by Angela Nelson
Twenty-seven-year-old Josh Mills grew up outside Philadelphia. He’s been accepted to work with Wycliffe at JAARS (a Wycliffe affiliate organization) in North Carolina as an auto mechanic. This week, he’s in Orlando, attending Wycliffe’s EQUIP program for new members, so we interviewed him to find out more…
Q: What got you interested in mechanics?
Josh: Growing up, my parents always had older cars, basically, and they always needed repair. I was always like, “Well, if I was an auto mechanic, I wouldn’t have to worry about any of this.”
Q: Can you tell me how you got into missions?
Josh: I was always interested in being an auto mechanic, and I was always interested in being a youth pastor. And I got to a point where I received an e-mail from some of our missionaries, who were working in Kosovo after the war of ’99. They were starting a youth center, and because I was doing youth work at the time, I said to myself, “I’m going to go there someday.” Well a year and a half later, I ended up going on my first missions trip.
When I came back, I was praying to God, “Lord, do you want me to be an auto mechanic, a youth pastor, or a missionary?” And God answered my prayer with, “All three.” I didn’t know how that was going to work, but somebody from my church mentioned JAARS…. So I volunteered at the auto shop fixing missionaries’ cars, and I served with the missionary kids. So God brought all three together.
Q: What have you been doing since then?
Josh: Since then I went on two more missions trips to Kosovo. I started going to automotive school just outside of Philadelphia and got that degree, and I’m gaining professional experience and certifications.
Q: What will you be doing when you go to JAARS?
Josh: There are a lot of missionaries in and around JAARS. So I’ll be working on those cars primarily, as well as the fleet vehicles that JAARS has. And there is a chance that I’ll be working on and modifying some of the basic utility vehicles that JAARS is employing to serve overseas.
Q: So what’s EQUIP been like?
Josh: A whole mixture of emotions… One thing that my dad said when I was on my way to EQUIP, was, “You’re going to love it there because you’re going to be with all these like-minded people.” I’m here now with twenty-two people who are all pursuing Bible translation work with Wycliffe, and it’s just great.
Q: What’s one of the most valuable things that you’ve learned here at EQUIP?
Josh: Hearing some of these stories, it’s kind of taken me to another level of, “Wow, I need to be understanding that prayer works.” So many times we’re just praying for the big things, [and we think] we’ll handle the little things, but it’s God working in even the tiniest stories when we pray to Him.
Q: What’s something you didn’t expect about being here at Wycliffe this last week?
Josh: I didn’t expect it to be as busy and full of information. I also didn’t expect that I would be as close to the people, but these are probably people that we’re always going to remember.
Q: So what happens next?
Josh: Going home and organizing my information and organizing everything that I’m going to be doing. Also to do some recruiting—to really get people excited about Bible translation, because this ministry certainly isn’t about just me, or about just JAARS, or about just Wycliffe. It’s about bringing more people to serve God. So that is all ahead of me, and I’m prayerfully hoping to complete PD* in December, and in January to move down to JAARS.
*PD stands for “partnership development.” It refers to the support-raising process.
Q: Is there anything you can think to add?
Josh: Here at EQUIP—everybody seemed to say the same thing at some point: “Well I love to do this, but I’d also love to do missions.” Yet, everybody is here, doing what they love to do…and they’re doing missions.