'I go because the Lord sends me'

PAM GRIFFIN 654-8444 | @DestinLogPam Pgriffin@thedestinlog.com
Lauren Fogarty with a child on a previous mission trip.

A local woman, 26-year-old Lauren Fogarty of Santa Rosa Beach, will set off in January on a missionary adventure that will cover 11 countries in 11 months.

She currently serves in volunteer and worship positions at Coastline Church on Mountain Drive, but has also been a part of Destin United Methodist and Shoreline.

This will not be her first mission trip. She has been to Haiti three times and Mexico twice. Her first mission trip at the age of 23 was to Titanyen, Haiti.

"Once I went I wanted to stay," she told The Log. "Its amazing how different people live, they have so little but their lives are so full and they are so content and even generous with what little they have. I knew after that trip that I would even follow the Lord to more places outside the country if He asked me to."

The new 11-month mission trip will go to the Dominican Republic, Haiti, Costa Rica, Panama, South Africa, Lesotho, Mozambique, Cambodia, Thailand, Malaysia and Indonesia. There will be approximately 40 people on her team, ranging in age from 21 to 35.

"I will travel with my team to each of these countries, working with an established organization there to do whatever they need," she said. "Orphan care, office work, supply packaging, working with victims of sex-trafficking, Bible studies, preaching, the list goes on."

Fogarty feels blessed to see God work in other people's lives and in their hearts and give them hope, and she loves being able to serve however and wherever God sends her.

"I love that its all about the Lord," she said. "I don’t go to make myself feel better or to cross something off of my checklist. I go because the Lord sends me and I want to see His name known."

When she first began her walk with the Lord, Fogarty wanted everyone to experience what she was feeling.

"So I began sharing with friends and serving as a volunteer in several different ministries. Also there is a verse in the Bible, Matthew 28:19, that reads “Go therefore and make disciples of all nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit." I wanted my life to be whatever God wanted it to be. I desired to be obedient to whatever he called me to be."

The community, organizations and churches can help Fogarty in her preparation and undertaking of the mission.

"The biggest thing that I need is prayer — for me and my team mates, and our families back home. I am asking for prayer and accountability for myself. Keep me focused and grounded and shielded in prayer, please."

Fogarty also has to raise money for the trip — almost $17,000 by April 30. If anyone would like to help her in any way, with fundraising, donations and prayers, her email is a.laurenfog@gmail.com. She also has a blog, annalaurenfogarty.theworldrace.org, that she posts too and will update while she is on the trip.

"I’m nothing special. I am not going on this trip to preach myself, I am going to serve others and share the love and gospel of Jesus Christ with those I meet along the way. I am just a tool to do so. The best part about me are my feet — they are carrying me to take hope and salvation to people in need. I want people to taste and see that the Lord is good."