after graduation from heidelberg, if all goes well, i will be accepted as a global missions intern (GMI) and will volunteer abroad as a missionary (think more “social justice and serving the world” as opposed to “lets convert the natives” haha) for the united church of christ (UCC). upon my return i’ll head to eden theological seminary in st. louis to get my masters in divinity and then hopefully go on to work in an interfaith and social justice related job. this is a loosely constructed plan, and is by no means set in stone.

right now i’m less than 60 days away from graduation and am still waiting to hear back about the GMI position (which is similar to the peace corps, but with more ground support and an entire faith-based community behind you). the official deadline to apply for the program is april 15th, though i turned my application in during the first week of january (i was obviously pretty impatient and eager to get stuff in the works), so i should hear back as to the status of my application in week following that. until then, however, it’s a waiting game. a very nerve-wracking waiting game.

for a solid two hours tonight, rather than doing homework, i was on the global mission interns website reading the blogs of current GMI’s and learning more about the work that they’re doing in their posts, all the while getting more and more excited at the possibility that in a month’s time i may be able to start the process to call myself one of them. in the application process i wrote down that i had no preference in where i was to be sent for mission work, but after reading these blogs and looking more and more at the site, i’ve realized that i really yearn to be stationed somewhere in the middle east and europe block. not only are these areas of the most interest to me, but the churches and organizations in this area strive to

  • support human rights and promote human dignity;

  • advocate for justice and peace in contexts of conflictengage in interfaith dialogue;

  • respond to the needs of people impacted by emergencies, including natural disasters and war;

  • promote community and economic development;

  • provide opportunities for education—from primary schools through seminaries and universities;

  • witness to  faith, even in challenging contexts

this is exactly what i want to be doing. these words ring so true in my heart and really strike a chord. the goals resonate within me.

interfaith work is something that has always interested me, and is one of the reasons why i decided to major in political science in the first place: i wanted a background to be able to travel, better understand the world around me, and have religious conversations and dialogues with people from all backgrounds and walks of life.

reading blogs about GMI’s in lebanon, jordan, hungary, and turkey makes me so excited for my own future. i’m a little over a month out from finding out if i am in the running for a GMI position, and the suspense is killing me! once i find out if i’m accepted into the program, i will then fly to indianapolis where i will 1) have an in-person interview to effectively gauge my skill set and match me with a program, 2) have a medical exam to make sure that i’m healthy enough to serve, and 3) have a psych exam to make sure that i’m mentally capable and prepared to take on the challenges of living and working in this kind of situation. if all this goes well then i’ll fly back to indianapolis at a later date to have an in-person interview with the common global ministries board of directors, who, if satisfied with my interview, will make the actual appointment for me to work with one of the global partners. it’s a really intense process and one that i am eager to start!

ever since my sophomore year at heidelberg i have known that this is what i want to do after graduation. my pastor introduced me to the program and i’ve been set on it ever since. one of my dear friends, andrew long-higgins, is actually a current GMI working in lebanon (you can check out his blog here), and seeing his struggles, triumphs, service, and growth has been an amazing opportunity. i want to serve like he’s had the opportunity to.

i crave an experience that will not only help the world (in whatever way, large or small), but will help me to grow into the person i am meant to be.

thoughts, prayers, letters, and general well-wishes are always appreciated, because i’m guessing that i’m going to be on pins and needles for the next month or so as i wait to hear back about this amazing opportunity. a huge thank you to all my amazing family and friends as they always have, and will continue, to support me through this crazy journey. i love you all more than you’ll ever know!