Rachel is a One Mission Student who has spent the last three summers serving in Mexico City.
When I started college, I knew what I wanted to study – Spanish – and not much else. I didn’t know what to do with it or how to serve the Lord with it. I just knew that I was going to study Spanish, a language I didn’t know.
I didn’t know anyone at my university, but I got plugged in as a casual BCM attender through a friend of mine who had invited me during welcome week.
Everything changed when Lee (my campus minister) told me I was going on a SPOTS (Spring Break) trip.
I didn’t know what SPOTS was, and I didn’t know why Lee picked me. I still don’t know the answer to one of those questions.
However, one by one all my excuses to not go were stripped away, and I found myself on a train platform in Birmingham heading to New York City.
I had gone on mission trips before, but I had never really been on a trip like that. I spent that week working in Brooklyn with a local church, and that week led to meeting my best friend and also a summer internship.
While working with Spanish-speaking women that week and over the summer that followed, I had the opportunity to translate (badly) and teach English (slightly less badly).
The whole time, I felt unprepared and unqualified. I felt like I didn’t know what I was doing there, but God was constantly giving me reminders that He was the One who had put me there to begin with and He was the One who would carry me through.
I left that internship with the sure knowledge that ESL (English as a Second Language) and Spanish weren’t simply things I wanted to study in college. They were things I wanted to invest my life in for the purpose of ministry.
As I’ve served in different missional capacities throughout my four years of college (SPOTS, Summer Missions, Disaster Relief), I’ve gotten to see how God has used the gifts that He has provided in my life so that I can be a part of his mission. I’m much better at teaching now by the grace of God and the power of the Holy Spirit.
I’ve also gotten to see how He has used others—nursing, business, marketing, speech pathology, pre-med, etc. If you can name the major, I can tell you it has a place on the mission field.
For me, the mission field wasn’t just a place to pass my breaks. It was (and is) a place where God seeks me out as I seek out the lost. It’s a place where I have found clarity and confusion, peace and struggles, joy and pain.
Ultimately, it’s a place where I’ve found God going ahead of and behind me, a place where I’ve learned lessons that apply there and also here at home.
I’ve come to know God and myself better through my time in missions, and I’ve gotten to see people come to know Him better as I have been able to build relationships there, too.
Sure, college is hard. You have a million things to do, 12 papers to write and tuition to pay.
But you are freer now than you will ever be again. Take the chances you get to live on mission and take that lifestyle home with you.
Build missional habits there to live a missional life forever.
Step out in faith and watch as God leads you to see more of His glory and His work—because that’s what missions is and that’s what you are: His work, not your own.
So consider putting down the pen, the laptop, the summer job, and taking a step of faith to see how God can use you for His glory.