We Send Every Member | The Ashby’s Story
Sep 21, 2020
| By Amy Kavanaugh
Emily and Reid never thought a global pandemic would be their ticket to serving with a church plant overseas. But when the world turned upside down this spring, and Emily began working remotely, God was bringing something beautiful out of something tragic.
In March, Emily, an accountant in Research Triangle Park, was allowed to work remotely as a direct result of the COVID-19 pandemic, something that didn’t seem possible before social distancing procedures became necessary. A few months later, Emily and Reid started praying about a risky possibility. Rather than working remotely from their home in the Triangle, they wanted to ask Emily’s workplace if she could work from anywhere—even London.
As a great display of his faithfulness, God answered their prayers, and Emily’s boss agreed to the plan! Reid said he’s been interested in serving overseas since college, but that he and Emily hadn’t been sure of how it would be possible for them.
“For a long time, I had a passion for overseas missions but wasn’t sure where or how that was going to factor into God’s plan in my life,” he said. “But it was something that he had put on my heart a long time ago, and I told Emily about that while we were dating.”
Emily was a bit reluctant at first, so Reid decided that if moving overseas was going to be an assignment for them from God, he would wait for God to reveal that to Emily personally.
“It just made me uncomfortable,” Emily said. “And then one day, I saw on Instagram that there were new church plants being announced, and I saw Thomas and Elizabeth would be planting a church in London, and it sparked my interest. Then we were sitting in church one Sunday morning, and they formally announced the church plants, and I really felt God saying … ‘You all need to pursue this. This is for you.’ I told Reid after church, and he was thrilled.”
Reid and Emily didn’t have the logistics figured out yet, but they were confident in God’s calling, and they trusted him to provide a way for them to be sent—specifically to London.
“London used to be such a vibrant, Christian city,” Emily said. “There are churches everywhere you go in London … and we’ve realized a lot of churches have been converted to apartments or to new things, and Christianity has pretty much died there … London is so post-Christian that it’s now pre-Christian.”
Upon moving to London, Reid looks forward to starting his master’s program at University College London and developing relationships with his classmates, who come from all over the world.
He said, “There’s a lot of people who are looking for something that we have, and we have the privilege to share with them. It’s a really exciting prospect to know that you have this healing power that can only come from the Holy Spirit and from an experience with God that so many people want, but they don’t even know what they’re looking for. To have the opportunity to share that in such a strategic area is really exciting.”
While they don’t yet know how long they’ll live in London, Reid and Emily are confident in what the eternal impact of their move might mean. “If I could share the gospel with someone … who looks different than me … who I could teach how to share the gospel with others … then that person could change the world,” Reid said.
Here at the Summit, we are a movement of disciple-making disciples committed to sending every member—locally, domestically, and internationally. If you’re interested in taking your next steps to live sent or support a church plant, visit our website for more information.