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What were you interested in when you were sixteen-years-old?
Friends? Clothes? Music? Sports?
Madison Lamb enjoys many of the typical things most teenage girls do. She likes hanging out with friends and drinking coffee. But Madison has also found a love for something that is not so typical for a young woman of her age. She desires to go into full-time ministry serving as a missionary.
It all started when Madison was in eighth grade—except she didn’t actually know it then.
She signed up for her first mission trip.
Her first mission: a six-day trip to Mexico. Madison and a group of other kids her age along with several adults helped construct walls and roofs for houses. On the fourth day of the trip, her group visited an orphanage where many children had been taken to live by their own parents because they lacked the means to care for them. However, a heartbreaking fact Madison learned, was that some of the parents still came and visited their children in the orphanage, but leave them in hopes for a better life than they could provide.
“I’ll always remember the sweet little girl named Bethlehem that stole my heart,” Madison said. “After the orphanage, we visited the dump where many locals go to scavenge. We took hot dogs wrapped in tortillas to share. It was life-changing to see how these people live.”
Each night Madison’s group listened to powerful missionary speakers from all over the world. One guest speaker named Brad had served as a missionary in Papua New Guinea. He stayed long enough to learn the language and translate the Bible for the locals.
“I learned so much. It was amazing, but I still wasn’t really sure if it was something I wanted to do. So, I didn’t tell anyone, but I was thinking and praying about it. I wasn’t ready to be accountable, I guess.”
The Lord was using the experience from this trip to plant a seed.
A year later when Madison was in high school, she was asked to go on another mission trip, but this time as a teen mentor for the junior high students. Madison agreed and the Lord was busy planting more seeds.
“I got to give a twenty-minute speech to the students about my mission experience. I didn’t realize how much they would look up to me.”
When Madison got back from her second mission’s trip, her heart was completely changed.
“I need to do missions! This is what God wants for my life!”
The future plan is to go to college—hopefully a Christian University with study abroad possibilities and major in Literature and Christian studies. She is also researching missionary training schools and looking into teaching English.
While Madison is still in high school, she intends to explore more missions and reach out to other teens. She says a major concern for teens is a lack of confidence and poor self-image.
“Unfortunately they are looking for attention in the wrong places. Society tells them so many things that conflict with God’s message,” she said. “I used to struggle with body image like a lot of teens my age. But then I read and understood that I am fearfully and wonderfully made. God, the creator, loves me and made me beautiful. I want others to know this too!” (Psalm 139)
Everyone needs to know they are loved by God.
Madison believes that if teens understood more about God and the Bible, they would be better equipped to handle the many pressures they face today. “When I put God first, my whole life changed. I love my Bible! I write verses on my hand to help me through the day. Others can see it too.”
Madison has some special people in her life. She says most of her close friends are Christians which helps her. There are also adults that have helped her relationship with God grow as well. “My parents are great! I have met many leaders at church too. My small group leader, Emma, taught me how to pray. I can call her and she’ll meet up with me for coffee. It’s so great to have her support.”
At the age of sixteen, Madison has learned some fundamentals and essentials that every Christian can benefit from, no matter their age.
- Read your Bible and share it with others.
- Memorize scripture. It helps keep you on track.
- Prayer is powerful. Do it every single day.
- Find your value in God, not society or anything else.
- Surround yourself with other Christians.
- Find a mentor.
- Be a mentor.
- Look to God to find your purpose.
Thanks for the inspiration, Madison!