This is part 5 of a 5-part series of stories about millennials working in missions with OMS.
In God’s Word, the message that Jesus values children is evident. He says people must have a childlike heart. King Solomon highlights the joys of youth. Paul encourages young Timothy to set an example for believers everywhere in his ministry. The importance of young people is evident throughout the Bible. And it doesn’t just mention their importance, but it speaks of their responsibility. Just like other believers of other ages, Christian youth have a role to play in glorifying God and bringing his Good News to the world.
Fresh out of college, Clarissa Hunter has felt God calling her to the mission field in Budapest, Hungary. On the field, Clarissa will serve in communications and ministry coordination. As she begins the funding process, she is working at the OMS World Headquarters in Greenwood, Indiana, as the administrative assistant for Development and Marketing.
Clarissa’s journey started in 2014 when she interned for HOPE61, OMS’ human trafficking prevention ministry. She enjoyed that summer and considered applying for another OMS internship, seeking something she could do for a three-month period right after graduation. She found two internship options that interested her.
As she researched the two options, one of those in Hungary, Clarissa connected with Jonathan Long, the OMS field director for Hungary. She learned more about the vision for Hungary, the passion for transformation in that country, and the desire to come alongside the church in a supportive role to impact people’s lives. Clarissa was drawn to that vision, and after praying and thinking more about her decision, she chose the internship in Hungary.
Clarissa’s three months in Hungary was an affirming experience. She spent time writing and editing materials, helped mediate situations, and worked in teams to serve the Hungarian people. Who she was and what she liked to do seemed to line up perfectly with her jobs, and people recognized her God-given skills.
During Clarissa’s time there, Jonathan pitched the idea of her joining the Hungary team. At first, Clarissa was unsure if she should pursue that idea. Yet, before she even returned to the United States, she had applied to serve in Hungary and for a position at the OMS HQ. She soon had interviews lined up. Both of these interviews ended in success, as she was accepted to go to Hungary and also to work at headquarters during her funding and preparation process for the field.
Doors were flying open for Clarissa, but she still didn’t know what to do. Finally, she came to terms with the fact that she had subconsciously made her choice already to go to Hungary. It was almost as if, when she had left Budapest, she knew she would return. So, she jumped in and took the opportunity.
Currently, as she works at headquarters, Clarissa wants to invest her time where she is right now and to be present in this moment, focusing on her work here instead of always looking to Hungary. But when she does go to the mission field, she wants to continue to have that mentality, to be present in her work and choose to make the most of her time wherever God calls her.
Clarissa has a passion for understanding people and also helping people understand each other. She wants to reach out to those who are marginalized and connect with people who are overlooked by others. Her prayer is that God can work in and through her in Budapest, and also where she is now, to do this. She is thankful for the people that have helped her through this journey, and above all else she's thankful for God’s goodness in opening so many doors of opportunity for her.
As a young person stepping into missions, Clarissa encourages other young people to not let the vast opportunities keep them from choosing somewhere to serve. So many youth struggle with shutting down in response to an overload of information and tragedy, Clarissa said. Instead of letting that overwhelming feeling stop them from being involved somewhere, young people need to see what their God-given talents and skills are best suited for. Then, they need to choose a cause they care about and take steps to help others. The more involved you are, Clarissa added, the less focused you are on just yourself, which creates greater empathy and understanding about what is happening in the world.
Please pray for Clarissa as she works at OMS headquarters and prepares to serve in Hungary. Pray that she seeks to be present and relational, that her focus is on others, and that she chooses to always make the most of her time to serve people and God.
To learn more and to give to Clarissa, visit https://onemissionsociety.org/give/ClarissaHunter.
By Jess Mitchell, Communications Intern