Rachel Ward

Europe   >   Ukraine

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The Way, The Truth and the Life Center:June-August 2018

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Hello, my name is Rachel.

My heart for missions grew out of attending one of the most liberal colleges in the country. I will soon graduate with a degree in psychology and Russian and a minor in linguistics. When I first arrived at Grinnell College I quickly learned that it was largely unacceptable to be a Christian there. None the less, our small, nameless, Christian community hopes and prays every day for our peers to know the love, peace, joy, and truth of Christ. Grinnell has taught me what it’s like to live with purpose and faith in an environment that is hostile to Christianity.

As I was praying about what my post-graduation plans should be, I felt called to short term overseas missions. With some reservations and concerns, I said yes to God and decided to trust Him wherever He would lead me. I’m passionate about culturally competent mission work that serves a community’s both spiritual and physical needs. Having studied abroad for a semester in Russia, I felt that Eastern Europe would be a good fit for me and I began to feel God stirring my heart for Ukraine. This summer, I will serve as a mission intern in Odessa, Ukraine with a team led by Lisa DeGrace. In Odessa, they manage a center that operates as a shelter for families living on the street, an after-school program for children who need care, and a source of support for struggling families. I know that this will be another difficult environment, but I also know that God does beautiful things in hard situations. I’m honored to be a part of His glorious plan to restore what is broken, shed light in darkness, and bring us into reconciliation with Him.

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