Background and Testimony
Christina: I was reared in a Christian family with my parents taking my sister and me to church weekly. I remember being in church listening to a pastor’s sermon and wondering why anyone would want to be a pastor. I finally understood after accepting Jesus’ sacrifice for my sins and became a disciple of Jesus. During my last two years of high school, I became very active in church and became a youth intern. God grew me, shaped me, and gave me an increasing desire to know Him more. I went on mission trips within the U.S. and interned with a church in Seattle for a summer while in college. While attending university, I heard a missionary speak about going into areas of the Amazon and Andes having to create their own paths because no one had traveled there before, and they were taking the Gospel to people who had not heard the name of Jesus. I felt God calling me to missions even while in high school, and hearing the missionary speak served to fuel my desire to join God on His mission. I studied anthropology and religious studies in college because I thought a good way to share the Gospel would be to learn about cultures and their worldviews. I could then present the Gospel in a way that other cultures would better understand.
While in college, I met my future husband Ben. After graduating, I left to serve with the International Mission Board as a Journeyman in East Asia and Ben went off to serve with the Air Force. I left for East Asia believing that Ben was my Isaac—God wanted me to trust Him and be obedient to the calling He gave me, and that there were things God was going to do in our lives separately. The path to the mission field and from there has been interesting and also difficult, but faith-building.
While serving on God’s mission in East Asia, He opened my eyes to a new culture, showed me new things about Him, and truly changed my life and gave me a different way of looking at things. I saw God work in ways I had never seen before and I experienced a daily need for Him. I also experienced the struggles that come with living in a culture very different from my own and being in the midst of spiritual warfare. It seemed every missionary serving experienced struggles of one kind or another, whether they had been on the mission field for a day or a decade.
When I received short-term mission teams, I realized that they could be more successful and effective through proper preparation before coming, while visiting, and after they returned home. My cultural anthropology background had already given me a foundation for a different way of thinking and my experiences in East Asia left me with wondering if I should extend my term or return home to continue my studies. I went before God praying earnestly about the decisions I would have to make at the end of my term. Proverbs 16:9 says, “the heart of man plans his way, but the LORD establishes his steps” (ESV). I felt God leading me to return to the U.S. to pursue my change in calling to prepare others to serve Him cross-culturally.
After spending two years in East Asia, I returned to the U.S. and pursued a Master’s Degree in Intercultural Relations, during which time I married my husband Ben who was then in the Air Force. God had prepared me for life as a military spouse because I hadn’t lived anywhere for longer than six years. The Air Force took us to New Mexico, Colorado, and Alaska. While working on my studies, I designed training for short-term mission teams to engage Alaska Natives.
Ben separated from the Air Force in 2014 while we were living in Alaska. God used the time that followed to stretch us and grow us in Him as Ben was without a job for a year before being hired for a position as a federal criminal investigator. Shortly after Ben started his new job, we stepped out in faith by having me fly to Florida to attend a Missio Nexus Conference where I intended to “network like crazy” to see how God would determine my steps. I had finished my master’s degree and was looking for the next step and outlet for God to use the experiences, gifting, and skills He had given me. It was through the conference that I met Mark and Julie Morgenstern. Ben and I sat and talked with Mark and Julie for over two hours after the conference. Mark followed-up with me and said he thought I might be a piece in the puzzle. Each step of the way, we all believed that God had ordained our meeting and we were excited about what God was doing. Shortly thereafter, Mark offered me the position of Project Manager for Operations of Grow2Serve. In February 2016, I was appointed with United World Mission in order to do ministry with Grow2Serve. I am now in the early stages of raising prayer and financial support for the position while running learner services. If you’re interested in joining my support team, see the bottom of the page. Ben and I currently reside in Virginia, near Washington D.C. We enjoy the outdoors, learning, and studying the Bible with people God places in our path.
M.A. in Intercultural Relations, University of the Pacific/Intercultural Communication Institute (Stockton, CA/Portland, OR)
Relevant Coursework: Concepts of Intercultural Communication, Ethnicity and Intergroup Relations, Research, Advanced Intercultural Communication Theory, Process of Change, Leadership and Adult Learning, Change Agentry, Culture in the Organizational Context, Intercultural Context of Training, Thesis Research, and Capstone Project
Capstone Project: Bridging a Cultural Gap: Training U.S. Short-Term Missionaries to Engage Alaska Natives
Designed short-term missions training based off of best practices found in literature, assessment of the training needs of participants and with input of key Alaska Native Christian leaders, and evaluated by mission training experts.
B.A. in Anthropology (with a double major in Religious Studies), University of South Florida (Tampa, FL)
- Summer youth intern
- Exchange Summer youth intern to Seattle, Washington to work with homeless youth and veterans;
- Sunday school teacher
- Two-year missionary to East Asia with International Mission Board
- Mission committee member
- Volunteer assistant church missional strategist with International Mission Board
- Project Manager for Operations with Grow2Serve.
Areas of Teaching, Training, and Consulting Expertise
- Intercultural communications
- Instructional design
- Intercultural Development Inventory (IDI)–Administration and Coaching
- Global Competencies Inventory (GCI)–Administration and Coaching
- Church missional strategy development (coaching, planning, and implementing)
- Training for short-term mission teams
- Training for cross-cultural ministry
- Healthy and fruitful ministry partnerships
Other Areas of Interest
- Coaching for the missional journey
- Expatriate re-entry to home culture
- Change agentry
We seek to bring glory to God by networking missionary trainers together to collaboratively provide fruit-multiplying ministry training. We accomplish this by providing an accessible and effective distance learning platform.
Grow2Serve is dedicated to helping believers grow in their knowledge, beliefs, and skills in order to faithfully serve our Lord. We do this by helping them learn and teach better, by providing a wide variety of learning opportunities, and by connecting them to other learners and teachers. We aim to serve missionaries, pastors, and churches in accessible, timely, and affordable ways. Let’s learn better now!
We are blessed with the opportunity to serve missionaries and leaders from many mission organizations as well as international Christian leaders from around the globe. Using an innovative combination of specialized learning approaches for adult learning, technology, learning community creation, and a high level of personalized attention to learners, Grow2Serve packages learning experiences in many and various ways designed specifically for each context and audience.
(Visit the About page to learn more about Grow2Serve.)
If you’d like to support me through financial donation, please visit my United World Mission profile page here to donate online. Click on “DONATE”, then complete the form and submit it.
Mail Contributions to United World Mission, PO Box 602002, Charlotte, NC 28260 with a note that it is for Schott, Christina – 31513.