Alyssa is a student at Missouri State University who studied abroad in Peru in the Spring of 2015.
Alyssa: Before my semester abroad in Peru, I had just spent my last summer there. While I was there, God made it clear to me that I was called to go back in January for my spring semester. After fighting God on going, I finally let go of my own ambitions and submitted to his will.
The fall semester before leaving was a season of preparation. My college years have been somewhat interrupted by a heart condition that I’ve been able to keep under control, but the October before I left, I received some ‘disheartening’ news from my cardiologist. There were some irregularities that weren’t agreeing with my existing irregularities and it wasn’t looking up for me. The doctor’s felt uncomfortable with my distance from school to home, let alone allowing me to leave the country for 6 months. But I knew what the Lord had spoken to me; I knew it was his will for me to go to Peru. I prayed daily for God’s plans to be irresistible to me.
It was in a waiting room at a doctor’s office that I sat and waited for my name to be called and have more results read to me when I heard God said, ‘Are you going to treat your life like this waiting room?’ I couldn’t just sit there anymore. I knew what the Lord had said and I had to have the faith that he could pull me through if that was what his will was. My heart episodes were reminders of God’s goodness towards me. I would wake up from the thud in my chest and I knew it was time to pray for preparation.
So I trusted in the Lord. I gave my life to God in the most literal sense I ever had before with a faith that knew he could save me and a faith that was content if he chose not to.
In Peru, God showed me what it meant to depend on him with all my life. Trusting him with what taxi to get in was easy, trusting that the food was safe to eat and trusting that he would present a way to share the gospel to those around me was easy. God is faithful. He can be trusted. And I am not in control.
I would have never thought of a semester abroad would have been one of the most fruitful seasons of my life. I’ve heard of so many people that come back from semesters abroad spiritually drained and at a loss of hope, but being able to get school credit while building disciples came almost naturally on a global scale.
The time I spent outside of my comfort zone abroad were some the sweetest moments I experienced God in. My advice, grab a friend and allow God to use you to change the world on a campus through study abroad.