When I first started this blog, I hoped that it would be bigger than just my story. For those of you who know me you’ll know I often think that there’s nothing remarkable about me, except that I serve an amazing God! I believe God is doing incredible things in many others as well. So today I’m stoked because I get to introduce you to one of my dearest friends, Emily. We’ve been friends for over ten years now, and shared tears, laughs and many adventures during that time. As she prepares to go on a journey that will stretch and challenge her, I sat down and chatted to her about what this next chapter of her life looks like and I hope you are as inspired and encouraged as I am by her story.
1.Can you tell us a little about yourself; your childhood, your family and your sibling rivalries and blackmail?
I was born in Ireland in 1999 where I lived for 2 and a half years before my family moved on board the Logos II (one of Operation Mobilisations ships). Together we lived there for almost 4 years, sailing around the Caribbean, South America, Europe and parts of North America.
I went to school on the ship and have travelled to around 48 countries over my life time. It was such a unique and incredible experience.
After that, we moved back to Ireland, then to Australia, back to Ireland, onto the Logos Hope (another OM ship) and travelled South-East Asia, then back to Ireland and finally back to Australia where we have been living ever since.
I have 3 siblings. One older sister and two younger brothers. We certainly have our sibling rivalries and yes, it’s true! We have blackmail folders where we keep our best (worst) photos of each other along with embarrassing quotes that we have written down over the years. There are definitely times when these come in handy!
2. When did you decide to follow Christ? How would you describe that moment?
Having grown up in a Christian family and in the setting of missions, it is hard to pin-point the exact moment when I gave my life to the Lord. I was quite young when I came to an understanding that Jesus died for my sins and that I was created to bring God glory. Ever since then, I have been striving to bring God glory in everything I do, although I often fail at doing so. I used to feel as if I had no testimony because I had no major transformation, but I have come to realise that I am so blessed to have never had to experience a moment without knowing God.
3. What was the best and worst part about being an Missionary Kid (MK) and Pastor’s Kid (PK)?
The best part about being a Missionary Kid was getting to experience so many different cultures by the time I was 6 years old. I got to see how people lived on the other side of the world and how so many of these people lived in extreme poverty. It gave me a heart of compassion which I am so thankful for. Without this experience, I would not have known the extent of the poverty and oppression that people live through in many countries.
The worst part about being an MK was all the goodbyes. Every person we met, we knew that we would probably never see them again. It was hard to build deep friendships with people that would only be in your life for a very short amount of time.
The best part about being a PK is the relationships that are formed. We’ve been invited out for so many dinners, been given so many generous gifts and made so many incredible friends because of being PK’s. It’s also amazing to have someone to go to about any theological question that we may have. However, the worst part is constantly being used as a sermon illustration. I clearly remember the feeling of wanting the floor to swallow me up on multiple occasions.
4. So you’ve changed uni degrees and now are doing something very counter-cultural. How did you go about deciding what to study after school, and then why did you change degree, and how did you know it was right?
Yes, originally, I had chosen to study Early Childhood & Primary Education. I have always felt God calling me to work with children in the future and so I thought what better course than education. I finished the first semester and began the second before I realised that this wasn’t the right course for me. It wasn’t what I had imagined, I wasn’t enjoying it and after praying a lot about it, I realised this course wasn’t right for me. I made the mistake of assuming that this was where God wanted me, without even asking Him.
So, I deferred from my course and after months of praying and seeking God, He led me to Bible college at MST (Melbourne School of Theology). It was there that I completed my Diploma of Christian Studies in 2018. Bible college was always something I wanted to do but I had imagined doing it when I was much ‘older and wiser’. But as usual, God had other plans.
5. Can you tell us what you’re doing in March, and how you came to that decision?
On March 28th I will begin my journey with YWAM (Youth With A Mission). I am going to do one of their Discipleship Training Schools in Greece which runs for 6 months. The school I am going to is a sailing DTS where we will learn to sail on the weekends, do lectures on weekdays, do outreach with locals and have the chance to learn about our relationship with God and about ourselves. We will spend the first 3 weeks in Croatia where we will do basic safety training for sailing and begin lectures. We will then fly to Greece where we will spend 2 months sailing to different locations and learning about God. Then we will spend a week in Turkey where we will have the incredible experience of doing the Ephesus tour and doing some outreach. Lastly, we will spend 3 months on outreach in a location that is yet to be revealed to us.
Back in 2017, God specifically told me that I would live on a ship again. I specifically cried out to God one night saying, ‘God if you want me to go to the ship, please confirm this to me’. So, I opened my bible at random pointed my finger down on the page and it landed exactly on this verse. ‘At that time Ahaziah son of Ahab said to Jehoshaphat, “Let my men sail with yours”. It’s a very random verse and may confuse some people. But for me, it was definite confirmation.
I became so excited at the thought and then went on to apply to live/work on the Logos Hope (the ship I used to live on) since this was the ship I assumed God was talking about. After being accepted to go back to the Logos Hope, I began feeling very unsettled about the idea and having no peace at all about it. I knew deep down that if I were to go ahead with it, I would be actively disobeying God. I struggled with this for a while because I was so sure God had told me that I would live on a ship.
I withdrew my application for the Logos Hope and spent the next while in prayer and confusion and feeling a little bit lost. After a few months, some missionaries from my church came back from Greece and shared about their experiences there. During their talk, I felt such a strong urge to go to Greece. I really felt like God was asking me to go.
This confused me even more as I was still hung up on the whole ship thing. As I prayed more and more about these two things, I stumbled across a YWAM DTS that just so happened to take place on a ship…in Greece. I couldn’t believe my eyes! I prayed about it and applied soon after.
In November 2018, I was accepted to go, and I have been preparing ever since. It has been mostly smooth sailing (haha) however, there have been many moments of doubt and feeling inadequate or believing that I could never raise the funds to go on this trip. These are all lies from the enemy and God has shown me time after time that this is where I’m meant to be.
6. I love asking people this question, what advice would you have given to your teenage self?
Your worth does not come from the girls and guys around you. It does not come from the clothes you wear. It is not in how much makeup you wear, and it certainly does not come from social media. Your worth is in Christ alone and His approval is the only one that you should seek.
7. What are your plans and dreams for the future?
Ever since I was a little kid, my dream has always been to work in an orphanage or start up my own. I have never let go of that dream and it is still something I would love to do at some point in my life.
When I go to Greece, I would love to visit Hellenic Ministries ‘Hope Center’. This ministry welcomes and cares for women who have been sexually exploited and trafficked and provides a hope and a future for these women by teaching them skills. Many of these women have unwanted pregnancies and often consider abortion as an option. The Hope Center provides care for these children and gives the mothers the skills that they need to raise their children. I would love to be involved in this ministry or one similar to it as I believe they are so important.
Isn’t she amazing! My favourite line from the whole interview was “I knew deep down that if I were to go ahead with it, I would be actively disobeying God.” This week I was faced with a situation where I knew God had asked me to do something, and I had to choose whether or not to follow His leading.
I hope you enjoyed meeting her and hearing more about her journey.
For more information about YWAM’s Next Wave program: https://ywamnextwave.org/
You can follow Emily’s journey on instagram: @emily__scott
Thank you so much for joining me on this journey!