I remember finishing my bachelor’s degree and just feeling ready to continue climbing the ladder there. I had a lot of supervisors and bosses looking at me and saying, “if you stay here for the long haul, you can find yourself in upper management.” So, for somebody who didn’t have those privileges growing up, I was all for that. However, the Lord said I have different plans for you. For my husband and I, when we came together, we both knew that there was a call but we were still trying to figure out what that looks like? I didn’t know that looked like since we didn’t really have a lot of people our age going into full-time ministry. So we’re just going to try to figure this out the best way we could.
So, the Lord actually called both of us together to Bible college and Seminary. And that was a journey in itself. It was really a learning journey for us because we grew up in the inner city and had no idea that Bible College was attainable for us. We had no idea that Bible college was something that we actually needed. I actually had a full-ride scholarship to a local university and be the first in my family to attend college, but the Lord said I have different plans for you. So, that was really mind-blowing for us. Again, I was going to Bible college and I’m asking God, “how in the world are you going to use this? I don’t understand. I’m taking out loans and I’m paying on those loans when I could have had a full-ride scholarship. You are really going to have to show me.” And the Lord continued to remind me to trust him. It sounds simple, but it was really God reminding me every day that he has us and that he will show us, in time, what that will look like.
When David and I started the church planting journey, we thought, “alright, maybe this is what we’re called to do in ministry.” And that was something that was also mind-blowing for us. Again, here we are like two young knuckleheads trying to figure out how to start a church plant. It was a beautiful thing. I feel like God really showed us amazing things about him, about his church, about his love for his bride, and about being in a place to just love people well. Although I will be honest, it’s messy. Delaware people, because we’re all sinful, broken people; it’s messy. It’s so messy, but it’s so rewarding because, again, we have the opportunity to come alongside people and to grow together. To keep pointing them to Jesus.
So for us, looking back now where my husband is the Director of Intercultural Studies at California Baptist University. Where I serve on staff as Assistant Women’s Director of Women’s Ministry over a thousand women. Now, we understand that you are using all of these things and that part of our journey to show us that we’re called wherever we go. We’ve been in Kansas City as church planters. We went to Atlanta to help a church plant there. We were at the Summit Church for a short stint and then was sent out by them to Long Beach, California, to be church planters again. God has used all of it to remind us that wherever we go, he wants us to be willing vessels to be poured into, so that we can then turn and pour out to others; all through what we’ve been given. The beauty of the gospel, the beauty of his word, the beauty of what he has done for us when we don’t deserve it, and to say, “you know what, God, if you send me here, I’ll go.” And, he needs more willing vessels to do that.
So, I feel like that’s been a part of our journey. We are still learning. We’re still like, “alright, God, if you have this here for this amount of time, praise God.” It’s sunny California and I’m not going to fight him on that. He can keep us there long as he wants to, however, it is the fact that God has shown us that everywhere we have stepped foot, has been our mission field. I feel that he’s just asked us to continue to be faithful in that and that is what we choose to keep doing.
My name is Elicia Horton and this is my called story.