Before knowing the meaning of the word “missionary”, Renay West felt called to minister overseas. She now serves in Bangkok, Thailand, as a missionary through the Assemblies of God World Missions. She is notably the only single woman to hold the title of Missionary Evangelist within the fellowship.
Renay West is an anointed communicator, involved in numerous ministries within Thailand. She ministers regularly at the International Christian Assembly in neighboring Phnom Penh, Cambodia, while serving her home church in Bangkok on the leadership team preaching once a month. West is also an experienced pastoral counselor specializing in counseling children, adolescents and adults who are victims of abuse or sexual assault.
From huge conferences all over the world to counseling a small group of orphans, her ministry takes on many different forms, but always a similar theme—a message of freedom and healing. West expresses, “It wasn’t being a talented preacher that opened the doors—it was simply giving what I had—my own life message, so that other broken people could understand that there is hope.”
At just 10 years old, her life radically changed after being sexually abused by someone outside of her family. She fell victim to a childhood of brokenness and at the age of 20, she reached a point of pure helplessness—enough to want to end her own life. The night in which she planned to follow through with the act, an encounter with the Lord brought her the freedom she needed to pursue healing and wholeness. She says, “That journey of healing and pursuit of restoration in my personhood has become my life message.“
Although her formative years were tainted by an incident that left her broken, God was able to meet her in her darkest place and redirect her towards the plan and purpose He had set for her. In 2006, she transferred from Thailand to Argentina. Everything would change when she shared her testimony for the first time. She began counseling individuals who were suffering because of past or present abuse. Because the numbers of people needing ministry was so great, it led her to start her own conference ministry called “Aguas de Sanidad” (Healing Waters). She and her team, comprised of Christian counselors and social workers, ministered to thousands of broken people throughout Argentina and Europe by utilizing the same process that opened her eyes and brought her spiritual restoration. During one of their most recent outreaches in a province of Argentina, the local government paid for the entire event because of the great need in that particular region.
“One of my greatest joys has been seeing other women who were impacted by our conferences or my message rise up and pioneer ministries similar to Aguas de Sanidad,” she says. “After ministering in Fiji, some of the Assemblies of God women there with whom I ministered won the favor of their government by being a voice for the abused and exploited. They now have a registered social foundation recognized by the government called ‘Breaking the Silence.’ I love seeing God multiply this message of deliverance and healing!”
Renay West hopes to use her ministry to empower young ladies who feel called to preach God’s Word. She says, “There are so few women who have a pulpit ministry, that I believe just by modeling it, it will demonstrate to girls that ‘in Christ, there is neither…male nor female,’ that God is calling men AND women to be a prophetic voice to this generation.” She wants young women to remember that there is a place for them in ministry and that they never have to compete for that place.
Renay West has faced her own set of unique obstacles throughout her ministry. With most senior pastors being men, the logistics of seeking a mentor was difficult to figure out, but she knew she needed this specific type of proximity to someone with a pulpit ministry. When she finally found a mentor, he soon became a spiritual father whose influence produced a hunger within her to pursue the gifts of the Spirit and believe for miracles and signs and wonders as she ministers. He taught her the difference between talent and anointing which resulted in a drastic change both in her personal life and her ministry.
West has experienced, firsthand, the impact a mentor can have on a young adult. Today, she actively recognizes the young women who intently observe her, takes them under her wing and says, “Come walk with me in the altar as I minister.” Just as her mentor did for her, she hopes that personally investing and speaking into the lives of these young women will result in a hunger to pursue God’s call on their lives and pursue Holy Spirit empowered ministry.
Renay West places great value in relationships and the positive influence they can have on someone's personal journey. In 1988, West graduated from Southwestern and says that her peer relationships and influential professors such as, Adonna Otwell, made a lifelong impact on her ministerial career.
West and her team are currently in preparation to launch their new ministry venture based in Thailand called the C2 Project. C2 stands for Compassion Coalition: Compassionate Care for Communities and Children in Crisis.
She has also published her own book called, “180º to Freedom.” The book was first published in Spanish and released in Argentina, and eventually in English. The book shares about how to identify and tear down spiritual strongholds in one’s personal life, family, and ministry.
To learn more or to purchase “180º to Freedom,” click here .
“I’m praying the Lord will allow me to lead a movement that gathers and trains caregivers who will influence their villages and communities by addressing the areas of childhood sexual abuse, domestic violence and exploitation. And, in the process, we will have the opportunity to share Jesus with those who have never heard the Gospel” she says.