I’m excited to welcome our first guest writer: Jenny, Citylife Mercy Ministry Intern extraordinaire! Jenny has been humbly and quietly serving our church for the past couple of months; read on to hear more about how God directed her to us and how she’s experienced the Lord in the process!
Is there anything more frustrating than when your plans change?
For me, this happened during my senior year of high school, that time when teachers and society tell you that you need to have your life all figured out (which is definitely not true, but when you’re a high school student, you fall for that lie).
Last September, I made up my mind that I didn’t want to go to school right away. I wanted to spend a year doing what I love and what I’m passionate about, which is ministry. I looked to the world-wide web to research and look for options for gap-year programs that engage with the community, believe in mobilizing the Gospel, and operate out of God’s love and mercy.
Eventually, I found the perfect organization for me, called Global Year. I was immediately drawn to their South Africa location, where I would volunteer at an orphanage school, do construction work around the mission’s base, and engage in the local church and youth group. Everything about it seemed like it was God’s plan for me.
However, my parents weren’t exactly too thrilled when they heard the news. They were uncomfortable with the idea of me not having a back-up plan. Ultimately, I agreed and began to look into colleges.
Moody Bible Institute was literally the second college that I looked into and I fell in love when I went on their Day One college visit event. Honestly, I felt guilty loving a college as much as my desire to go to South Africa, but college was still the second priority for me.
I revised my plan; I decided that I wanted go to South Africa then go to Moody Bible Institute for my freshman year. My hope was to send in my application my senior year so I could be accepted and defer my acceptance at Moody to the 2018-2019 school year. During the end of January, I buckled down and I applied for Global Year and Moody.
After my applications were sent, I eagerly waited, confidently rejoicing that my plan would work. My happiness came to a sudden end when I received a call from Moody one afternoon in March. They wanted to let me know that they received my application and thanked me for applying. The guy on the phone then asked “are there any questions that I could answer for you at this time?” At first, I wanted to say “no” but then I thought I’d reassure myself that Moody allows students to defer for the next school year. So, I tensely asked, “Moody permits their students to be deferred to the next year, right?” There was a short pause and the guy bluntly stated “No, sorry we don’t allow that.” Immediately, I said “thank you, goodbye,” hung-up, and cried my eyes out.
A couple of months later, right in the same week, I found out I was accepted to go on the South Africa mission with Global Year and accepted into Moody’s First Year Online Program (FYOP) along with three years at the Chicago Campus. Honestly, I was not as happy as I should have been. I was bummed that God wouldn’t give me both.
I ultimately chose Moody, mostly because I felt like I had to, but now I wouldn’t want to spend my freshman year any other way. God knew that having the flexibility of taking online classes would grant me the capability of getting the ministry experience that I wanted. Which is why God has opened the door for me to be in Boston and intern for the Mercy Ministry at Citylife.
The main thing that I learned about my journey of getting to Boston is that God puts us in the places where He needs us to be. Of course, we hate it when things cancel last minute or our plans don’t work out the way we want them to, but God’s plan always follows through. So rejoice for the here and now.