Stacie Fields of January 2014 C Squad was a woman on the run.
Threatened by an abusive boyfriend, condemned by a church culture, battling self-hatred and shame over her past, Stacie moved to New York to make a fresh start and pursue her dream of professional dance career.
Though saved as a child, it was at a retreat with her New York church where Stacie believed for the first time God loved her. “I realized my sin doesn’t disqualify me from God’s love or from His calling on my life. The more I got to know God, the more free I became.
And God then gave me a heart for setting captives free.”
Stacie found the World Race when searching for missions organizations in Southeast Asia. But she was living her dream - a cast member in a popular dance company - and wasn’t ready to surrender her dance career.
“I found myself lying in bed at night reading blogs and crying. I prayed and fasted to find if this was God’s will for my life. And confirmation was everywhere. I have had a still small voice for years telling me I was created for the nations, that I have a missionary heart. God was asking me to hold all that I loved with open hands.”
Since her launch in January, Stacie has lived surrender - her career, future plans, personal space, expectations, comfort and familiarity, even ministry. It all came to a head in Mozambique, where the distance between the bright lights of New York and the bush of Southern Africa is measured in more than just miles. “We had to cook every meal over a fire. The closest grocery store was five hours away. We could only shower when we had the water to do so. There were bugs the size of my head and squatties full of maggots. The spiritual warfare was intense and oppressive.
But we saw healing; we saw deliverance, we saw salvation, and we saw miracles.”
Coming from a church culture where she felt like she was “too much” and “not good enough” at the same time, Stacie has found safety in the community of her squad. “We have shared our secrets and fears, celebrated each other, and have been brutally honest with each other. These brothers and sisters have supported me and loved me exactly as the loud, wild, crazy, free-spirited woman I am. Instead of silencing our roar or telling each other to sit down, to be tamed, the WR has given each of us the freedom to be ourselves, to be bold, to be crazy, passionate, wild for Jesus. We are all being put into the furnace together.”
In that furnace, Stacie has seen the unmatchable beauty of surrender, of trusting God as her provider, her protector, and her Savior. Of seeing him restore her heart and set her free.
And asking her to dance.
“I have learned, when God asks us to hand something to Him, He has something even better in mind. I have been able to dance in a park full of people in Guatemala, in churches and youth camps in Africa. I even got to teach dance classes to women in Mozambique.”
As Stacie enters the final month of her Race, it’s just the beginning for one of her new dreams - a dance ministry for women rescued from abuse, prostitution, and trafficking. Her challenge to Racers is to remember why they chose to leave home and familiarity for 11 months. “We are not ambassadors of the USA; we are ambassadors of Christ. The World Race isn’t the point… Jesus is. We are not doing what we do to glorify a trip or ourselves. So fall in love with Him. Focus your gaze on Him. It’s not just the 11 month journey He has called you for…it is every moment of your life on this earth. Make it a priority to know the Father’s heart.”
Because his heartbeat is the dance.