All scripture is from the ESV translation unless otherwise noted.

Where I Am Now: Austin Stone Institute

Two years ago, after I had just finished my sophomore year at Texas A&M, I got to spend a total of seven weeks in Haiti and Honduras. Though I was in the process of getting a degree to teach High School Mathematics, after that summer I decided that I wanted to do vocational ministry full-time. The door of going to seminary upon graduation was closed and so this past semester I had been looking for a church to work at to get more hands on experience, instead of going straight into more schooling. I applied to work at Austin Stone Community Church (through the Austin Stone Institute), the appeal of which largely rested in three factors: that I’d be able to work with missions, I’d be working at a foundationally solid church, and I’d be in a city where only 1 out of 8 people attend church regularly (so there's a huge need for people who want to share the love of Jesus with others). Needless to say, I’m elated to get started working there in September!

The Austin Stone Institute will provide me with the opportunity to serve in the local church (a crucial part of being a believer according to 1 Corinthians 12:12, 21-22, 26), further God’s kingdom through missions (both local and foreign), and grow as an individual, especially because a big cornerstone of this program is the development of the interns into more mature followers of Christ. My desire is that through this internship God will use me to cultivate a love for denying self (Luke 9:23-24) and serving God (Acts 20:24) in the lives of other believers. While the primary purpose of short term mission trips is to serve others, I’ve found that there are two great benefits for those who go on the trips. The first is that they are exposed to new cultures and made readily aware of the needs in other parts of the world. The second is that these trips are great “practice”, in a sense, for what we should be doing every day as believers: being missional wherever God has us. At the end of the year I hope to be able to look back and rejoice at all the short-term trips I was able to help plan and praise him for the ways he has grown me.

Want to help?
The Austin Stone Institute has no central funds to pay 75+ intern salaries and ministry expenses, and so like many other mission organizations ASI depends on the consistent financial support of partnering individuals and churches. In addition to financial needs, there is also a strong need for prayer. God reveals to us the power and necessity of prayer in his Word (James 4:2-3, Philippians 4:6-7, Luke 5:16). I am praying for people to partner partner with me in both of these areas and thus be fellow workers with me for the kingdom (3 John 8). If you want to receive a monthly prayer card from me, please email me at If you want to partner with me financially, a year-long commitment to give $100 or some other amount every month would be of great help. If you are not interested giving monthly but still want to help out, you can give a one-time donation of $300, $200, or some other amount. Donations can be made by clicking on this link below. You can choose the amount of your donation and the frequency and duration (one time, monthly for 12 months, etc.) As I don’t start work until September, you should schedule the donations to begin on September 1st.

Thanks for considering partnering with me! If you have any questions, feel free to call, text or email.

Jack Stephenson

Verses Referenced:

1 Corinthians 12:12, 21-22, 26
12 For just as the body is one and has many members, and all the members of the body, though many, are one body, so it is with Christ. 21 The eye cannot say to the hand, “I have no need of you,” nor again the head to the feet, “I have no need of you.” 22 On the contrary, the parts of the body that seem to be weaker are indispensable. 26 If one member suffers, all suffer together; if one member is honored, all rejoice together.

Luke 9:23-24
23 And he said to all, “If anyone would come after me, let him deny himself and take up his cross daily and follow me. 24 For whoever would save his life will lose it, but whoever loses his life for my sake will save it. 

Acts 20:24
But I do not account my life of any value nor as precious to myself, if only I may finish my course and the ministry that I received from the Lord Jesus, to testify to the gospel of the grace of God.

James 4:2-3
You desire and do not have, so you murder. You covet and cannot obtain, so you fight and quarrel. You do not have, because you do not ask. You ask and do not receive, because you ask wrongly, to spend it on your passions.

Philippians 4:6-7
Do not be anxious about anything, but in everything by prayer and supplication with thanksgiving let your requests be made known to God. And the peace of God, which surpasses all understanding, will guard your hearts and your minds in Christ Jesus.

Luke 5:16 (referring to Jesus)
But he would withdraw to desolate places and pray.

3 John 8
Therefore we ought to support people like these, that we may be fellow workers for the truth.

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