"Moving your life to a foreign land and culture to become a missionary comes with so many unknowns. It can be really scary... But God has and will continue to prove Himself faithful throughout fears and anxieties and loneliness. He has a way of doing that because that's who He is."
Rachel Hulicki didn’t grow up going to church. When Hulicki started her freshman year at North Carolina State University, her roommate invited her to Providence Church in Raleigh.
That invitation forever changed her life.
Now, Hulicki serves overseas as a missionary, having accepted Christ in college and deciding to go two years after college to share the hope of the gospel with others.
Check out the Q&A to find out more about the 23-year-old college grad’s work in Thailand as a Journeyman with the International Mission Board.
How did you decide to become a missionary?
When I started going to church — and when I prayed to receive Christ — God immediately gave me the call: “Now, you are My child. I have called My children to go and make disciples of all nations.” I didn’t know what that looked like, obviously. But I knew when I first believed, [I told Him,] “God, I’m giving You everything. So, if this is what You called me to do, I will do it.”
[In May 2021], I was about to graduate with a teaching degree, and I really wanted to teach in a school setting. But also, the IMB came often to my church’s college ministry and pushed giving a summer, a year, two years of your life to the mission that God has called us to. I started praying about it, talking with my pastor, and went to my Bible study leaders about it. They all thought I’d be a good fit for the Journeyman program.
How is God working in Thailand?
The ground here is very hard. People are often not very interested. The town where we just planted the church, missionaries have been going out to this place for eight years, every single week faithfully, not seeing a believer or anyone interested.
I’ve seen a lot of people come to faith here — and I was not expecting that at all. My teammates who have been out on the field for over 30 years keep reminding me, “Rachel, this is not normal.”
Can you share an example of how people are responding to the gospel message?
My team knew S* since he was in middle school. He would come to church sometimes so he could play in the sports ministry afterwards. When he was about to graduate high school, he felt super lonely and isolated, like so many people have felt during COVID.
One of our local believers, who’s about his age, invited him to come back to our Bible study during COVID. S* felt the presence of God and said he couldn’t explain it. When he would read the Bible with us, he felt so much peace. He kept studying with us.
About a year-and-a-half ago, I had only been here a few weeks and joined the Bible study. S* read Philippians 3:17 and said, “I want Christ in my heart forever.” That day, he believed. Since then, it’s been amazing to see him grow in his faith despite a lot of adversity. His parents almost kicked him out because of his faith. He struggled with deep depression. But God has kept pursuing him and growing him. And now, in this new church plant we’ve started, he loves singing and leads worship every time we meet. He has really owned up to his faith, and he shares with his family all the time despite them almost kicking him out.
What has God taught you through being a Journeyman?
He’s faithful. Moving your life to a foreign land and culture to become a missionary comes with so many unknowns. It can be really scary.
I had some friends questioning me, “Rachel, you’re sure you want to do this?” But God has and will continue to prove Himself faithful throughout fears and anxieties and loneliness. He has a way of doing that because that’s who He is.
Why would you encourage other college grads to become a Journeyman or serve overseas?
When I was going through [the decision process] and wasn’t feeling sure, I thought about the grand scheme of things. I had a lot of people pour into me and ask, “Rachel, instead of asking why go, ask why not?”
I thought, “Why wouldn’t I go?” I’m single. I’m still young. I’m in good health. Why not just go? I didn’t have things holding me back.
Oh, what about my church? What about my friends and my family? What about my career? God just made those things seem so small in comparison to His greater mission for the world.
There’s a lot of fear — I understand that. I was so afraid to come. But if God has called you, He’ll prepare a way. He will be there right beside you. This work, there’s nothing else like it.
This really is His work, and He’s worth it. He’s worth everything. He’s worth leaving all our comforts behind. To anyone who feels a single ounce of desire to go, start the application, and you never know what God will do with it.
Consider praying for Rachel Hulicki and other North Carolina missionaries, church planters and unreached people groups through our Praying for the Nations initiative. To learn more, visit praync.org.
by Lizzy Haseltine, N.C. Baptist contributing writer
Editor’s Note: Interested in serving overseas through the IMB or Baptists on Mission? Learn more about our Go2 initiative.
*Name omitted for security purposes.