Hi, my name is Calandra Thompson, and I live in the United States of America. We have freedom in the United States to spread the gospel of Jesus Christ. I grew up in a Christian home from birth. My grandmother raised me, taught me about God, and took me to worship services regularly. I was exposed to the Lord in my youth, but I came to know the Lord intimately in 2014.

I am currently a leader of the Singles Ministry at my church and co-leader of the Outreach Ministry. My ministry dream is to do Street Ministry full time and go beyond the walls of the church to spread the gospel to all that will hear. I identify with the word Evangelist more because it’s someone that is willing to go out beyond the walls of the church to save souls and bring people to Christ.

The key experience that prompted me to pursue ministry was when God changed me from who I was before. I was in the world and doing everything that was contrary to God’s word. I didn’t think that God would accept me back because I felt like I had messed up too bad. I came to understand that our God is loving, merciful, forgiving, and gracious. He didn’t let me fall, but he picked me up out of the mess that I had created and changed me into the woman of God he would have me to be. Every experience that I went through prepared me for everything that is happening in my life right now!

Last year in 2014, I lost everything – my apartment, my car, myself. I was drowning in guilt, sin, and forgiveness. As I started to lose things in my life, I felt like I was in a wilderness by myself. At that moment, I cried out and prayed to God to save me. I asked him why he was taking all this stuff away from me, and he replied, “You obtained all this stuff while you were in the world.” WOW! God knew all about my decisions, yet he still called me by name and wanted me back in his family. God restored my faith, family and finances.

I am very grateful that God is using me the way that he wants to use me. I let everybody else use me when I was in the world, but now my God has his way. I remember singing a song when my granny died, “If you can use anything Lord, you can use me.” I didn’t know what I was saying, but God knew.

There are no unique challenges where I live. I’m grateful for the location that God has placed me in because there are no constraints. My local church is supporting me by allowing me to use the gifts that God has placed inside of me for his glory. As stated earlier, I’m a ministry leader. I have been teaching at a church since last year, and the Single’s Ministry has Bible study off campus every Wednesday. God has allowed me to be able to connect with others outside of the church. I have great friends that support me in my ministry calling. Their responses to the “Calling Assessment Exercise” blessed me tremendously beyond words of gratitude. My family’s role in my ministry call has been that we all see Jesus face to face. I understand that what we see in front of us is temporary and that we should look forward to the new heaven and earth.

A scholarship at CLI is important to my ministry dream because I didn’t even think this would ever be possible. I was enrolled at a community college last year, but, due to a past due balance from a previous school, I wasn’t able to continue my studies. I remember sitting in the parking lot of the school wanting to cry, but I couldn’t. I knew the Lord had something better for me. God placed on my heart this summer that I needed seminary training, and I tried to fight the calling. I started to do research and was not sure where to begin. The Holy Spirit spoke, and I remembered my co-worker was enrolled in a seminary school for almost a year. I asked her if she could give me the information for the school and she told me about CLI.

I was overwhelmed at first, but God kept reminding me that I needed this for my spiritual growth. I overcame my fear, and I have been studying ever since. I’ve not lost my hunger for God! The scholarship will be a blessing to me and so many others that God places in my path. I will spread the Gospel even if no one asks me. That’s what God has called me to do, and I will be obedient. I will continue to say, “Yes, to his will and his way!” Please just continue to pray that God gives me his strength and that I’m filled with the power of the Holy Spirit.