We are Called - Austie Eckley

It was in this city that I found myself in deep addiction and it was in this city that I had an encounter with God that changed my life forever. It was because of my love for this city that I prayed a huge prayer for God to break my heart for what breaks His.

Shortly before Covid I made the decision to leave my career, to follow God's prompting into ministry. I didn’t know what this meant other than I had been given a few opportunities to share my story. When Covid started and there were no more opportunities to share my story, I began to ask God why He had brought me to this place only to leave me confused as to His plan for my life.

During that first year the lord began to answer that big prayer by showing me that it wasn’t about speaking, or the stage or having my story known, but that it was about His story being known. That it was about loving others not ourselves. He began breaking my heart for the people who were all around me that I interact with every single day.

As our world began opening back up and I was able to volunteer more, I started volunteering on a regular basis at Shepherds Door through the Portland Rescue Mission. This allowed me to start to create deeper relationships with the women because of the consistency at which I was seeing them. I fell in love with the women and my passion and desire shifted from personal accomplishments to them. And to the people in the city of Portland.

As my heart broke for the people around me, God planted a dream in my heart to create a way to inspire others to be the hands and feet of Jesus by serving and loving those around them. God generously led the way to making this dream a reality as he placed exactly the right people and details that were needed to host the cALLed conference. Many of you were there and experienced a very special day filled by the Holy Spirit, that many described as electric.

As I stood among so many worshiping and experiencing what I was experiencing, I couldn’t help but just look around with tears in my eyes because of what God was doing. He was moving in and throughout our hearts reminding each of us how we were called to Him, and to others. He was inspiring us individually in our callings that uniquely impact His kingdom, and it brings a little more Heaven to Earth right now.

We were reminded that we are all fully loved by God, and out of that love we have all been called to love others. That ministry is not a job title some of us get, rather it's who we are as Christians. We carry a fire within us that brings life, and sharing it with others is our highest calling.

Kevin Palau was one of our conference speakers and he finished his message talking about his incredible late father, Luis Palau. He described his father in his last days as loving and sharing the gospel with all the people that he interacted with. Sharing that Luis had a line to his hospital room with people being blessed by his father’s love and faithfulness to Christ and all those around him. I was brought to tears (again), as I pictured this and this made me reflect on my own life. How I want to be known not for what I accomplished but for how I loved and served God and those around me. Luis understood what it means to be a Christian and has passed the baton. Let's follow his example as we pursue the greatest calling we have all been given.

Austie Eckley
Volunteer | Hope City