Monday, July 16
Who do you become when you can no longer be the person you’ve been? It’s a question of identity and calling and passion. So what do you do if you’re unsure about any of those?
To watch Lindsay Anderson now, you might think she’s always known what she was going to do. But her ministry and home for the past seven years stem from a spur of the moment decision made in 2010.
Lindsay was a college senior, studying Business Administration and Finance. She had played soccer for four years and loved her college experience. Yet her time as a ‘student’ and a ‘soccer player’ were coming to a close. Now was the time to be looking forward, completing a resume and filling out job applications. After all, she was the first in her family to graduate from college.
The one thing she was certain about was her identity in Christ. This would not change. How she lived that identity out was about to shift, and dramatically so.
Normally it is only with experience that we look back and realize the options available to us. In the moment, choices about career and location feel like forever choices. But Lindsay was searching.Normally it is only with experience that we look back and realize the options available to us. In the moment, choices about career and location feel like forever choices. Click To Tweet
“I am incredibly blessed to have a heritage of faith passed down from my parents.”
Desiring more of God, Lindsay searched. Believing Jesus’ words about greater things1 applied to her, Lindsay prayed. She was not content to believe that the miracle stories from years ago were the only miraculous stories to be told. She reasoned, “God had to be able to do that now as well.”
Lindsay recalled a chapel speaker who shared about starting a 2-year mission in Papa New Guinea. That speaker still lived in Papa New Guinea twenty years later. Inspired, she began to research Youth With a Mission, as well as Bible schools in California where she could begin to work. Scary as it was to follow the soft whisper of God, she knew she wanted to be obedient to God’s calling on her life.
It was now about six months since Lindsay had graduated college. On January 13, 2010, her brother came home to print an airplane ticket. He was heading to Haiti, where a massive earthquake had hit two days before. Hit by a 7.1 on the Richter scale, killing over 250,000 people, and an island in shambles meant help was needed.
Almost on a whim, Lindsay asked if she could go along. “Pack a backpack,” was her brother’s reply. Two hours later she was flying to a place she would continue to love seven years later.
The New Normal
Now Lindsay continues to follow the whisper of God. Setting up Heart Soul Mind Strength (HSMS) Haiti as a 501(c)3 back in 2014 is just one part of a long list. Serving as the general contractor in building a community shower house. Establishing a Christian bi-lingual primary school that recently saw their first graduating class. Partnering with the Haitian government and NGO’s to distribute food and supplies when Hurricane Matthew hit in October 2016. HSMS helped distribute sustainable seeds to over 500 farmers. Lindsay has overseen women’s conferences and youth purity seminars.
The goal in everything the ministry does is to directly serve the people they live among. She stays busy giving administration to the school and the boarding program where they disciple children. They also teach many life skills.
If it doesn’t sound like there would be any spare time after all this, guess again. Lindsay finds time to shell peanuts with ladies at the market and to connect with children on the street.
“There is a raw beauty about this country that I can’t get out of my blood.”
The Lake Games Connection
Her brother, Todd Anderson, has been a huge support. While he might enjoy being by her side in Haiti, Todd has found a way to have an impact from Winona Lake, IN. Knowing that HSMS can only impact as they are financed, he works on making sure they have money.
The Ultimate Challenger, happening on the campus of Grace College on July 28, provides the money. In connection with their family’s rule to ‘go big or go home’, they came up with the idea for a five-event competition that would happen all in one weekend. And we’re not talking about board games here. All the competitions are designed to push athletes to their limit.
An obstacle course, a CrossFit competition, an off-road bike race, a trail run and a 4-person volleyball tournament round out the weekend. All the proceeds from the event go to ensure HSMS remains funded.
Lindsay is a 2009 Grace graduate. Her time here taught her much more than just the subject matter of her majors. Offering a spiritual emphasis, Lindsay experienced how to stay in tune with God’s whisper.
And she’s been following that whisper ever since.