/ / Heroes Came To My House

Heroes Came To My House


 This time of year, children dressed as super heroes will be arriving on many doorsteps. But that is not what I’m talking about!!  Tonight – a family of superheroes walked up on my front porch!  You couldn’t tell they were superheroes just by looking at them.  There were no huge “S”‘s on their chests but there should be!

Now I know they would *blush* at the thought of me saying this about them and I don’t want to put undo pressure on them – as I am very aware they are NOT superhuman…But in a world that holds up pop stars and rock stars as role models for our children – I MUST give a huge “shout out” to all the missionaries around the world!!! You are my heroes!

Holly and Andy and their 3 children are missionaries in the Ukraine – but let me tell you how our friendship began!


We met in our youth group at church when I was a freshman in high school and Holly was a Junior.  I was a public school, chatty cheerleader with a hungry heart for more of Jesus in my life and she was a homeschooled sweet, quiet, strong spiritual role model.  She took me under her wing and met with me weekly giving me daily Bible reading assignments and holding me accountable for 2 years straight.  Then off to Moody Bible Institute she went!

I longed to be like my mentor, so I visited her at the Moody Bible Institute and I loved it.  2 years later, off to the Moody Bible I went – following in her footsteps.  There once again, I was the immature Freshman and she was the mature, leader and R.A. of our dorm floor.  I continued to watch her like a hawk and often found myself sitting in her dorm room –  pouring out my problems to her!  She always had a Bible verse and prayer as she calmly reassured me of God’s sovereignty.   This girl was as cool as a cucumber through every trial and tribulation – she amazed me! 

A verse she introduced to me, that I still turn to today in times of fear, trouble, or confusion is Psalm 84:11,12.  It says:

“For the Lord God is a sun and shield, the Lord bestows favor and honor, no good thing does he withhold from those whose walk is blameless.  O Lord Almighty, blessed is the man who trusts in you.”

This verse helped me when I wondered if Keith would EVER ask me to marry him lol! (we dated 4 years) God has brought this verse to mind when I’ve wondered why certain trials were in my life and it helps me even now as opportunities arise and I pass them by because it’s the wrong season of life…I remember “no good thing does he withhold from those whose walk is blameless.”  If these things were good for me, he would not withhold them and when they are withheld I am reassured – their withholding is a gift.  Simply trust.

And so tonight – I heard superhero/real life stories of lives being transformed by the amazing power of God working through Holly and Andy and their children in the Ukraine.  Their family ministry is compelling, inspiring and puts some of my feeble attempts at ministry to shame.  Once again, I just long to follow in Holly’s footsteps…to faithfully follow God wherever he leads…”For the Lord God is a sun and a shield”…he is worthy!  He is able!  

They are living proof that being blessed comes not from all the stuff and junk we Americans cling to and call blessings but of Psalm 84:11,12 – “Blessed is the man who trust in you.”  Be blessed and don’t forget to read missionary stories to your children – this world will try to offer them weak heroes –  they need real life spirit-filled heroes!

Walk with the King,


  1. I LOVE your heart and perspective. I LOVE that you call missionaries HEROS and encourage others to lift them up as role models. I also LOVE that you said, “…that being blessed comes not from all the stuff and junk we Americans cling to…” So true! The standard of living in this country is unreal and it is so easy to get wrapped up in it, that we forget what 85% of the world lives like. Oh boy, I better stop this comment now because I am starting to feel passtionate, James 1:27!

  2. What a wonderful story. And as you are blessed by them coming into your home and being role models, you bless us as you enter our home! You are doing exactly what the Lord has in mind for you! 🙂

    1. They don’t 🙁 I really wish they did – the work God is doing there is AWESOME! I could have listened to them share all night long…I was sad to see them go 🙁

    2. Hi Ingrid, I remember you also from Moody!! I checked your blog out – what a great ministry! No, we don’t have a blog, but we do have a facebook page (www.facebook.com/theristsinukraine) …. Yes, a bit lame in comparison to you real bloggers :-), but it works. Blessings on you!

  3. I’ve been reading your blog for awhile, but have never commented. My family and I are missionaries to Australia (we leave November 17th for our first term!!). Many say to us “I could never do what you do.” I like to stump them and say “really, why not?”!! Although I think of us as normal people. I have the same struggles every other wife does, I’ll just be facing them from the other side of the world. I teach my kids that missionaries are special people (although I don’t want them to get a big head!). My daughter already feels God is calling her to Africa. Anyway, coming from a missionary, thank you for the title of ‘heros’. I want children and adults to look at my life and be encouraged. Anyone can do what we do. I heard this quote once – “Not every believer is called to the mission field, but every believer should struggle with it.”

    1. Awesome!!! I love this!!! I am so glad that you are answering the call to “go”! May God bless you and your family!!! And if you ever blog please send me your link! I’d love to see a peak into your world there!

  4. Courtney,

    I love this story. I grew up a missionary kid, so this story has special meaning for me. I love the way that Holly mentored you and brought you along in the faith, and its so evident of the impact she had on your life. You are carrying it on for sure.

    Blessings my friend!

    1. OH an MK – AWESOME! What a blessing to have lived life so fully as a child! You’ll have to share some of your stories at Relevant!!! See you soon!

  5. I whole heartedly agree! Missionaries ARE super heroes. I had the privilege of leading a boy to Christ when he was 12. He became like a son to us. Now 15 years later he is all grown and married and serving as a missionary to Belize. Thank you for your post today as it has reminded me of all those heroes out there!!

  6. Courtney, I, too, love that you refer to missionaries as superheroes. We have also heard so many amazing stories from our friends that are serving overseas (some that even helped with my youth group and mentored me!) Don’t discount your ministry here, though – your “feeble attempts” are allowing God to reach many, many people (I truly believe the Internet is am enormous mission field). The work that you are doing is very different and shouldn’t be compared. You are both answering the call…it is God that will use that to reach hearts through his Son! Be encouraged and stand firm!

  7. I know the Rists. I met them shortly before my first trip to Ukraine in 2009 (we adopted a boy). And we kept in touch. I also had the opportunity to visit them during our second trip to Ukraine this summer (we brought home a daughter). We visited their church and were really, really blessed! They are heroes to me, too. Love the Rists!! We’ll be having them at our church in November, then over to our house to eat shortly after 🙂

  8. I just had to comment and say a hearty “Amen!” to your perpective. This world has their priorities turned upside-down when it comes to who people look up to. We should definitely “set our affections above” the things of this world. As a mom who faces the prospect of seeing her daughter and son-in-law head to the mission field some day in the future, I appreciate the encouraging words regarding how we should view those who head to the field. Lord willing, my “heroes” will be in Ecuador some day!

    1. Wow! What an amazing job you have done as a parent to raise such a stellar daughter! I know it must be hard to send your daughter to Ecuador – what faith you both have!

  9. Awesome post, Courtney! You are so very right! There are so many “role models” for children that aren’t role models at all. Our children (like my nine year old daughter) need amazing role models like your friends and women like me need great role models like YOU! I find your blog inspiring and I love your heart! God is good!

  10. Some girlfriends and I are going through So Long Insecurity by Beth Moore, and in it there is a prayer where we are asked to write the names of Christians we are thankful for. I listed Holly. We were also asked to write the names of women of dignity. I listed Holly. Thank God for the blessing He has allowed her to be to us!

  11. I am always inspired by my missionary friends, and testimonies after our church does its Brazil missions trips. They ARE heroes!

  12. It’s your heart pouring right out of you, Courtney. I *know* these words you express about missionaries are true because you have mentioned this on more than one occasion. What an absolutely WONDERFUL story of faith, friendship, and placing value on what truly matters. I so enjoyed reading through this post. Would love to hear more about your days at Moody in a future post too.

  13. What a wonderful story! I have been enamored with missionaries since I was saved 10 years ago but have yet to even go on a short-term mission. Hopefully soon once my young children are a bit older. Thank you for the reminder to read missionary stories to them! We love reading about the kids in other countries who are following Jesus and want to add more stories about Americans who have gone aboard to tell others about Jesus. BTW I love Psalm 84:11-12! Actually all of Psalm 84 is so good!

  14. AMEN! Missionaries ARE heroes! – Missionaries are not more perfect then the rest of us and somehow closer to God – they are just WILLING to allow God to use them with all of their faults. Blessings to your friends.

    I also want to mention a great resource for teaching your children about ordinary people who allowed God to use them in extraordinary ways. The book series is called Hero Tales by Dave and Neta Jackson, and is a compilation of short stories published by Bethany House Publishers. My mom found these books for my children and I have enjoyed reading them and being challenged, myself.

  15. I would love to know if your friends have a website set up for financial support, or how we can give to them. I have been on a mission trip to Ukraine and pray daily for God’s guidance on the right time to return. Also, please encourage them to set up a blog. I try to keep up with missionaries in that area as much as possible.

  16. Courtney, I’ve been following your blog for a while now (maybe 6 months to a year) because my college roommate suggested it to me. I love your entries and am seriously challenged & encouraged by them. My family and I are currently in language school in France and will be heading to West Africa next year as missionaries. Your blog has encouraged me through some hard times away from home this year. I love your perspective in this entry, but I have to point out that missionaries certainly don’t feel like heros. It probably wouldn’t be good if we did anyway. I think it’s awesome to bring attention to missions and encourage the next generations as well. Thanks for doing what you do. It really is a ministry to even my missionary heart. Be Blessed.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

I accept the Privacy Policy

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.