My name is Lauren Payne. I have recently begun the adventure of marriage with my husband Jordan (July 2016). Currently, we are both seniors at the University of Arkansas at Little Rock pursuing degrees in Applied Communication. I am also completing my degree in Spanish. After we graduate in May, we plan to serve with missionaries from our church in either Kenya, Suriname, or Slovakia (or anywhere else God may lead). My husband, whose parents were missionaries in Mexico, has known for many years the passion God has given him to live and serve in an international setting. However, I had not until more recently. Little did I know though that God began to grow a heart for such things the day I began a relationship with him as a child (in the missions section of a VBS, no less!). As a teenager, I learned Spanish and went on two short-term trips to Peru where I began to ponder the idea of foreign missions. In my freshman year of college, He grew this idea when I taught English as a Second Language and helped run a kids summer camp in a Hispanic community. Sophomore year, God really challenged how I had always defined “ministry,” growing me to a place of contentment wherever I was and whatever I was doing and also making me more willing to do things “different than the norm.” This was also when I met Jordan and through my relationship with him, God continued to push Himself out of the box I had placed Him in. That summer, Jordan and his dad and I went to Haiti where God pushed me out of my comfort zone in an all-male construction team, showing me how valuable I was as a woman and as His daughter and also challenging me to redefine the way I thought about “missions.” My junior year I studied abroad for a semester in Costa Rica. Just before I left, God more clearly awakened my heart for the international mission field and used my semester abroad to grow my relationship with Him, as well as my Spanish language skills and many other practical skills. Despite both of our backgrounds in Latin America and Spanish, God has used the last couple years growing friendships with people from many different countries leading Jordan and me to be willing to go anywhere He asks. Although we aren’t sure where we will be or what we will be doing, we’re passionate about marriage, kids, youth, dark chocolate, and coffee. So for now, we are here and loving our little apartment and our friends at school and my mother-in-law’s generous supply of study snacks.