For sixteen years, Melody Downey has been working behind the scenes at WMA, taking care of associate missionaries, dealing with their finances, encouraging them, praying for them, and using her mission’s expertise to be a blessing to people all over the world. We are so thankful for Melody and the blessing she is to the Bozarth family, World Missions Advance, and ministers and missionaries everywhere! This is a portion of her story:
When I started Bible college in 1985, I had no intention of going on the mission field. I had a heart for the poor and for teenagers, and worked with the youth at my church, but the mission field was not on the radar at that time. When mission outreaches were announced in my first semester at Christ For The Nations in the Fall of 1985, the Lord spoke to my heart to go! I applied for the outreach to Russia; over 100 students applied and 15 were chosen. It was at that time God began to place Eastern Europe on my heart and I had this burden and knew I had to go. Due to Chernobyl in 1986, the Russia outreach had to be tweaked and we ended up spending most of the outreach in Poland; communism was alive and well. The next year, outreaches were announced and I signed up for England/Scotland. Both of these outreaches in 1986 and 1987 served as a catalyst for my mission’s calling and adventures.
In the Spring of 1987, I knew I wanted to serve in Eastern Europe but didn’t know how or where. A couple of opportunities were presented, but God closed the doors. I began to pray God would show me a family on the mission field that I could serve and gain experience. Shortly afterward, a couple on the mission field in Austria who worked in Eastern Europe, came to CFNI to recruit graduates to come and serve alongside them. This was my first “long-term” assignment. I served with this family for one year. After this commitment, I returned to Dallas and 2 ½ years later, the Lord opened the door for me to serve the Eastern European Director of a women’s ministry who lived in Berlin, Germany. We helped pastors and their wives begin women’s ministry in the churches and conduct women’s conferences at the time when the Berlin Wall came down, communism was falling, and doors for ministry were opening all over Eastern Europe. I ministered in Russia, Ukraine, Serbia, Romania, Czech Republic and many other places. At the end of the three years, I became engaged to a wonderful Canadian who pursued me in Berlin and was married shortly thereafter.
I knew I wanted to continue to be involved in missions and several years later, the Lord opened the door at World Missions Advance! I have been so blessed to be able to serve some of the best missionaries in the world and participate in short-term mission outreaches through WMA and actually serve beside some of these missionaries where they serve.
This June marks sixteen years I have served with WMA and I am so blessed and thankful!