I had a free evening recently and I got sentimental so I picked up my old high school scrapbook. I do this every once and a while (usually when I miss my family), and it never fails to make me smile. I made the scrapbook my senior year for my high school grad party and it holds a few of the many pictures that document my life (well, up until I was 17 anyways 😉 ). From the tiny monkey I once was (back when my dad looked 12 and my mom had the huge glasses of the 80s and 90s) to the ornery pre-schooler, shy grade-schooler, awkward( and unfortunate )middle-schooler, to the missions obsessed high-schooler its fun to see how me, my parents, and siblings have grown (and been added).
As I prepare to go to China for the short month of July, it’s made me think about those missions trips I went on from 6th-12th grade. From my first one-day missions trip to Columbus, Ohio when I was 11 to the final trip to Haiti I made when was 18 it’s so funny to me to see how I’ve grown since then. It’s funny to me to think about when my fascination with sharing the gospel overseas started too. When I was 7 or 8 years old, I received the book “10 Girls Who Changed the World” for Christmas. This book was about 150 pages and told the (shortened) stories of Mary Slessor, Gladys Aylward, Amy Carmichael, Corrie Ten Boom, Isobel Kuhn, Jackie Pullinger, Joni Erickson Tada, Catherine Booth, Elisabeth Fry, and Evelyn Brand. The stories of Amy Carmichael, Mary Slessor, Gladys Aylward, and Isobel Kuhn were my favorites (and remain to this day). That book, combined with a loving family that took me to church regularly, is the reason I was on ministry team in middle and high school. It’s the reason I served in the children’s ministry and MOPs. It’s the reason I went on those missions trips and did those service projects. That’s the reason I am at Moody now, studying elementary education and learning to be a teacher wherever God leads. Whether that’s a country in Africa, Asia, South America, Australia, or in North America. I don’t say this to brag about how much of a “perfect” Christian I am. No. This is a continuation of the thought process I’ve been stuck in since I came to Moody in 2014. I’ve wrestled with remembering why I am here and what I want to do in the future. Recently, I’d forgotten why I wanted to go into ministry, to begin with or why I wanted to be a teacher.
This is why I’m going to China this summer. I’ve posted a little bit about this summer and I posted my gofundme campaign on Facebook. But this is the full story that goes along with why I’m going to China to teach English.
Questions: Why China? How did you find out about this place? How do you know that it’s safe?
Well, I found this opportunity on Moody’s off-campus job postings page. I found the posting for ESEC and a few other opportunities in other parts of China and Asia as well, but the job with ESEC was one that I felt God pointing me towards. I applied to it and the others, but ESEC was the only organization that got back to me. I went into my search with an open heart and mind and asked God to point me where he wanted me. I did just that, and I’m going to Beijing in July. Do I know that it is safe? Yes. Moody has had some connection with them in the past so they check out as an organization, and I do trust them because of this.
More Questions: What are you doing there? Is this an internship or a missions trip? What does teaching English have to do with your major?
While my major may be Elementary Education, I’m open to teaching in any capacity whether that’s in a 2nd-grade classroom or an English class for adults. This opportunity is probably more of an internship than a missions trip, though it could be considered a hybrid of the two. Because China is a closed country, spreading the Gospel is not ESEC’s or my main objective. I’ll be teaching English and building relationships with people. This is the most unique opportunity I’ve had so far, and it is something that is so far outside of my comfort zone. It won’t be like the missions trips I’ve done in the States or in Haiti. I’ll be traveling alone (for the first time, I’ve always traveled with a group), teach English, and I’ll be learning more than my students honestly. My prayer is that God will teach and stretch me in new ways while I learn what serving in a closed country is like. Ultimately, when I was looking for international opportunities, I wanted to be able to practice teaching so teaching English is my way of doing that.
All of this to say, I’m going where I feel God is leading me. I never had any intention of going to China so all of this is very new to me. This isn’t me trying to change the world or anything like that. My main goal is to learn more about teaching in an intercultural setting and to learn about working in a closed country.
For more information about what I will be doing in Beijing this summer or to contribute to my trip, you can follow this link: https://www.gofundme.com/dt96z7th
Thank you for your consideration and support!!