Hi friends and family!
I am delighted to inform those of you who may not already know that I will be traveling to Nigeria for June and July of this summer. I will be participating in a medical missions internship through SIM (a missions sending agency), and will be learning directly from missionaries who are serving long-term in Nigeria. I cannot express how excited I am for this opportunity to learn and serve. I cannot wait to update you all about what I experience while in Nigeria this summer!
While I cannot wait to be on the field serving this summer, I would be lying if I said that I had not encountered challenges along the way in preparing for my internship. The first and largest obstacle that I encountered was the issue of finances. As a college student who makes minimum wage working at my school, the idea of raising almost $7000 seemed like a long shot. But I sent out support letters and tried not to worry as I waited for the Lord to provide. And He did, slowly but surely. At the same time, I was wading through a difficult and busy schedule for college, and often felt overwhelmed by trying to find a balance in managing classes, extracurriculars, and preparation for this internship. On one of my hardest days, I received incredible news, completely out of the blue– I had won a missions scholarship through a local missions organization called Above & Beyond that would more than cover the remainder of my expenses! I had applied for the scholarship more than a month ago, and had basically given up hope that I would win it. Yet through this scholarship (and through the support of all my friends and family), the Lord showed His willingness to provide for me as I seek to follow His will this summer.
A second major area of challenge I encountered was in applying for my Nigerian visa. New procedures meant that I and the other interns traveling to Nigeria this summer were guinea pigs, and I ran into challenges throughout the application process. The most persistent issue, however, was in submitting payment online for my visa application. I spent much of my time calling customer support and nearly tearing my hair out, worried that if I was not able to submit payment prior to my visa appointment, my application would be denied. Fortunately, however, the Lord worked out another opportunity that allowed me to handle the payment process. And beyond just providing for the payment process, He allowed for my visa application to be approved in spite of the hiccups along the way.
This entire internship preparation process has been a whirlwind of tasks to accomplish, and most of it occurred during my most challenging and busy semester of college thus far. However, in all that I experienced, both in terms of preparing for this internship and in finishing out my junior year of college, I could see that the Lord was so very present and faithful to provide for all my needs. I know that this internship will be a means for the Lord to teach me many lessons, but the first that I have already seen demonstrated is this: God is faithful. He is present in our circumstances and works them out for His glory and our good. All praise be to Him!
I will continue to update this blog throughout the summer as I finish preparing for the internship and while I am serving in Nigeria. I am hopeful to post on a near-weekly basis, but this will also depend on my ability to access the internet while I am in Nigeria. Looking forward to communicating with you all and sharing about what the Lord is doing in and through me and in the people of Nigeria this summer!
“The steadfast love of the Lord never ceases; his mercies never come to an end; they are new every morning; great is your faithfulness.” Lamentations 3:22-23