The majority of our MAP students go through a time in their preparation process where the enchantment of going abroad fades away and fear of the unknown starts to creep in. Maybe fundraising isn’t going as well as hoped, a friend will be getting married when they are gone, or they get offered a job over the summer, the list can go on. It is at this time where each student has the opportunity to really dive deep into why they are now reconsidering a decision that was once made with great excitement and expectation.
Erika is preparing to serve abroad and one day I get a phone call from her; she has thought a lot about it and is reconsidering going on this internship. Now there are times where, for very good reason and circumstance, it is not the right time to live abroad and students may withdraw their application. What I am interested in is having the student know the root of their hesitation and then prayerfully be able to make a confident decision. With Erika, the root ended up being fear. Her family had personally experienced some difficult outcomes of living abroad and she was afraid that might happen to her. After we discovered that the root was fear, we were able to talk and pray through why making a decision based solely on fear not only causes you to miss out on an incredible opportunity and experience, but it can also create a pattern for how you make decisions in the future. I am so proud of her - she decided to conquer her fear by trusting God in a way she hasn’t had to in the past. Her time abroad was amazing, but what stood out to me was watching God show Erika new ways she can trust him, which changes how she makes decisions as more come her way.