“Hannah Do You Love Me?…Feed My Sheep”
I really thought Jesus only asked this of Peter, but it turns out that this question was for me too…
If you had asked me at the beginning of Fall Semester (August 2015) what I would be doing this summer, I probably would of told that you that I would be working for Engage somewhere in Latin America. The verse saying the man may plan his ways but the Lord determines his steps (Proverbs 16:9) has never rung more true when it comes to my summer plans. I have been praying about this summer specifically for about two years. Having a big draw to missions and been on two trips before, I knew God wanted me to spend one of my college summers serving him somewhere in Latin America serving countries and people groups that I have a big passion for. One of the trips I had gone on to the Dominican Republic had an intern from our church, and Ashley was a really close friend of mine actually. Unfortunately, she is no longer with us but is serving the Lord up in heaven and rejoicing in His presence everyday. Long story short, she is how I knew about the program and literally had save the little bulletin forever knowing that was something I wanted to do when I got to college.
College comes, its expensive, life gets busy, and I make it through my first year of college. I knew God was calling me to go home that summer and work and be with the family because next summer would be the summer that I would venture off somewhere, speak some Spanish, and serve the Lord.
Coming back to Fall again, filling out applications, contacting people, and applying to not only Engage but other numerous organizations, I prayed Lord lead me to where you want me to serve: open doors, close doors, guide my heart, and just really lead me towards that perfect place for the summer.
Through some rejections, acceptances, and a lot of prayer I still really never felt at peace or really excited about where I thought I was going to go. Hungry for other options and opportunities I started searching the Internet to try to find another place to venture off to. My Google search for “summer missions internships” led me to an organization called Serge (formerly World Harvest Missions) and an internship in Chile. Looking through the website my heart was so excited, I would be living in a host home fully immersed in Spanish, serving my local community and church, children’s outreach, construction, discipleship training, 8 weeks in Chile, the whole shebang! I was really blown away, but scrolled down to the bottom of that page to find a deadline that read Jan. 31, but it was Feb. 5th . Thought to myself, well maybe I will just apply next year.
However, knowing everything that the summer after graduation and start of grad school will entail I began to think and pray you know maybe I should just email them to see if there is any possibility of late applications. That Monday night February 8th, I emailed the internship coordinator and asked if could still apply even though I was late. That next morning low and behold I got an email back saying to apply TODAY! As soon as my professor let us out, I headed straight to the library to fill out an application and submitted it that afternoon, got an email saying they wanted to phone interview later THAT AFTERNOON OR TOMORROW! A little shocked and overwhelmed with excitement, I said yes and had such a great interview that next day that was so spirit filled and God designed. Even though the interview went so great, they weren’t sure if they could find a host home and mentor for me in Chile since it was so late. However, God provides and that Thursday (three days after my first email) I was accepted!
Upon acceptance, there was so much to do: get a ticket to fly to Philly for training weekend, organize all the things, get everything sent in that needed to be sent in etc. However, with the grace of God and strength and energy that only comes from him I was able to get all that done!
Fast forward to this moment right now, when I am reflecting back on my weekend in Philadelphia and just how PERFECT, SOVERIEGN, and FAITHFUL our God truly is. The main focus of Serge is grace and really just meeting people where they are at and showing them the compelling love of Christ, which I am in firm belief, is the best way to evangelize and spread the love of Christ. In addition to this, we talked and reflected a lot about sheep this week and how we are called to care for the lost sheep and bring them to the ultimate shepherd, Jesus Christ. Talk about being hit in the face with the faithfulness of God! During my time of prayer and submission about my summer plans many months before, God asked me, “Hannah Do you love me? Feed my sheep!” For this weekend and it’s many focuses to be about that is a true testament to the faithfulness and guidance of God. He is ALWAYS THERE and ALWAYS WORKING even when we don’t see it.
I never thought that my prayers for the summer would lead me to Serge, Chile, or really to just a perfect program that has everything I feel like God has called me to this summer. Let this be an encouragement to the faithfulness of God when we submit and pursue. Through all my murky mess of life, God led me to a crystal clear picture of what He had in mind for me this summer. None of it was done on my own accord, but all through him and His sovereign will. Whatever you are praying about, keep praying, keep asking God to open and close doors, keep pursuing Him. I almost gave up three days before I contacted Serge I was just telling my mom “eh, I might just stay home and work this summer since I don’t feel any sort of passion.” However, I knew that God had told me this summer was for me to serve Him. Yes I am a little nervous and scared about being away, logistics, and everything that comes from being somewhere new. BUT I am even more excited to grow my Spanish skills, serve the Lord with my wonderful teammate, and embrace a whole new community! I am truly blown away by His faithfulness and how he molded everything together so wonderfully. From a fun and insightful weekend in Philly with great people (as pictured above), right down to answering and fulfilling every single one of my “wish-list” items for summer 2016, God provided! I am forever grateful and couldn’t be more excited!
So I am thankful that Jesus told me to feed his sheep this summer even if that meant some Chilean alpacas! Get Ready South America, I’m coming for ya!!
“Whether you turn to the right or to the left, your ears will hear a voice behind you saying, ‘this is the way; walk in it.’ –Isaiah 30:21