It was at a 2007 church mission conference in North Carolina that Global Servant Jae Stockton found herself responding to God with the words, “Send me, Lord. Send me.” Born in the Philippines, Jae left at the age of 20 and joined the U.S. Army, where she was in Signal Corp doing communications until she was medically discharged.
Responding to the call with faith
From a young age, Jae wanted to serve others—inspired by her mom, her church, and her pastor, who was an American missionary in the Philippines. In 2015, Jae began talking with International Ministries (IM) about the calling she’d experienced. Knowing Jae’s technological expertise, IM Area Director for Iberoamerica and the Caribbean Adalia Gutierrez-Lee asked Jae to consider serving at Baja Baptist Seminary in Mexicali, Mexico. There Jae could provide technical assistance to seminary students and church leaders, both at the Mexicali campus and at other seminaries in the region. She would also be able to provide technical assistance for IM and Palmer Seminary’s online Master of Theological Studies program in Latino/a Ministries, which prepares church leaders throughout the Americas.
After IM endorsed her for cross-cultural ministry in 2017, Jae began taking faith-filled steps toward raising the funds to serve. “I visited different churches, shared my calling and the ministry I would be assisting in Mexico, and invited people to support and partner in the ministry. Quite a few people told me it’s impossible to raise the budget. However, I had no doubt that our Lord would provide and fulfill my needs. The traveling was exhausting, but the experience was bigger than the exhaustion.” In February 2021, Jae raised 100 percent of the goal she needed to be commissioned to serve.
Trusting God with the challenges
Jae traveled to Mexico to complete one year of Spanish language training before beginning her ministry in Mexicali in 2022. As a native Tagalog speaker who is also fluent in English, Jae knows the significance of ministering in the heart language of the people she serves, despite any challenges. “The main task for a global servant in the mission field in their first year is building relationships,” she explains. “Without speaking the language fluently, building relationships is not easy. And with learning the language, you just need to be brave to accept mistakes and learn along the way as you communicate. I know that learning a different language takes time, and so does building relationships.”
While the transition to a new country and culture has many difficulties, Jae says, “I’ve learned in this journey that God has proven his goodness and faithfulness over and over again to me. During my preparation process to become a global servant, God brought people in my path to walk with me and to get me to the finish line. People I don’t even know, they walked the journey with me, and still walk with me to this day, and I am so grateful.”
Jae says that she knows that God has been preparing her for mission for a long time. “Looking back, when I was growing up in the Philippines, we lived in poverty, but God’s hands were over us every step of the way. He provided for my mom who was a single mother and my gramma, both wonderful women of faith who raised me with love, taught me about Jesus, helped me build my faith and guided me. I hope that as I help the students with their technical needs, I may be a witness of God’s hope and goodness to the students and the community. I hope that I may be an instrument and light wherever I go so that Christ will be known.”
Posted May 15, 2023