Stepping Out on Faith: Kirkland’s Story

Anyone who knows Kirkland Smith knows that she is not afraid of adventure. That became even more apparent when she decided to delay college for a year and live out of a backpack to travel the world on a year-long mission trip.

Kirkland left this week to join The World Race Gap Year program which is part of an organization called Adventures In Missions. It’s a nine-month mission trip that will carry her to six different countries: India, Nepal, Zimbabwe, Zambia, Malawi, and Ecuador. While she’s in these countries she’ll be part of a team that will feed the hungry, pray for the sick, plant churches, and more. The purpose of the program is to spread the love of Christ and take the Gospel to the ends of the earth.

Kirkland refers to the experience often as ‘stepping out of the boat’. Her passion for mission stirred when she traveled to Guatemala during her junior year of high school. “I saw villages with kids who were starved, hopeless, and unloved. Seeing these precious kids so broken shattered my heart, and I knew something had to be done about it,” says Kirkland. She said it was at that point that God grabbed her and said: “Why not you?”

“This Race is going to be challenging and life-changing. It’s going to stretch and deepen my faith in incredible ways. It’s going to put me in uncomfortable situations and make me more reliant on God than I ever have been.”

It’s inspiring and encouraging to see young people at First Baptist Jackson live out their faith. Kirkland has been an active part of the student ministry and has been an active volunteer for the Joy Prom, a prom for young people and adults with special needs. Please pray for Kirkland and her family as she takes this incredible journey. Kirkland will be sharing updates with us through her blog at


  1. Cynthia Mabry

    Praying for you Kirkland as you follow a call from God to be His hands, His feet, His voice to the world. May the Holy Spirit go before you to prepare the hearts of those who He will lead you to minister to. May He send His angels to form a hedge of protection around you and those serving along side you. May He grow your life in prayer, service and dedication to Him. Love, live, laugh and find the joy He has for you in this time of service. 1 Chronicles 16:27

  2. Betty Anne Bailey

    My prayers go with you and with your family here. I know the Lord will protect you and guide you each step of the way. Your precious grandmother , who is a talented writer will have much to write about. Look forward to hearing many reports from you. May many lives be changed because of your commitment to the Lord.

  3. Martha M. Martin

    Kirkland, praying for you throughout your journey and your witness and ministry will accept Jesus Christ as their personal Savior. Also praying for your safety and health throughout your journey. Blessings