Santiago, Chile

Why Chile? Why now?

As crazy as it seems, if all goes as planned, in about 2 months I will be leaving for Chile! This is mind-blowing and seems impossible. But I trust that God can do it!

In the letter I sent out a little over a month and a half ago, I explained briefly what led me to pursue this opportunity to serve in Chile. But I am a details person, and God put some pretty awesome details in this story that I wanted to share. So grab a bucket of popcorn and enjoy the story…

popcorn

From September 2016-August 2017 I served at Lake Lundgren Bible Camp as an intern. This is a place that has been near and dear to my heart for many reasons. They definitely instilled in me a desire to serve in missions and for that I am thankful.

In January 2016, I began praying about whether I should stay at Lake Lundgren serving in a long-term position. This was such a hard decision and my heart felt torn so many times. I prayed for months and sought counsel from other Christians.

Finally in April or May 2016, I decided that I would not be continuing on at Lake Lundgren in the fall. But at that point, I still didn’t know what I was going to do. I decided that I had to trust the Lord and put that thought on hold for a bit.

I continued to pray throughout the summer but was also consumed with the work I was doing at camp. This is where we come to the climax of my story…

In July 2016, we had a missionary speaker named Jeff who came to LLBC. He led a “breakout session” on missions. There were a variety of sessions to choose from but I kept feeling pulled to attend this one. He talked about how we should just “go” if we wanted to serve God in missions! He challenged us to find a missionary in need of help and ask if we could go to help them for a period of time. I was SUPER excited about this idea of just “going” and shared the idea with my mom although I didn’t believe it was actually a possibility.

In God’s providence, as these thoughts were running through my head and in my prayers, the VP of Mobilization at ABWE, Scott, came to Lake Lundgren the next week to share about his missions experiences. On the last night of that week, I sat with Scott at dinner and he shared with me and another staffer about ABWE’s short-term opportunities. I literally was so excited about the idea of serving short-term (2 months-2 years) that I went to bed smiling and dreaming about it! I’m not even joking.

emily and scott
Scott and I when I went to ABWE’s home office for training!

Per my excitement, the next morning I searched ABWE’s short-term opportunities on their website. The first two that showed up made me lose my breath. My heart seriously felt like it dropped because these opportunities were too perfect for what I would be interested in doing.

Both were serving as administrative assistants in schools. One was in Spain. One was in Chile. Let me explain why these were so perfect for me:

  1. I had an interest in working with Spanish speakers since a missions trip I went on in 2012.
  2. I had done a one year administrative degree in 2014-2015 and when I finished I wanted to work as a school secretary.
  3. I was very interested in doing missions work!

I can still remember telling my good friends and mentors at camp that day and the next. I was doubtful that it could actually work out, but all of them strongly encouraged me to go for it (shout out to y’all for being wonderful humans). I know I wouldn’t be doing this if it wasn’t for their initial support in those first few days.

As far as choosing between Chile and Spain, I felt an initial draw towards Chile and so did some friends I told. And that’s how I chose! I even remember saying something along the lines of, “All the Spirit led people in my life are telling me to pursue Chile!” Haha 🙂

During this time, I also told my parents, we began to pray, and I began to pursue the opportunity in Chile. And here we are! Tell me a year ago this is what life would be like, I would have been shocked. God does amazing things.

I’ll end with a quote from John Piper that certainly sums up my story (and yours too): “God is always doing 10,000 things in your life, and you may be aware of three of them.

In my next post, I will address common questions I get asked… including how my parents feel about me leaving the country. 🙂

P.S. I am now 30% funded! God keeps providing and it’s so fun to see!

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