As Laura Stephenson sat in a traffic jam in Denver, a billboard caught her eye.
Laura, a member of Atonement Lutheran Church, an ELCA congregation in Boulder, Colo., had been considering mission work for some time. But after seeing that billboard and after “years and years of things adding up, I was given no choice but to follow,” she says.
In the past, friends and family had told Laura she’d make a good pastor, counselor or missionary. As Laura got more involved at Atonement, her call to mission work became stronger. She volunteered as an interim youth director, served at soup suppers and participated in a congregational mission trip to Haiti, among other activities.
After researching opportunities available through the ELCA, Laura applied for a mission personnel position in Indonesia. She soon found herself serving in North Sumatra, teaching English in a deaconess community and “encountering Jesus Christ” through those whom she befriended and served.
Through that experience, Laura felt called again, this time to parish ministry. Laura’s journey continues today as she hopes to attend an ELCA seminary “to strengthen my theology and shape my heart to be a better servant,” she says.