Chris Ledbetter — a man on a mission (literally)
Ledbetter, who is 25-years-old, earned his bachelor’s degree in finance and economics from Arkansas Tech University and worked for Southwest Mortgage Company in Benton. On Tuesday he’ll start on his mission trip, which will take him to 11 countries over the next 11 months.
Why would Ledbetter quit his job and leave his friends and family for almost a year? He said there a lot of answers to that question.
“There’s a whole slew of reasons,” he said. “I haven’t been out of Benton and Saline County except for college.”
Ledbetter said he started thinking about making a change — perhaps moving out of state or joining the Air Force. While considering his options, one of Ledbetter’s friends told him about a program through Adventures in Missions.
“I just couldn’t put it out of my head,” he said. “It’s something adventurous. … It caters to my personality type. Something new every month.
“It just appealed to me — to get to see the world while doing the Lord’s work.”
Ledbetter said he did his homework by finding out as much about Adventures in Missions as he could and from reading blogs maintained by people who had gone on mission trips organized by the group. Ledbetter sent in his application with the $39 fee charged by the group, got accepted and has been raising money for his trip since June.
Ledbetter said people going on the mission trips are required to raise enough money to cover their expenses. He’s required to raise $14,300 by June and has raised close to $10,000 so far.
“I have no doubt I’ll be fully funded by the time the deadline comes,” he said, adding that donations have come from some unexpected places — friends and families have sent in money, but so have casual acquaintances and people who have run across his Facebook page and his blog at cledbetter.com.
Ledbetter said his church — Holland Chapel Baptist in Benton — has given him the opportunity to speak at an event about his trip and drum up support. Holland Chapel also helped him put together a reception on Friday so his family and friends could say their goodbyes before he headed off on his trip.
Ledbetter has also gotten a lot of support around Benton. Parkview United Methodist Church, for example, invited him to come out and speak about his trip and raise some money on Wednesday. His boss, Dio Vanucci, has helped Ledbetter save money on rent by letting him stay in house for the past couple of months. Ledbetter says he’s confident Vanucci will let him have his job back upon his return from the missionary trip, too.
Meanwhile, Ledbetter is still in need of donations. Those can be submitted online here and checks can be sent to:
Adventures In Missions
P.O. Box 534470
Atlanta, GA 30353-4470
If you do send in a check, make sure to put “Chris Ledbetter” in the memo line so they’ll know who is to receive your donation.
Benton resident. Rogue journalist. Recovering attorney. Email = Ethan@FirstArkansasNews.net.