Stephanie Williams is a Calvary Chapel missionary serving in Maforga, Mozambique. Trained as a midwife, she is in the process of setting up a clinic while attending to the medical needs of an orphanage and the surrounding community.
Stephanie, please share with us of how and when the Lord called you to be a missionary?
I gave my life to Jesus at the age of 18 years old and immediately knew I was to be a missionary. I cannot say the day or the month but it was within months of professing Christ as Saviour.
What were the next steps after receiving the call?
I started missions work by doing everything I could at church. I was a greeter, involved with college and career group, taught Sunday school, street evangelism, and went to every short-term missions trip that I could. A few years into my walk with God, He asked me to go to Bible College. I did it by correspondence while working full-time. There were years of preparation in all kinds of ministry.
What does your current ministry entail?
Setting up and running a medical facility, serving medical needs of an orphanage and surrounding community, organizing conferences on health education, worship ministry, and pastor training.
Have you experienced any culture shock moving from the United States to Mozambique?
Tons! And the strangest things will strike you as strange. It hits you side-ways like a sledge hammer at times. That’s where the ‘shock’ of it all comes in to play. However, it also nibbles away at strongly held prejudices and assumptions that you bring from your home country. That’s the ‘culture’ part of it all. But some things are worth addressing. Any weight that hinders us in the race should be cast aside. And keeping a good sense of humor makes it all the more bearable.
What advice would you give to someone considering mission work in Africa?
Find out the difference between going, being sent, and being called. There is a HUGE difference. Desire to please God with your whole person, learn to hear His voice and then do whatever He asks you to do… even if it’s feel like you are walking off a cliff blindfolded. It will be well worth it.
What has been the most enjoyable part of your ministry in Mozambique so far?
I like seeing the little kids who were frightened to sit in my presence one visit, learn to trust me and even greet me joyfully the next few visits as they feel better and mend, softening to the love of Christ.
How has prayer made a difference in overcoming trials and challenges in your ministry?
I have amazing prayer warriors on my team and covering my back. When the challenges are the hardest and the battle is at it’s worst, these people pray for me, encourage me in a multitude of ways, and remind me of God’s call, vision, and promises. They are priceless to me and cannot be undervalued in the true work of missionaries.
What is the strangest thing you have eaten in the field?
I’d be lying if I said it was a water buffalo knee cap. I was served it but couldn’t swallow it. My precious friend did that for me! What sweet sacrifice! Perhaps it was the fried crickets and/or roasted flying ants. No, I’m sure it was the durian (aka: fruit that smells like rotting flesh) or Balut (boiled fertilized duck egg including beaks, feet and feathers). I love eating new and exotic foods.
What is your favourite Bible verse?
God has often taken me back to Proverbs 3:5-8 at pivotal times in my life’s journey so far. As a result I’m particularly fond of these verses. That and Ephesians 3:20 and Romans 12:1.
Trust in the Lord with all your heart, And lean not on your own understanding; In all your ways acknowledge Him, And He shall direct your paths. Do not be wise in your own eyes; Fear the Lord and depart from evil. It will be health to your flesh, And strength to your bones. (Proverbs 3:5-8)
The Cost of Discipleship by Dietrich Bonhoeffer. Bruchko by Bruce Olsen. One Thousand Gifts by Ann Voskamp. Missionary biographies, especially of single female missionaries.
How can we support you in prayer?
The best way to pray would be for ministry partners and labourers in the field. I’ve done a ton of preparation work by breaking up the hard soil, now I need God to send me workers to help plant the seed.
Pray for the day-to-day ministry not to take on a bit of a routine. Right now I feel scattered to the four winds.
Pray for a supernatural refreshing to come upon me and this work. That I would learn to serve out of my rest instead of out of my exhaustion.
Keep up to date with Stephanie’s ministry by following her blog at midwife4jesus.blogspot.com