I am finally starting to feel better, and being home for a couple weeks has given me a great chance to reflect on the summer and to consider where God might be taking me in the next few years!
So what did I learn this summer?
- I learned a ton about what it looks like to start a student-run campus movement. As we met with students on some of the campuses that were harder to reach, we got the opportunity to cast vision for the students and show them how they could lead their friends and classmates in Bible studies. This was really exciting, and I liked that it focused less on us forming relationships with them and more on the students forming relationships with each other. This is much more sustainable in the long run because we have to come back to school here!
- At the beginning of project, I was hesitant to step into a pseudo-leadership role on the team but was pushed into it as I was one of only two students who had been to South Africa before. In hindsight, I think it was a great experience, as I learned a lot about what it looks like to lead in word and action while still letting students experience things on their own. As my teammates came to me with cultural and ministry questions, I was able to use my past experiences to help them understand ministry in PE. I was really surprised at the huge amount of respect I received and it was so neat to see God use mein this way.
- Last year in CRU at Davis we talked about how every relationship is a two-way discipleship opportunity. Unlike last year, I was one of the older students on my team, and I had the privilege of bringing younger Davis students with me. I noticed God using my conversations with them to encourage them to take steps of faith, and I was often convicted as I listened to God speaking to them through me and realized my need to grow in the same areas. Taking steps of faith is a lot easier when you’re doing it alongside someone else!It was so encouraging to see God redeem struggles in my life and use them to help others. Even the students on campus showed me the Gospel in ways I’d never heard it explained before. “God is such a gentleman,” one girl repeated over and over.
- I realized that God has placed a deep passion in my heart for community development ministry, whether it is in the US or in another country. We worked with an organization called Jerusalem Ministries in a local township that provides Christ-centered community services such as vocational training, drug rehabilitation, aftercare programs, and a library. I love to see how whole neighborhoods are affected by Christians who share the good news not only through words but also through pouring into their communities. Christ modeled this idea so well, and I am excited to follow His example with my life.
As I am entering my senior year, almost everyone has asked me what my post-graduation plans are. To be completely honest, I don’t know yet. I’m looking at different programs, including STINT in South Africa and a Christian international agriculture development course with ECHO. I’ll be going to a conference in the fall with CRU to learn more about what it looks like to be a Christian in the workplace. I’m not too worried about not having a plan yet; pray that God will continue to lead me.