A Deeper Look into the Missionary Life of Whitney Varnau

Whitney has a beautiful heart to see people experience freedom in Christ. God has allowed her to see this dream fulfilled through being part of She Has a Name.

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A Deeper Look into the Missionary Life of Whitney Varnau

Whitney Varnau | Mar 22, 2018, 15:10 PM

Whitney has a beautiful heart to see people experience freedom in Christ. God has allowed her to see this dream fulfilled through being part of She Has a Name.

I have an existential crisis at least once a week. I’ll be 26 next month, and it is not a typical Tuesday if I’m not lying upside down on my couch asking God, “What is this place? Why am I here? Where do you want me? When are you coming to get us?”

When I reflect on the road that led me to my latest season of ministry, there wasn’t a Morgan Freeman voice or burning bush. I didn’t have a prophetic dream, and I didn’t cross paths with a stranger who informed me that God wanted me to work at She Has A Name (a nonprofit fighting against human trafficking) . It isn’t deep or flashy. I simply wanted to give my time to abolition work, and God let me. He graciously let me learn and grow and experience new challenges.

I spent my first three years after graduating working with my campus church. I loved it. Spring break trips, summer leadership projects, coffee-shop discipling, and radical life change. It is still one of my greatest honors that I got to watch college students give their lives to Jesus and, in turn, watch Him change everything. I chose to go into ministry right after I graduated because, again, I wanted to, and God opened the door. I remember trying to process what it would look like for me to go to grad school or enter corporate America after graduation, and it just didn’t make sense for me at the time. All I wanted to do was invest in college students, and, thankfully, God let me, and Reliant hired me.

Over the past year, I transitioned almost entirely out of campus ministry. As much as I loved working with college students, my prone-to-wander heart was ready to experience God in a new facet. I was volunteering for She Has A Name for almost a year before I joined their staff team. And after nearly a year of serving as community engagement director, I’m grateful.

I’ve planned community events, coordinated volunteers, learned how to build a website, and learned about marketing and social media. I’ve led new teams and managed interns. I’ve built partnerships and invested in relationships. Along the way, I learned a whole lot about human trafficking and the devastating brokenness in Columbus. It’s hard to believe it’s been a year because I genuinely had no idea what I was doing until three months ago. I was faking it every single day while I sat in my little cubical Googling “How to embed a newsletter on Squarespace.”

God’s been generous to me. I have no idea where He’s leading or how long I’ll be in the nonprofit world, but I am grateful for his kindness toward me as He’s allowed me to experience Him in different spaces in ministry. Who knows, maybe on one of my Existential Crisis Tuesdays, He’ll let me know where I’m wandering next.