Few young women can say that they’ve been an eye witness to the fighting on the front lines of ISIS, but Rebecca can! She has had an adventurous life from growing up as a missionaries’ kid (MK) in Turkey, to traveling all over the world obeying God’s call. We’re glad God gave her a “pit stop” at CCS for two years!
Rebecca’s journey to Cornerstone had many twists and turns! Initially, she began homeschooling in Turkey where her parents were missionaries. After they returned to the states, she spent her middle and early high school days at The King’s School in Bolton. Once King’s closed their doors, Rebecca’s family decided to send her to CCS for her last two weeks of high school. Begrudgingly, Rebecca started and eventually found a home at CCS.
After the adjustment of her junior year, Rebecca said she was excited to begin her senior year. There was a different feel for her. Their small class was more bonded together and it felt like a family. Part of the reason was because they had the opportunity to regularly join together in prayer. Rebecca said she thrived in her leadership classes where she felt empowered to become a young leader both inside and outside of school. Staff members like Tammy Gerhard and Beth Russell were instrumental in coming alongside her.
After graduation, Rebecca decided to attend a ministry school in Tyler, Texas, called Teen Mania Ministries. She attended a program called the Honor Academy, which utilized a holistic approach to learning and being involved in ministry. Specifically, she was in the school of worship where the focus was on fasting, prayer, missions and practical ministry experience. At the end of her second year, she had an opportunity to tour with the band, Acquire the Fire.
Rebecca took the next two weeks to seek God’s direction, and felt like He was calling her in a new direction. She did not join the band, but instead enrolled in a program called “The World Race” through Adventures in Missions. She backpacked through 11 countries in 11 months with a team of 45-50 people where they learned practical ministry skills and then put them into practice to people in those countries. This experience gave her a heart for long-term missions.
She returned home to Connecticut where God had her in a “hidden season”. She sought Him for direction and learned to trust Him in the waiting. After two years, in 2014, Rebecca ended up in Harrisburg, Pennsylvania working for another ministry. While she was there, God connected her with others who were drawn to the Middle East. In January 2015, she was part of a scouting team that went to Iraq. They wanted to minister to the Yazidi people groups who had displaced by ISIS.
For her first trip to Iraq, she spent two weeks connecting to the people who had been traumatized. She and her team listened to stories, prayed, encouraged, and cried with the people who had been displaced and were living in tents. She returned a month later and for the next year traveled in and out of Iraq. During that time, she raised support and rallied churches to become involved in the work. She was even approached by a Kurdish general who was fighting ISIS, and he asked her and her team to come pray near the front lines. Even though the general was a Muslim, he wanted an end to the genocide that was happening and recognized the power of prayer.
Rebecca loved her work in Iraq so she stayed there for three years. Her vision was to have an emphasis of prayer and see God bring about societal change for the people of Iraq. Practically, she helped with a monthly distribution of food, facilitated women’s trauma clinics and lead in children’s worship. She basically “did life” with the people to whom she ministered.
At the end of her time, her team had doubled in size and she felt like she needed to decompress at home. She is now back in Connecticut and awaiting her next assignment. I’m sure God will have other adventures in store! At CCS, we have “no greater joy than to hear that (our) children are walking in truth.” 3 John 1:4
If you know an alumnus of CCS who would be willing to share their story, please contact Dawn Snellenberger at firstname.lastname@example.org.