Friends That Serve Together Stay Together!

  • November 8, 2018
Anita Glenister and Lindsey Holt

Lindsey Holt always knew she was going to be a missionary. By the time she was a senior in high school, her interest in linguistics directed her toward Bible translation. She entered a linguistics program at Houghton College in New York. Lindsey had a five-year plan already set in place, wanting to serve in translation work somewhere in Asia.

Anita Glenister was also a student at Houghton College studying music. Anita thought she could use her skills and passion for the music industry to serve in ministry. When Lindsey and Anita met at college, they became friends. And now they’re headed to Ethiopia to serve with Wycliffe together!

LOST AND FOUND

After two years at Houghton, Lindsey moved on to the Canada Institute of Linguistics (CanIL) program in Langley, British Columbia, for her masters in linguistics. One day in class she snapped a photo of a PowerPoint slide describing the need for recording engineers in missions. She sent the photo to Anita with the text, “Look, I found you.”

“LOL” was Anita’s reply.

But God knew where he wanted Anita. After spending a summer interning in church production, Anita began to feel like God was calling her to something else. One evening she told Lindsey, “I’m kind of lost right now. I need to make a decision about what I’m going to do.”

Lindsey had been dealing with her own struggles too. She recalled: “Being at CanIL was challenging; I was trying to form new relationships. My last year at Houghton had been wonderful, but all my friends were still there, and I was alone in Canada. I was experiencing a lot of emotional pain.

Anita and Lindsey working the soundboard for a wedding event

“I had to seriously think about what to do. Missionaries from Wycliffe were telling us how hard it was to pull up [their] roots every few years for home assignment and then to try to establish new relationships over and over again. Could I handle that?

“Then in class one day, someone said, ‘If you have a friend, ask them to come with you.’”

Lindsey had heard missionary stories about single women serving together in pairs. The thought of serving with someone else encouraged her. “I just need someone to eat meals with,” she says.

So when Anita talked with Lindsey over the phone about her own career uncertainties, Lindsey asked, “Would you come with me, wherever I go?”

“Sure,” said Anita, “if there is a position available that uses my skills.”

They found a job description on Wycliffe’s website for a vernacular media technician. It seemed like a perfect fit for Anita. Then one day at CanIL, a Bible translator talked about Ethiopia, and Lindsey was intrigued.

THE CALL

“So I got a phone call one night,” Anita remembers. “‘I think we should go to Ethiopia,’ Lindsey told me.”

Shortly after their phone call, Anita attended some of the workshops at Houghton’s mission emphasis week. Anita was interested as Joy Ashbaugh, a missionary with SIM (an international missions organization whose initials formerly stood for “Sudan Interior Mission”), spoke about opportunities to use music in missions in non‑traditional ways.

Joy had actually lived and served in Ethiopia for two years. With the country fresh on her mind after Lindsey’s phone call, Anita talked with Joy over coffee.

“Joy told me coffee is a cultural thing in Ethiopia,” explains Anita, “and I love coffee. But she also let me ask her my tough questions.” Both Lindsey and Anita felt that Joy speaking at Houghton — just after Lindsay brought up Ethiopia — might be a confirmation to go to the country.

Lindsey then reached out to SIL Ethiopia* on behalf of herself and Anita: “Is there a place for both of us?” she asked.

The emailed response came later: “Oh, yes. We can make that work.”

Anita and Lindsey were accepted to Wycliffe during the same time frame and hope to begin serving in Ethiopia in April 2019! Anita will be a vernacular media technician and Lindsey will start as a translation intern and then become a translation advisor.

“There are so many unique roles in missions that most people don’t realize,” says Anita. “It was surprising to me. If you have a desire to go into missions, invite your friends to a mission event to check it out. Or be brave and ask them to go to the mission field with you — you never know!”

“You don’t know God’s plan for anyone else,” says Lindsey, “but you can ask. Don’t discount the roles others can play in your life.”

If you’re looking for a way to serve God in missions, there are plenty of opportunities to serve with us!

* SIL is a partner organization.