Immediate Needs for September!

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Last week I finally shared the news that I am going back out onto the field again! It’s true—I am traveling the world once more and I’ll start this Fall!

 

This time around, I will be traveling for 5 months with the same organization that sent me out in 2012. This time, I will be leading a group of Racers who have never gone before!

 

I don’t quite know my destinations yet, but I will be going to at least 5 countries in Asia, Central/South America or Africa. Once again, I will be living among the poorest of poor, meeting basic needs like feeding the hungry and building houses. I will also have many opportunities to share the gospel.

 

To be able to go onto the field and serve, I will need to be financially backed. I need to raise $6,500 to cover the base cost of flights, lodging and food. I also need to raise personal funds to cover my car insurance and phone bill while I am gone.

 

Would you consider donating $20, $50, $100, $250, or $1,000 (or any amount in-between) as a one-time gift or monthly while I am on the field?

 

I would also love for a team of people to commit to praying for me while I am gone—there’s something different (INCREDIBLE) about traveling the world with a covering of prayer!

 

If you are interested in supporting me through prayer or financial backing, please let me know! Write on my blog, my Facebook wall or send me an email. The reality is that your support can directly change lives across the globe.

 

If you are interested in financially supporting me now, you can donate through my World Race blog (ashleymueller.theworldrace.org) by clicking on the left-hand side of the page called “Support Me”.

 

You can also donate to my Paypal account. Go to Paypal.com and click on “Send” at the top of the page. Enter in my personal email address (Ashley.mueller5@gmail.com) and you’re set!

 

If you wish to donate by check, you may do so by making the check out to “Adventures in Missions” and sending the check to my address at:

 

5022 Sullens Road, Gainesville, GA 30506.

 

I will then take it to our accounting department to be processed in my support account.

 

I know many of you watched my journey in 2012 as I went out to the nations for the first time. For me, it was one of the most transformative experiences I have ever had. Please consider supporting me as I choose to make the journey again—this time to lead, but like always, to serve.

 

Thank you in advance for changing nations!

 

Also, as  note, I will mainly be using my World Race blog to post over the course of the next year! Read on at ashleymueller.theworldrace.org! I have posted a video the World Race recently released of what the field actually looks like! Visit and see!

 

 

 

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Traveling the World, Again!

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It was sneaky how the idea of traveling the world surfaced again. But, unlike other major decisions, this one was made with more hesitancy—like the way that oil and water slowly decide they should in fact drift apart. I think I know the cost of this undertaking—of spending 5 more months in third-world countries.

 

Honestly, I’m not a great missionary. Mother Teresa can have her Calcutta. I’ll stay home and share the gospel here. With my clean water and Pringles.

 

But, for the past 5 weeks, I’ve had this tiny feeling simmering in my soul, ever so gentle and quiet, but bubbling nonetheless. I’ve come to realize that this tiny feeling is hope—a feeling that is as overlooked in my life as crumbs underneath a breakfast table.

 

This past season has been one of tumultuous change—that kind of change that leaves you with the same feeling as those first few hours after taking down Christmas: a barrenness and a faint melody of a song no longer appropriate. This has been a season where my words have felt bare, unable to twist and wrap around what I feel. It’s been a season of guessing more than faith-living. It’s been a season of fewer meeting of souls.

 

Instead, it’s been a very quiet season filled with candles, paintbrushes and hard truths. It’s been a season of demolition—of tearing down structure upon structure and removing the remains of the past. I don’t know if there was a lot of building up of new buildings in this season, but there is ground to build upon that was never open before.

 

Sometimes I think that’s all we need going into a new season, really: a little bit of hope that things will be different. We don’t need things fancy or sparkly, the way we all though college would be. We need different—a hope that the battles won will count toward our next season.

 

I don’t regret the depth of the struggles of the past season; they’ve spoken too much over who I am. I’m not a big fan of challenging and desperate times. But, they are much more valuable to me than the lovely soft places I’ve happened upon.

 

I think that’s what I’m banking on as I head back out onto the field in September: hope that the pain of this past season will be redeemed by the challenges of this new season. I am hoping that all those quiet moments will count.

 

So, my friends, here’s to hope!

Here’s to the moments not enjoyed, the songs still unsung!

Here’s to the long bus rides, and to not being home!

Here’s to Jesus, my love, and all that I know!

 

Here’s to hope, my friends. Here’s to hope!

 

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But, hey, she found Jesus

Part of my job requires me to interact with people and their stories. Some of the time, people’s stories aren’t that hard to understand—they had a great childhood, made pretty good decisions (a few bad ones, too) and then they found a job close to the passion of their hearts.

 

But, some of the time, people’s stories are as wretched as the stuff on Law & Order. Sometimes, their lives are horror stories that are just now being redeemed.

 

At some point in these people’s stories, they find Jesus.

 

And I think, “But, hey, she found Jesus. He’s enough.” 

 

Because, after all, life is unfair. And Jesus is all we need. Jesus said troubles would come. But, hey, He overcame the world.

 

The more I walk away from people’s stories, the less I’m starting to believe that Jesus is all we need: the aftermath of people’s stories don’t prove to me that life is better when Jesus is around.

 

People get raped. Tragedy hits. And then it hits again and again. Believers get addicted to drugs. Or religion. They desert the church. They murder their families with their words and with their actions.

 

Life isn’t just unfair. It’s relentless. But, just for some. Even after they’ve found Jesus.

 

For the rest of us, we wander through department stores, holiday events and the workplace like none of it happened to us—that we were the ones that got out before the tragedy, the raping and the pillaging.

 

But, the reality is, some of us didn’t get out. And, we wander around like we did. We don’t wear the horror on our sleeve…because, hey, we have Jesus.

 

I’m in a season—it’s a season of wondering if Jesus really is enough. Jesus has always been more than enough for me. But, the more I hear about the horror of people’s stories, the more I wonder if He’s enough for them.

 

Does He really mean that He is enough for little girls who are molested for decades by every man they have ever known? Is He enough for the little boys who grow up being so verbally and emotionally neglected that they beat their families to deal with their own anger?

 

Tell me Jesus is enough. But, then prove it to me. Because, right now, from where I sit, I just don’t know. I don’t know if the church is enough. I don’t know if Jesus is enough.

 

I don’t need a sermon how Jesus is the Life, the Light and the Love. I don’t need another lesson on how He says He will fight for justice.

 

Because what I see is horror. And I need something a little stronger than words to make the stories worth it.

 

Jesus is enough for me. But, is He really enough for them?

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Let’s Try to Talk

I feel like a bear.

It’s been 71 days since I arrived home from traveling the world. 71 days. I’ve only just come out of hibernation.

For 71 days, I have been sitting. Thinking. I have been avoiding people the way summers avoid cold fronts.

But, I do have some simple answers to the questions most people are asking:

Yes, I had a fantastic year. All 332 days on the field were harder than anything I’ve ever done. I’ve come back slightly changed.

In 21 days, I will move to Georgia to work with the organization (Adventures in Missions) that sent me on the trip. I have to fundraise a fourth of my income and I still don’t know where I will be living. I don’t have a car. But, I’m going anyways.

No, I don’t know what I want to do with my life. All I know is my next step: Gainesville, Georgia. And, no, it doesn’t bug me not to know.

But, it’s safe to say that I’m no longer acting like a bear. I may still look and smell like I belong in the forests I lived in this year. But, truly, I’ve had a shower.

So, I’m here. I’m ready to listen. Ready to talk. So, text me, call me or email me. Let’s catch up on the past year of what we both did. Let’s share stories over never ending cups of coffee. I’m ready. Are you?

 

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