Heidi Johnson
Mental Health
Assignment: Guatemala
Call to Missions

I remember the first time I felt the Lord leading me to overseas missions- I was six years old and in attendance at a missions conference being held at my church. The call to serve has been one that has been close to my heart and mind ever since. I'm motivated to serve because I do not know what else I would do. Serving others missionally has been what I have felt God leading me towards and shaping me for my whole life. I've served just shy of two years in Guatemala already, and I made a commitment to the organization to come back for another four, at least. I do not know what the future holds after these four years (or even during these four years), but I am trying to follow God where he leads me in this life. Much of this journey has been about learning to trust Him.

As a kid, I heard stories of missionaries who did all sorts of wild things for Jesus. Some moved to grass huts in the middle of nowhere. Some were killed by the very people they sought to serve. Some went as doctors, others as teachers, and still others just went and simply lived amongst a people group, loving and serving all those with whom they came into contact. As a result, I was convinced I was going to live in a grass hut in the middle of a jungle, share the gospel message in some unknown language, and just love people. I was 18 when I first visited the country of Guatemala. There weren't any grass huts around. Most of the people I met spoke Spanish and I wasn't scared for my life. Nonetheless, over the course of the next few years, I fell in love with Guatemala. I learned Spanish. I became trained as a therapist and I realized that the best way to use my profession was to speak truth in the face of the lies of the evil one.  With the power of the Holy Spirit, I can speak light into darkness, I can call authority over the evil one and I can watch as Jesus takes hold and sets captives free. I might not be in a desolate village, living in a grass hut, learning a difficult language, or fearing for my life, but I do battle against the enemy every day, getting to stand by as Jesus reclaims his own. This is my motivation to serve.

How do you hope to integrate healthcare & evangelism?

The residential facility I will work in, is Christian in nature, so it is assumed that every child who comes through the home's doors will hear about the good news of Jesus Christ at several points throughout their time at Oasis. By both nature and profession, it is important to me to have a well formed relationship with each child that I work with. My job is to love each child, to speak truth into their lives, and to allow the Spirit's movement within the counseling room.

Anticipated Impact
  1. More children receiving the mental health care that they need, as a result, more children finding healing from their trauma histories and true healing in their souls that can only come from Jesus.
  2. Increased collaboration between medical, psychological, spiritual, and educational service providers, resulting in more effective, impactful, and wholistic care of abused children.
  3. Children and adolescents who find healing in their hearts and souls as a result of Christian mental health care would be encouraged to participate in the healing journeys of future generations of children with similar pasts, going on to become lawyers, counselors, doctors, and evangelists themselves.
Help send counselors like Heidi to places where they are needed most!