“Be faithful in small things because it is in them that your strength lies.” ~Mother Teresa
It’s About Stepping Out in Faith in Winchester, VA
Faith can be defined as having complete trust or confidence in something or someone. I can confidently say that the past five or so years have taught me to step out in faith and completely trust God with my future.
When I was just fifteen, I felt the Lord put a passion in my heart for children with cancer. Not knowing what I was to do with that passion I kept it to myself. Two years later I applied to my dream school and was accepted! I wanted my senior year of high school to fly by so that I could go off to college. In November of my senior year, I had the opportunity to go on my first international mission trip to Nicaragua. While in Nicaragua, the Lord confirmed that I was to do something with my passion to help children with cancer. In the midst of gaining clarity with my calling, I was developing a deep love for the people of Nicaragua. However, I would not realize how much of an impact that trip had on me until later down the road.
Upon returning home from the trip, I had the confidence to begin to share the passion the Lord had put on my heart. It was then that I stepped out in faith and applied to nursing school. I was accepted and excited about the fact that I would be starting school that upcoming fall.
It was a Tuesday morning of my first semester of college—nearly a year from my first trip to Nicaragua, when I sat in a chapel service at the university with tears running down my face. Video clips and pictures of children and families from other nations flickered across the screen. I called home to a mentor that evening and began to tell her about the service. I began to tell her that “I think God is calling me to missions, but I also feel called to nursing, and I want to have a family one day. I can’t have them all.” She listened to me rant as she oftentimes does, then replied with “Why can’t you?”
I didn’t really have a good answer for her.
I wrestled with the question she posed for the rest of that semester, and in the middle of my second semester I called by parents and explained that I wanted to have a “meaningful summer.” I didn’t really have high expectations for the upcoming summer, but when I stepped out in faith and put it in God’s hands, everything fell right into place.
I was blessed with an opportunity to go back to Nicaragua and work with Royal Family KIDS Camp. It was so sweet to be back in Nicaragua where God confirmed an existing passion, and also planted seeds for another passion. I met one of my closest friends on that trip and ‘camp’ was the highlight of my summer.
Royal Family KIDS camp wrecked me in all the right ways and taught me so much about myself. I went into camp with an open mind, ready to show Christ’s love, and not expecting to receive more than I gave. Watching the kids experience “firsts” and getting to capture that moment on camera was such an extraordinary feeling. I can’t wait to work camp again this summer!
If I’ve learned one thing in the past five years of my life, it’s this: when you step out in faith, the Lord will take you deeper and in different directions than you could ever imagine. You just have to be willing to go where God calls you. Oftentimes, stepping out in faith looks like stepping out of my comfort zone. It’s moments of vulnerability and discomfort that God uses to teach me more about his people and his love for me.
My summer experiences taught me that whether thousands of miles away from home or in the same state, every day is a mission field. The people you encounter on a daily basis and the people you work with, are just as much your mission field as are the people stricken by poverty in another country.
I don’t know what the future holds or where I’ll be in the next 5 or 10 years, but I do know who holds my future. Knowing that makes it a little easier each day to trust the plans God has for my life. It’s about stepping out in faith and being confident knowing that He who began a good work in me will carry it to completion.
Monica Elliott, RFK camp Director in Winchester, VA