One of my greatest privileges is getting to meet with some awesome college girls here in town. A couple of weeks ago one of the sweet girls in my Bible study made a difficult decision to follow God this summer as a project leader in India. Here is her story!
January 2011 is when I began this journey. I knew I wanted to go on a summer project with CRU to East Asia and I had gotten accepted. March rolled around and God blew my mind when I curiously stumbled on a picture from the “Four Towers” summer project from 2010. To my surprise, I saw that the students were wearing traditional Indian saris. I couldn’t believe it! The whole time I thought I was going to China. So that was it. God knew all along that India was where I was being called to serve him.
I attended a Campus Crusade Summer Project in India for a total of six weeks. Five of these weeks were spent in Mumbai and Bangalore India, and the last week was spent in Istanbul, Turkey. Over those six weeks, I didn’t realize how much the Lord truly grew me and my love for the Indian people. Most days we would go to malls and colleges to get to know what college students were like. We should share our testimonies and pray to have a chance to share the gospel. Fridays were “mercy days.” These were the days that we specifically served the destitute. These were my favorite days of the trip! We visited two slums, an orphanage (Home of Hope), a home for AIDS patients (ACCEPT), and an organization that helps to prevent human trafficking (Tarika House). We also planned and hosted outreach events for all the students we met that week so we could stay connected with our new friends. That was probably the best summer of my life.
Coming back to America was a really hard adjustment. I didn’t realize how much I would miss India and all the friends I had gotten so close to. I felt like no one understood me and my heart hurt thinking about the sights I saw, the relationships I formed, and the people that loved and cared for me while I was there. At the same time, I felt like God probably wasn’t calling me back. I truly thought it had been a season of life that gave me the opportunity to learn about the character of God. I could list off so many things I learned from that summer.
But God had a bigger plan.
A family friend who works for a huge entertainment network in New York had graciously offered to get me an internship for this summer. Two months had passed and I could feel my heart getting heavy. Still not entirely clear on details of the internship, my heart did not feel at peace with the summer’s plans and I was totally confused. I remember sitting in my bedroom with one of my roommates confessing that I felt uneasy, like I knew God was going to do something big but I just didn’t know what.
A week later I received an email from my summer project leader Sara asking me about my summer plans. She then asked me if I wanted to go back to India. She said she would be love to have me help lead the project and disciple the younger girls with her. My first reaction was disbelief. I never thought I would have the opportunity to go back. I never thought it would fall in my lap like this. I never thought God would call me back. After all, I had this internship lined up for me. My unyielding heart quickly suppressed the message about India for a couple weeks. I didn’t want to admit that God may have been calling me to give up my dream internship.
Over time, God began closing the internship’s door and gave me sign after sign of why I needed to go back to India. Signs from Passion, CRU’s Big Break spring trip, a spiritual gifting test, and other believers sharing their wisdom and thoughts. In this, I was shown how much God pursues his children and won’t give up until his will is done.
A couple weeks ago, I wrestled with God about the summer, pouring my heart out to him and crying out for his guidance and clarity. The next day I met with Danielle. Not knowing what God had been doing, I shared with her my heart and how torn I was. After I spilled everything, she replied with what I had thought she would say: “Victoria, I think you know what you have to do.”
So far, there have been ups and downs. The Lord has taught and refined me even in the past few weeks. This decision has put a strain on some important relationships in my life. Although it breaks my heart to know that some who are close to me think I am making a huge mistake in not pursing the internship, God is teaching me that He loves me and knows what is best for me. As I delight more in Him, I find out day after day that the desires of my heart align with His.
So, this summer, I will be on student staff for the “Sacred River” summer project. Our 7 weeks will mainly be spent in Calcutta, India. My team and I will be working at the Missionary Charity homes (the homes that Mother Teresa started) and I will be helping my two leaders to organize as well as disciple the younger students. I cannot wait to see what the Lord has planned for my team, me, and the Indian people we encounter.
I am continuing to learn that when I remain in my Father’s love and obey His commands for my life, my joy is truly made complete.
“All authority in heaven and on earth has been given to me. Therefore, go and make disciples of all nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father, and of the Song, and of the Holy Spirit, and teaching them to obey everything I have commanded you. And sure I am with you always, to the very end of the age.”
I love hearing Victoria’s heart for the people of India, and know how hard a decision this was for her. And now, she has no small task ahead of her. She needs to raise $5600 for this summer’s project, by the end of May. Since she has gotten a little bit of a late start, I thought we might help her out!
For those that live in the Columbia area (or know someone who does) I have some awesome prizes up for grabs!
The first is a Comprehensive exam and Teeth Whitening Session with Cosmetic Dentist Thomas Trinkner.
I won this a few months ago, and have been waiting for a way to put it to good use!
Here is a picture of the certificate!
It is worth $480, but could be yours for way less!!
The second prize up for grabs is a haircut and brow wax with the MOST AMAZING hair stylist ever, Kristin Rochester at Cline’s Salon , in the Vista.
I really can not say enough about her! She not only gives the very best haircuts (please know that I have been to a million hair places before this one!), but she also makes your time there so fun! I promise, you will not be disappointed!
This prize is worth $90
So here is how you win!
- For each $10 you donate towards Victoria’s trip, you get 1 entry.
- Simply click on the paypal button below, make your donation, and come back here to tell me how many entries you want to put into each drawing.
For example, if you were to donate $50, you would have five entries to use. So, you would come back here, and in a comment tell me how you wanted to use them (ie. 2 entires in to the teeth whitening giveaway, 3 into the Cline’s giveaway).
- If you donate any amount, you can earn 1 extra entry for each time you tweet about this giveaway, or post it as your FB status! After you donate and get the word out, leave me a comment letting me know what you did, and where you want to use your entries!
So, if you donate $5, and tweet once, and post to FB once, you get two entries. If you donate $20, and tweet once and FB once, you get 4 entries! Don’t forget to tell me which drawing you want them in!
Does this make sense? It has been a long times since I have done one of these!
I know we can get Victoria a few dollars closer to India, so happy donating!
I will randomly select a winner for each next Thursday!