"I knew I loved Jesus and that there are people in the world that didn't know Him," Mellot said. "I was burdened at a young age for lost people in the world. GA and Acteens were the foundation of my life; I knew I wanted to be part of what was going on in the world as God uses His church for His renown."
Mellot said one of her first memories in GA is the Wednesday night when she memorized Matthew 28:19-20: "Therefore go and make disciples of all nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit and teaching them to obey everything I have commanded of you. And surely I am with you always, to the very end of the age."
"I remember those words piercing my heart in a way I could not explain, but I knew it was true and that I wanted to be part of the commission Jesus gave us when He went to be at the right hand of God," Mellot said.
Ever since that night, that passage has been a big part of her life and impacts how she views the world. "Whatever we do, we are to go and make disciples," Mellot said.
Mellot gained knowledge and strength in GA and Acteens that she now uses in her missions work in East Asia.
"In GA I received a foundation of what the Bible says about missions," Mellot said. "I learned a lot about missionaries and what they do around the world to share the Gospel. Then in Acteens, I got to put my knowledge to practice as we went out into the community and on mission trips."
Mellot said she also developed strong beliefs in GA and Acteens.
"My beliefs are that it is important to encourage girls as they grow in their relationship with Christ ... to follow what He says even if it goes against norms of society," Mellot said.
"GA and Acteens is where I was encouraged to honor God with my life no matter what avenue is taken. This age in a girl's life is so critical for how she will be when she leaves her family, when she goes to college or off to work. When she is firmly planted in the world, she will remember the truth of who God is when pressures of this life are faced."
After Mellot's freshman year of high school, she was able to go minister to the group of East Asian people her state convention was praying for.
"It was during that time that God really gave me a heart for those people," Mellot said. "When I came back home I prayed for them and cried for them to know God. I prayed about going back, but I knew God would take care of the timing."
Mellot now is continuing her call to missions as a journeyman with the International Missions Board in East Asia. A journeyman is someone who has a college degree, is under the age of 26 and gives two years to missions work.
"I have been in East Asia shy of a year, working with that same people group my state prayed for and I came to share with years ago," Mellot said. "Although I have learned that people accepting Jesus as their Lord and Savior is not always an automatic event, I know that God is faithful and I need to be faithful in spending time with the people and sharing His truth with them."
Mellot said the greatest lesson she learned through GA is many people in the world have never heard of Jesus nor have they ever had a Bible in their heart language.
"However, the greatest value I've learned is the world is so much bigger than me," she said. "I learned the value of prayer and prayerwalking. There have been so many times throughout my life that I have prayerwalked the cities I visit and live in. I know that is a direct product of what I learned in Acteens."
*Name changed. Laura Wilson is a senior at the University of Alabama at Birmingham and was an intern at national WMU. Get Baptist Press headlines and breaking news on Twitter (@BaptistPress), Facebook (Facebook.com/BaptistPress) and in your email (baptistpress.com/SubscribeBP.asp).
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