Elizabeth Heft is a missionary with the United Methodist General Board of Global Ministries serving as a high school teacher in the Beit Jala area of the West Bank. She was commissioned in the Spring of 2017.
Elizabeth is from Ohio, where she is a member of St. Paul United Methodist Church, Dayton in the West Ohio Annual Conference. She was a volunteer in mission for two years prior to becoming a missionary. Earlier, she was volunteer coordinator of education and teacher training at the United Methodist Church in Yei County, South Sudan.
After receiving a Bachelor of Science degree from Miami University, Oxford, Ohio, Elizabeth earned the Master of Arts degree in adolescent/young adult math education from the University of Dayton. She taught in Ohio’s West Carrollton Schools from 2003 to 2012. She was a mission specialist and licensed local pastor in the Ginghamsburg United Methodist Church, Tipp City, Ohio from 2013 to 2015.
The faith journey that has led Elizabeth to the West Bank of the Jordan River began in 2007 with the ending of a personal relationship that caused her to doubt her value and worth. A sense of self and a return to God came through participation in the Ginghamsburg Church. She took part in short-term mission trips and found them so rewarding that she took on a longer assignment in South Sudan. Back home, she worked as mission coordinator at the church and began the process of becoming an ordained deacon.
In August 2015, she moved to Bethlehem to teach high school math and Bible. God’s call to remain there and seek missionary status came to Elizabeth as she stood outside the Garden of Gethsemane:
I was trying to make sense of what I was feeling. I had been there three times before and had heard over and over about the difficulties of this land—a place where feelings of resentment and anger, fear and hopelessness dwell within people, always just below the surface, threatening to boil over at any moment…
“How am I supposed to go home and resume my life after experiencing this? But before I could even finish forming the question, I knew the answer. I couldn’t leave and God knew it. But what, I asked God, do you want me to do about it?
“’Come, let me show you,’ God replied.”
Beware of internet property rental scams and other similar scams using missionary names.