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  • Writer's pictureAshley Rogers

Called. Rogers in Rio Part One

Updated: Mar 5, 2020

Called. What does that even mean? I guess I don’t completely know how to answer that question but I do know this- in August of 2012 we undeniably and unexpectedly were. So rather than get into a theological discussion on Gods calling or debate if He still speaks, let me simply share my story.

I was tired. I mean, drop dead exhausted. Two toddlers, a zillion diapers, and smack in the middle of full time youth ministry with my husband. I was terrified of a recent doctors visit and the mention of ovarian cancer. In between cleaning up finger painting and peanut butter I was texting teenagers at midnight trying to listen to their drama and encourage them and help them press into Jesus. Wait- press into Jesus? What must having time to do that be like? What I wouldn’t give to transport myself back in time for a few days to when I was in college and had actual time to sit, reflect, ask questions, worship for two hours… So that’s excatly what I did. I always say that growing up I knew Jesus and I knew the Father, but it’s wasn’t until my time in Waco where I feel like I met the holy  Spirit for the first time. And he rocked my world. Every year the church I was a part of puts on a conference that gets young people excited about what God is doing around the globe and commissions them to go be part of it. So I decided to take my tired little mommy self back to that place, desperate to feel that passion again- hungry for time to have Jesus answer my long list of questions and fears- and expectant for Him to give me a pep talk and give me a good verse of two before I headed back into my world of emotions, teens and two year olds. He gave me a talk alright, just not one I was expecting in the slightest. It went something like this:

{Day one}

ashley-“please God I’m just not ready to deal with my fears yet. Not ready to let go, to trust you with my health, my kids, my husband. Just not yet. Please.”

God- “actually, I know what you need. So this first speaker I’m going to bring up will speak about a young mom who battled ovarian cancer and before she came to meet me. She was an incredible force for my kingdom. So let’s just go ahead and get that fear dealt with first.”

ashley- awesome. Totally great.


We moved into a time to cover the nations in prayer and so they asked us all to be still and wait on the Lord for the name of a country or city so that we could pray as one voice. Immediately the city of Rio de Janiero popped in my brain and so I prayed. I saw a picture of the Olympic stadium as I prayed and remembered the 2016 Olympics would be held there in four years. Of course! I was praying for the city where the nations would gather in one place! We finished praying and I moved on.

{Day Two}

ashley-“ok God I have a few questions for you to answer, let’s deal with those today.”

God- well, I think we need to deal with your other fears. You know- the fears about you trusting your kids to me?

Ashley- no no. That’s ok. Maybe next year.

God- time for our next speaker ash. Listen up.

{enter speaker, crying and a time for people to come down and receive prayer over their fears. I walked to an older man who might be compassionate and understand my momma and wife heart. He instead looked at the eighteen year old sitting in a chair nearby and said, she will pray for you. Perfect.}

cute bright eyed 18 year old- “Lord help Ashley release these fears she has and teach her to trust that…”

Ashley (she has no clue what’s it like to carry your heart around with-)

CBE18YO- “…. I just am seeing a picture of an Olympic stadium..”

ashley (wait what?!!)

CBE18YO- “I see you sitting in the stands while the mile relay is going. They are missing an anchor leg and you’re the one that supposed to go. The Lord is telling you to get out of the stands and go.”

Ashley. At this point, in a state of total shock I simply stared at her and walked back up to my seat in the stands and sat down. I then left my seat and proceeded to call my husband. I told him- “honey. I think we are supposed to go to Rio to do street ministry during the Olympics.” (Pause) “with the kids.”

And this is why I adore my husband and respect his heart more than any other human on the planet. His simple response was: “Well. Alright then. Let’s go.” He told me he felt like the Lord was going to give us a confirmation from the main stage somehow and that I would hear very clearly before the conference was over if going to Rio was Gods call or not. The next morning our speaker happened to be max lucado (who also happens to be our preacher). Though we’d been on staff several years there I didn’t know the first part of his story:

Max- “many of you might think I’m speaking because I pastor a church and write a lot of books. But the truth is, I have a heart for the nations. When my wife and I first got married, God called us to Rio de Janiero.”

So there it is. I came with my exhaustion, and He gave me a pep talk. I came with my fears and He went at them head on. I came with fists clenched tight, holding onto all that I hold dear and feel in control of and the Lord told me to let go and trust. Ah Jesus. Always surprising, always mysterious, always good.

its been almost three and a half years since we got the call. No more words, no more dreams or crazy confirmations or even plans for that matter. But on August 8, five Rogers (yes there’s now five but that’s a story for another day) will board a plane bound for Rio de Janiero, Brazil to go where God called.


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