Growing up on the mission field in Bolivia and Honduras, Esther Leininger always wanted to be a missionary. After graduating from Kingswood in 2014, Esther now uses her BA in Christian School Education and minor in Global Missions to teach English in Nauta, Peru, as the first full-time missionary in the community. On mission to bring the hope of Christ, Esther uses every opportunity to evangelize her students, weaving Bible verses, stories, and songs into each lesson.

Her vocation has opened the door for her to work on the front lines of discipleship and leadership training, raising up local workers to be leaders of their own local churches. The church is exploding in the Peruvian Amazon, with the need for pastors far outpacing the current rate of planting and training. Esther’s team travels from village to village by boat along the Amazon and Maranon rivers to serve the twelve church plants, pouring into the new generation of potential leaders, hungry for discipleship.

Esther freely admits she felt completely unqualified for her posting, but God had been preparing her heart in advance with Isaiah 6:8. When the opportunity came to serve in the Amazon rainforest, this young woman with a spider phobia responded with an unequivocal and unconditional, “Here am I. Send me!” She speaks with the confidence of one who knows God goes before her and walks with her when she counsels others: “Please don’t let any feelings of inadequacy keep you from doing what God calls you to do. Just say ‘yes’ and watch how God uses you.”