Engage East Africa

Missionaries expend an extraordinary amount of strength every day as they dedicate their lives to further the Gospel. With sustained attacks from the enemy, many missionaries find themselves in a place where they see no other option but to return home from the field.

To help alleviate the pressures our missionaries face, Bellevue Missions has begun a new area of ministry called Advocacy Teams. The heart of Advocacy Teams is to help our long-term missionaries maintain a strong connection with their friends, family, and church back home. Amid all the stresses our missionaries endure, we do not want them to feel isolated from those who love them most.

Lauren Milewski is one Bellevue missionary who has the support of an Advocacy Team while she is on mission in East Africa. She is currently serving a two-year term in Kenya as a Journeyman with the International Mission Board.

“Knowing there’s a group of people who are supporting me and knocking on Heaven’s walls on my behalf has been a game-changer,” shared Lauren. “Being 8,000 miles away from my home culture, sometimes it seems like no one fully gets me or the enemy tries to attack from all angles (ministry, mentally, physically, etc.). And to receive a text message at the most random time from a sweet friend who’s been praying for me—means the world.”

Lauren’s Advocacy Team has a group message, where Lauren sends text updates concerning her life and ministry. It’s a place for her to share prayer requests, updates, and praises as often as she wants. Advocacy Team members pray over her requests as individuals and meet to pray together.

“We meet monthly to pray—sometimes in person, sometimes over Zoom, sometimes over a meal, sometimes bringing snacks,” explained Katie, the leader of Lauren’s Advocacy Team. “I always get a list of requests from Lauren and open it up for anyone who has talked to her recently to add requests. Then, we just go through and pray over each request specifically.”

Prayer is the heartbeat of Advocacy Teams. There is mighty power in prayer, and Lauren has testified: The prayers of her Advocacy Team are vital to lifting her up and keeping her going.

“When times have been hard or lonely, knowing I have a group of people who get me and will drop what they’re doing to pray for an ‘emergency request’ has encouraged me to keep on living out the Great Commission over here,” said Lauren. “I really believe the fruit the Lord has allowed me to see is a result of their prayers, and it’s been super humbling to be a part of.”

Members of Lauren’s Advocacy Team have also been blessed as they keep in touch with her, hear how God is moving in the hearts of Kenyans, and go to war alongside her in prayer.

“To be in on where God is at work is awesome,” shared Ginger. “Hearing first-hand how God is moving in Africa on a large scale and a small scale and being a part of that through prayer has been so encouraging to my faith and my prayer life. Seeing God answer Lauren’s needs and prayer requests is a faith-booster for sure!”

In the Great Commission (Matthew 28:19–20), Jesus commands every one of us to be a part of taking the Gospel to the ends of the Earth. Even if He is not currently calling you to go to another country, He does call you to get involved somehow.

“While I cannot be there standing alongside her and serving with her, I can do my part at home,” shared Advocacy Team member Melissa. “Praying for her and being an intercessor for our missionaries is rewarding in and of itself. We can’t be on the field, but we can pray!”

As Bellevue continues to grow its Advocacy Teams ministry, there is a great need for more people to sign up. We invite you to support our missionaries and join in the work God is doing around the world by joining an Advocacy Team!

“To the church, your missionaries need you,” encouraged Lauren. “They need the church, and this is a way you can virtually participate and reach the nations together!”

Learn more about Advocacy Teams and about how you can join by emailing Bellevue Missions at missions@bellevue.org.