Michaela’s Adventure as a Missionary in Los Angeles
Michaela grew up reading accounts of God’s faithfulness in the lives of missionaries. She knew the stories, believed in the God who wrote them and dreamed of participating in the kingdom as they did.
Michaela also sings and is a songwriter who has dreamed of pursuing music. When she said yes to GenSend Los Angeles, she couldn’t imagine God answering her dreams and prayers and how her life would change.
After Michaela graduated college in South Carolina, she knew that seriously pursuing music would probably mean moving away from her friends and family—but when her church community offered her a chance to move to the other side of the country, she repeatedly declined.
One day, her pastor presented her with the option of spending her summer with GenSend Los Angeles. Michaela explains, “I opened my mouth to say no, like I had always done, and the only thing that came out was ‘Sure! Please send me more information about that!’ So, I decided that God may be asking me to go.” She prayed more about her next steps, and Michaela joined the GenSend Los Angeles team in the summer of 2022.
She joined the Send Relief ministry in Los Angeles that summer and worked frequently in Skid Row, a district of Los Angeles with a large homeless population. One day, while sharing the gospel there, she met a woman who confessed she was angry at God. As the woman opened up to her, Michaela resonated with the similarities in their stories.
“At that moment,” Michaela said, “God began to show me that even in my frustrations and confusion, He is big enough to use my story to reach others. I began to believe God’s power in her life for her, even when she didn’t believe it herself.”
At the end of their conversation, sitting on the sidewalk in Skid Row with tear-stained faces, Michaela asked her new friend if she wanted to believe in the gospel. Surprisingly, she said yes, and her new friend accepted Jesus that day.
That summer, Michaela was exposed to the great need for the gospel in Los Angeles. Sex trafficking and prostitution are some of the biggest problems in the city. This ministry is a primary focus of local church plants.
Facing such widespread darkness, she prayed, “God, why would you allow such injustice here? Why is oppression like this still an issue? Why won’t you send people to help?” Michaela said that at that moment, looking over the city of Los Angeles, God responded to her prayers: “I am sending people—I am sending you.”
Even though Michaela felt God’s calling to serve as a missionary in Los Angeles, a long list of things needed to happen before she could pack up her life in South Carolina and move across the country.
She articulated this list to her city coach in Los Angeles. “He encouraged me to believe God would answer every concern on that list. I needed a place to live, funding to pay rent, a roommate to live with and more connections than I had—and by the end of the summer, God answered every single concern on that list.”
Michaela laughs, saying, “I only had one month to raise enough money, which felt impossible. And in one week, I received double the funding. After two weeks, it tripled. I didn’t know it then, but God provided me with what I thought I needed and the resources I didn’t even know I needed until I moved. God showed Himself completely faithful in that time.”
Michaela now lives in Los Angeles, serving at a local church plant and working closely with Send Relief, leading mission teams and sharing the gospel in the community she loves. God answered her prayers and fulfilled her dreams of serving as a missionary, living in a music city and participating in the kingdom of God. He gave her above and beyond what she could have asked. Through God’s provision, she followed His call on her life.
Published November 3, 2023