I’ve been so busy the whole month of April trying to balance school, work, family, friends and my relationship with Jesus. I’ve been meaning to share a very big life experience with you all, but haven’t had time.
This past month I went to a leadership conference with Chi Alpha (Student Leadership Advance) and I was completely moved. This has been my first year serving on the Chi Alpha leadership team, and I absolutely loved it. One of my favorite conferences in Chi Alpha is SLA, so you can imagine how excited I was to go this year.
The structure of SLA was different this year. We arrived to Ft. Worth, Texas Friday afternoon, had dinner at P.F. Chang’s and then made our way to the church. Worship was great, and the message was about expanding the pack and reaching students at our campus.
Saturday was a very busy day from sun up to sun down. We had breakfast, made our way to the church for worship and a message from one of the pastors. After, we had BBQ for lunch, coffee for dessert and a small devotional time with the campus pastor and leaders in Chi Alpha at Texas State. We talked about the different things that God has done in Chi Alpha this year, and we talked about the things that we struggled with the most. We prayed, we laughed, we drank coffee. I began to thank God for blessing me with such an amazing group of leaders and friends. Chi Alpha has truly impacted my life and I can’t imagine my life without them. Later we went back to the church and had two breakout sessions. One session was about the “unanswered questions” that many of the leaders have about leading in Chi Alpha. I went to the session that helped prepare me on how to lead a Bible study more efficiently. The second session was with a missionary couple who are serving in Moldova through an organization called Journey to Hope. I’ve listened to dozens of missionaries before, but this time was different.
Last year Renay West, a missionary currently serving in Thailand, came to a Thursday night Chi Alpha meeting. She was telling us about the different countries that she was called to. She told us her testimony, and I sat in the back of the room crying. She and I experienced things as children that were fairly related. I began thanking God for allowing this amazing woman to speak truth and love. I went up to Renay after Chi Alpha, bought her book and asked her about her life before missionary work. She told me that she went to college in Houston and majored in broadcast journalism. I looked at her and I was so amazed. Journalism is my passion, and just seeing how she incorporated doing the Lord’s work into her degree gave me hope. I asked her how she used her degree as a missionary and she said that she was able to host a radio show in Argentina that shared the gospel of Jesus Christ. My life after this was completely changed. This was when I knew that God was calling me to be a missionary—I just didn’t know where He wanted to send me.
As John and Adriana Lungu were talking about Moldova I began to feel God speak to me. I saw myself in Moldova, a country I knew nothing about, writing and ministering to young college girls. I saw myself taking videos and photographs. I saw myself in a country sharing the gospel. God spoke to me and told me that Moldova is the country where He is going to send me.
After John and Adriana spoke I sat in my chair and sat still for a while. I felt like I was on a roller coaster and the ride just came to a stop. I couldn’t move, I couldn’t think, I couldn’t breathe. I was just completely blown away by the grace of God. I knew that I HAD to talk to John and Adriana; I just had to contain my emotions. I wanted to scream, and jump, and cry because of everything that God is.
I saw that Adriana was busy talking to students, so I made my way to the back of the church where John was. He saw me walking towards him and he paused. I told him my missionary journalist dream, and I told him that I felt like Moldova is where God wants me. He looked at me and was speechless for a while. After he was able to find words to say, he said that he and his wife have been praying for God to bring in a missionary journalist. John kept saying “wow,” and told me that he would put me in their suitcase if they could (haha). He then took me to his wife and told her everything that I told him. She stood up from her chair and was so amazed as well. She hugged me a few times and was so excited. She began to make plans and told me that she would talk to the journalism department at one of the universities in Moldova so that I could speak about American journalism. I looked at her, and thought “wow! This is real life.” I was so shocked that she was speaking to me with a you-are-going-to-Moldova voice rather than a you-are-maybe-going-to-Moldova voice. I hugged her one last time and she promised to keep in touch with me. I remember her last words were, “don’t give up on this.” At the time I didn’t quite understand why she told me that, but now I do. It can be so easy to give up on a dream that seems so far away.
My plans for my life were to graduate college with a major in journalism and a minor in criminal justice. My plan was to move up north, work for The Chicago Tribune and start a family. My plan was to be the best reporter ever. However, my plans will never compare to the plans that God has for my life. God completely changed my plans and my dreams, and I am absolutely ok with it. I know that He has great things in store for me, and I can’t wait to watch His will for my life unfold.
John and Adriana are currently in the states raising a budget through the Assemblies of God. They will be flying back to Moldova in November. My current plan is to complete an internship/missionary work in Moldova in the summer of 2016. After I graduate college in May 2017, my plan is to go back to Moldova and see what God does.
“Give thanks to the LORD, call on his name; make known among the nations what he has done.”
God is just so great!
Remember that His love never fails.