for four years, I digressed and went as an intern,” she laughs.
“I was all excited, getting information about [the country], doing fund-raising, writing prayer letters. Then I got an e-mail from the field directors saying they couldn’t receive me,” she says. “There was some kind of problem on the field, and they couldn’t find housing.”
So Envision suggested she go to a different country in the Middle East. Becca prayed about it for a few days, and the decision came down again to holding everything with open hands.
“I felt in my heart [to go to] places that were unreached and didn’t have access to the gospel more than [to go to] any one particular place, so I said ‘yes.’”
After a year teaching English and laboring alongside the Alliance workers there, her internship ended. “I came back with two suitcases and a few boxes that I had left in storage, asking, OK, Lord, now what?”
Becca, now 29, had no place to call home, so she decided to follow a friend’s advice and pursue an apprenticeship. This way she could quickly return to her team overseas and, while on the field, complete the home service requirement for becoming an Alliance international worker.
After contacting Dr. Amy Roedding, director of the International Placement Office, the two began discussing next steps.
“I still had some student loans I was taking care of and some different things,” Becca recalls. “Amy looked at everything on paper, and she told me, ‘An apprenticeship isn’t going to work for you.’
“I heard that ‘no,’ and I pouted around for a little while because I wanted to be on the field. I felt the Lord was calling me to go to the places that do not have access to the gospel, those places where Romans 10 talks about. Who is going to tell them unless we go and we do this?”
God’s Guiding Hand
From 2012–2013 Becca worked at a bank and paid off her student loans. She also started completing some of the requirements to become an Alliance international worker. This included taking some Bible and theology classes and gaining experience working in a church.
“For that year, I basically focused on getting my debt paid off. Then in January, I got over pouting and started sending my resume out to all the districts I could think of. I needed a licensed ministry experience in a church that would prepare me for overseas ministries.”
Rev. Randy Corbin, Mid-Atlantic District superintendent at the time, responded to Becca’s query and presented her with two options. One was a church in Arlington, Virginia, looking to hire a director of community connections.
“They needed someone to build partnerships with a variety of organizations and do some community outreach—that was my bread and butter [as a community journalist],” she exclaims.
Becca met the ministry leaders and the pastor and his family. She moved to Arlington that summer and worked at the church three years.
“I’m not an Alliance-background person, so for me to have pushed the apprenticeship thing and gone to the field prematurely would have been a huge mistake,” she reflects. “Learning the church structure here in the States and how we do things here and getting involved with the district, I see the hand of God on my life.
“I’m so grateful to Amy for saying ‘no’ to me—for Randy Corbin saying, ‘Here is an opportunity that is a little outside the box, but what do you think?’ I’m so grateful for Paul and Lorie for pushing me forward.”
Becca is also thankful for the people of Arlington Community Church.
“They’re my family. If I would have had my way, I would have never met those people. To have them as my support base, as the people behind me holding up my arms, is huge.”
Once Becca finished her master’s degree through Crown College and was consecrated for ministry, she looked at The Alliance’s international job postings. She had assumed she’d go back to the Middle East where she did her internship, but instead, another opening in Central Asia caught her eye.
“I looked at this job posting, and it was almost the same thing [as I did] with Arlington Church. It was all about getting into the community and finding a way to be impactful and have a presence there that is meaningful. I was like, Wow!”
The Lord also used Isaiah 54 to confirm to Becca what position for which to apply.
“There is a verse at the beginning of that chapter about extending your tent posts and reaching beyond what your original idea might be. The Lord challenged me to extend the tent posts and be willing to be a little more uncomfortable.”
In October, Becca left the United States to go to a country to which she’s never been and join a culture she doesn’t know. The first two years she’ll spend learning the language. She expects to be stretched a lot, yet she is excited.
“I feel ready and prepared and well taken care of,” she affirms. “The whole family experience of The Alliance is really important to me. It’s such a privilege I have to do this, and the Lord is allowing this in my life. It’s overwhelming.”
How It All Began
Becca’s financial support as an Alliance international worker was made possible because of an endowment fund started by Marien Hall. You can read more about what prompted Marien to begin this fund in “As the Lord Intended,” published in the Jan/Feb 2017 Alliance Life.
Learn more about C&MA gift planning by calling the Donor Relations Office at (719) 265-2111.