Missionary Jae McKee Follows God’s Call From Alabama to Alaska

As Jae McKee read the job description, he said it felt like a tap on the shoulder, like a clarion call saying, “This is the job for you.”

So he applied — for something else.

“It’s kind of comical in hindsight,” McKee said. “I felt specifically like my call to missions was a call to Juneau, Alaska. I didn’t question it. But it was like my fleece at the time — I wanted the decision to be God’s, not mine, and I wanted Him to confirm it.”

So that day in 1991, in the lobby of the Baptist Campus Ministries (BCM) at the University of North Alabama (UNA) in Florence, McKee wrote down his top three choices for short-term missionary jobs — and none of them were Alaska. And then he waited to hear from the Home Mission Board (now the North American Mission Board).

Weeks later, the phone call came.

“They only had two positions left. One was in Orlando at Walt Disney World and the other was in Juneau, Alaska. They asked me if I would be interested in one of those,” McKee said. “I told him that Juneau was the only reason I’d applied anyway.”

The phone was quiet.

“Why didn’t you tell us that?” he was asked. “And I said that I had wanted God to orchestrate it” — and “God had confirmed it with that phone call.”

It might’ve been a turning point, but McKee’s journey didn’t start with that phone call — but much earlier.

Childhood missions learning

His exposure to missions goes back almost to the cradle roll at First Baptist Church in Rogersville, Ala., where he grew up.

“The missions education there was tremendous,” he said. “RAs [Royal Ambassadors] was a big deal then, and all the way through they made sure we understood the Cooperative Program and how it supported the mission boards.”

Then McKee got to UNA and his missions education found its feet.

“I truly realized my desperate need for Christ in college, and when I surrendered to whatever God wanted me to do, I realized that everything before that had been preparation,” he said. “Then when the opportunity came to go to Alaska, in my spirit and in my heart, it was very clear that it was the step God wanted me to take.”

Not to mention that Walt Disney World terrified him.

“Send me out in the woods with the bears,” McKee said with a laugh. “I’m happy with that.”

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Source: Baptist Press