May 10, 2015 snuck up on me. I dedicated the last four years to cheering religiously for the boys in blue, battling class schedules and ConnectCarolina, and faithfully snapping pictures of the Old Well. And then before I knew it, I was tossing my Carolina blue cap into the air (we never actually did that) and saying farewell to the campus I had fallen in love with. But I am happy to officially announce that life after Carolina does exist for me. As many of you already know, a few months back I accepted a communications internship with International Justice Mission, a Christian nonprofit that works to protect the poor and the vulnerable from violence in a developing world. This September, I will be heading to La Paz, Bolivia where I will spend the next ten months doing the photography, publicity and writing for the IJM field office there – here’s to hoping the journalism school trained me well!
While I was so excited at the thought of using my Spanish and living in South America again, I was hesitant because it is an unpaid internship. Furthermore, it is the responsibility of the interns to raise full support for their time there. This includes flights, rent, food, transportation, you get the picture. There are few people in this world who like support raising, and I’m certainly not one of them. So choosing to pursue an unpaid, international internship right out of college was an intimidating thought to me. As time went on, however, I felt like this was exactly where I needed to be. There was confirmation after confirmation, even to the point where one of my best friend’s friends happens to be another one of the three interns placed in La Paz with me.
Now I am thick in the fundraising stuff, and I still often have doubts about whether or not I’ll raise full support by the time I leave in September. I was actually working on support raising plans this morning when my mom walked in the door from the store. She had her hands full of groceries, and one bag didn’t quite make it safely to the counter. It hit the floor hard, and naturally it was the bag that had a carton of eggs in it. We salvaged a few (enough to use for Mamie’s birthday cake!) but I regret to say that most of them didn’t survive the fall. A few minutes later, while we were still cleaning up the mess, we heard the doorbell ring. My mom answered and saw our pastor standing there. He was returning a book he had borrowed from my dad. Before he turned to walk back to his car, he paused, looked at my mom, and asked a question that made our jaws drop – do you happen to need any eggs? He had been with a friend who owned a farm, and she had given him a bag of fresh eggs just moments before he stopped by our house. My mom told him what had just happened, and we came away with eight farm fresh eggs to replace the ones that had been broken. It’s a simple story, but it was a powerful reminder to me during this time that God can and will provide. He sees the little things, like when you drop a carton of eggs, and He sees the big things, like when you have to raise $15,000. I thought back to a verse I had read just a few hours prior to this ordeal. Philippians 4:19: “And my God will meet all your needs according to the riches of His glory in Christ Jesus.”
Please keep up with me this next year via my blog or through social media. I’ll keep you posted on support raising and internship training and all that other fun stuff that’s in my future. If you’re interested in supporting me financially or through prayer and want specific details in how to do so, check out the “Get Involved” section of my blog or shoot me a quick email at firstname.lastname@example.org. Or fill out the contact form below with your own information! Even if you just want to learn more about IJM and the work they do, I’d be happy to share it with you. God bless and go Heels!