Joy in the Journey: Audrey Hart’s Story

taylorhurlbertAlumni Stories0 Comments

joy-in-the-journey

Meet Audrey Hart.

Audrey currently serves as the Dean of Women at our Bible Institute campus on Jeju Island, South Korea. At only 24 years old, her journey with the Lord has been quite an adventure, bringing with it opportunities that she never dreamed she would have. Read Audrey’s story and find out how the Lord has written each step and led her all the way to Asia!

How did you come to know the Lord?

I was blessed to grow up with parents who loved God and made church a priority. I was six years old when I started to understand what was being taught in Sunday School about the gospel. One day my family was out on the jetty in Plymouth Harbor and I started asking my mom questions about the gospel. Talking to her on that bench made me realize two important things: I knew I was a sinner and that sin separated me from God.  But, I also knew God loved me so much that He died and rose again for me. That day I trusted Jesus Christ as my personal Savior!

How did you first become involved with Word of Life?

I was first involved with Word of Life as a child going through Gopher Buddies! At the time my church had Word of Life Clubs and my mom was a club leader. We also had family friends that camped at The Pines every summer and the summer of 1999 they invited us to come. That was the beginning of camping at The Pines for over ten summers.

I grew to love Word of Life and cherished my time there every year. In the summer of 2007 I decided to join the STC (now “Camp Crew”) program. God knew exactly what I needed in my life that summer at the Ranch and Ranger Camp. God used amazing supervisors from the Bible Institute to invest in my life and I had so many opportunities to serve in ministry.  I spent each summer of high school serving there. I had so many wonderful people in my life that taught me the importance of a strong work ethic and what a constant and growing relationship with God looked like. 

I realized that life is not about me but it’s about loving God wholeheartedly. My dreams were not bad but putting them above God was extremely selfish.

Even though I was growing closer to God each summer, there were still areas of my life I was holding back from God. My heart was consumed with a desire for recognition and fame. I had a passion for broadcast journalism and I wanted to accomplish so much with my life. My whole high school career was dedicated to getting into a college with a great program for journalism.

The summer of my junior year God used my kitchen supervisor to show me how selfish I was. I realized that life is not about me but it’s about loving God wholeheartedly. My dreams were not bad but putting them above God was extremely selfish. In that moment, I decided that God knew what was best for my life and I would trust Him by following Him wholeheartedly. Soon after, I decided to attend the Bible Institute in New York. God put it on my heart that a biblical foundation was essential to any career I would pursue.

What was your experience like at the Bible Institute?

My time at the Bible Institute was challenging yet so rewarding. Not only did it set a biblical foundation for my life but it also allowed me to mature in my walk with God.  I learned so much about the Bible, and it radically transformed my mind. My discipler, Linda Warken, had an enormous impact on my life. She modeled Christ so beautifully, and she taught me the importance of loving God wholeheartedly. Despite all my struggles, Linda believed God wanted to do great things with my life, and she took the time to invest in me. Though she is now at home with the Lord, I know her legacy continues to live on in my life and so many others across the world.

During these two years, I really started to grasp my identity in Him. I started to see the value of the Word of God. I gained ministry skills because I was involved in ministry all the time! Being a service RA my 1st year and dorm RA 2nd year taught me the importance of being an influential leader for the Lord.

How did your time as a student prepare you for your future?

Every circumstance has a purpose, and nothing has been in vain. Throughout the different joys and trials of life, I have learned more about God and myself. Each stage of life has been a building block and prepared me for the next step. Life is a growth process. Each year, in each situation, God grows me in different ways and pushes me out of my comfort zone. Through each stage of life, I have met so many influential people who have left an imprint on my life. They were passionate about making disciples, and now I am passionate!

What other things did you want to do with your life before the Lord led you to Korea?

God was preparing my heart for South Korea long before I knew it. In 2014, one of my dear friends headed out to serve as a missionary with WOL Japan at SYME. She would often share stories about her experience ministering at SYME, which truly showed how much Asia needs the gospel.  I remember it broke my heart to think about all these lost people. I often thought about the people of Asia, but I did not realize how my experiences could help them.  

I remember it broke my heart to think about all these lost people. I often thought about the people of Asia, but I did not realize how my experiences could help them.

After my two years as a Discipleship Coordinator at the Bible Institute, I was praying about what the next step was. I pursued different options, but they all fell through. I knew it was time to step out of my comfort zone and the Lord opened up the opportunity to serve as the Dean of Women at the Jeju Island teaching site in South Korea.

 

Tell us about life in Korea.

I moved to South Korea at the beginning of September. God is working at the Bible Institute here on Jeju! The students arrived at the end of September, and we quickly started the school year with leadership training and student orientation. After that, classes and ministry started for the students. The last three months have gone by so fast. God is growing these students so much, and I love watching how He is doing so. It’s something only He can do.

I really enjoy life on Jeju and God is growing me in many different ways. There have definitely been challenges, but God has been so faithful through every circumstance.

I love being involved with ministry outside of WOLBI. I have the opportunity to be involved with the English service we attend on Sundays, and I have met so many believers who are passionate about ministry.

What is your role at the Bible Institute?

I am the Dean of Women at the WOLBI Jeju campus, and I minister alongside the Dean of Men, Samuel Kim. As the Dean of Women, I take care of everything related to student life. I spend most of the time meeting with the young ladies on campus for discipleship.  

God has given me the opportunity to invest in their lives for this year, and I am so grateful for the opportunity to serve.  I have the utmost respect for these young ladies as I see their determination and perseverance to study the Bible as an ESL student.

What are some of the challenges you face in that role?

We have to be lifelong learners. God is continually showing me this through the different challenges I face in my role. There are many cultural differences, but through it all, I have learned how it’s truly God’s power at work in their lives. God’s truth is changing their lives, and I am thankful He still uses me despite my weaknesses. His power transcends cultural barriers.

His power transcends cultural barriers.

I underestimated how hard I would have to work to understand each student, their cultural background, and their personal background. I am learning to be a better communicator and listener! I am learning humility to ask for help when I need it.  I have so much to learn but I am thankful for God giving me this opportunity to see Him in a new way.

How would your life be different if you had not decided to follow Jesus when you did?

When I look back at the last six years since I attended my first year at the Bible Institute, I am amazed at what God has done in my life. In 2010 I would have never guessed this is what God had in mind. At the time, I could only see glimpses of God’s plan, and I had to step out and trust Him. My life did not change as quickly as I desired.  There were many hardships and battles, but I am confident it was those moment-by-moment surrenders to love God most that brought me to where I am today.

Follow God in all the little moments of life, and you will see there is so much joy in the journey.

 It’s not easy, but seeking Him is so rewarding because there is so much joy in knowing Him deeply.  Those moment-by-moment decisions radically transformed my mind, and I sometimes think about what life would be like if I followed my own path. Maybe I would be a news anchor or have a talk show, only God knows.  I am truly amazed at God’s grace and I am so thankful for how God continues to change my life. I love to communicate and now I want nothing more than to spend the rest of my life communicating the truth of God’s Word to young women. Young women need to grasp the value of knowing God and claiming their identity in Him.  Follow God in all the little moments of life, and you will see there is so much joy in the journey.

 

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *