About two months ago, my business partners and I launched the grand opening of our non-profit, Elle + Emma’s Bake Shop, which was the realization of years of envisioning and contemplating. Elle + Emma’s is a mission’s-based bake shop that partners with missionaries and Christian mission’s organizations in order to help fund the projects necessary to spread the Gospel and bring relief to those in the most dire need. By definition, to go on mission is to step outside of one’s personal boundaries, to cross over into foreign territory with the sole purpose of sharing Christ.
Without question, surrendering one’s life to Christ in this way takes courage, discipline, a selfless attitude and the perspective that the Great Commission was never meant to be the Great Suggestion. I shared in my last worship post that doing the work of a missionary is worship because worship is indicated by our obedience to God’s word. Thus, the launching of Elle + Emma’s denotes a practical acknowledgement of the Great Commission.
Taking all of this one step further, though, Elle and Emma actually engage in missions work along with baking the sweet treats folks buy to help fund the work of missionaries. But, who is Elle, and who is Emma, right?! Good question! It is quite a random story surrounding the naming of our business, but simply put, Elle and Emma are all actual people. In fact, they are us (my sisters and I). Alexis, my youngest sister, who goes by “Lexi” is L (or Elle). Amber, our middle sister, whose middle name is Nicole is “N” (or and). Then you have yours truly! I am Ashley, the eldest sister. My middle name is Marie (think of the “em” sound) and I am the Emma of the motley crew! I cannot begin to express to you how one brainstorming session to name our business produced such a wonderful collaboration of characters! lol
Although Elle is embarking on a mission’s trip of epic proportions, I would like to highlight my upcoming mission’s trip. In June of this year, I will be heading to Ecuador to serve the people in need in that South American country. Whether loving on orphan children, leading worship, teaching Vacation Bible School, spending quality time with the native people, or building a place for worship or learning, I will have an amazing opportunity to share Jesus in everything I do. This may sound cliche or uninteresting, but it’s truly an amazing opportunity for me to step outside my comfort zone and smack dab into the middle of an adventure with Christ. Sometimes I think we believe–and consequently cause the world to believe–this faith walk is boring or monotonous. Since the God we serve is so expansive and endless, when we find our walk is becoming boring, we may need to check our devotion to living obedient lives to Christ…because Christ is always challenging us beyond where we are comfortable!
My upcoming trip to Ecuador is definitely a test of my obedience and willingness to exit the zone of comfort and enter the zone of adventure! I am truly excited. So, if you would like to help me get into the field this summer to share Jesus, if you are passionate about making Christ’s name famous, or if you just have a heart for helping others, feel free to donate to help make this trip possible. I have a goal of $2,500…and believe me a little help from you will go a long way! I am going into the field with an organization called Adventures in Missions. Please feel free to check them out before deciding whether to head over to my mission’s fund link!
If you are interested in more information about Elle + Emma’s Bake Shop or if you would like to purchase your gourmet goodies, please visit our website! www.elleandemmas.com
Again, my mission’s fund link is http://www.gofundme.com/ashleymariegray.
Thank you in advance for you readership, support, and donations!
Cheers to Exiting the Comfort Zone!