“We Grow When We Are Uncomfortable.”

“We Grow When We Are Uncomfortable.”

This summer, 16 young adults decided to learn more about their role in God’s kingdom work through the NEXT internship. Four of them were sent to Eastern Europe, to seek clarity in their callings through relationship building, language learning and helping with English camps. Meeting with these four young women before they entered the final two weeks of their internship, each reflected on the ways they’ve grown, and the new things they’ve learned.

All four interns had one big question heading into this new adventure: Am I called to be a long-term missionary? In seeking answers to this question, the interns enjoyed observing what every day looks like for a missionary. Through watching and learning from the missionaries in Eastern Europe, some have felt a sense of confirmation to become a missionary. Others are still waiting for confirmation. One thing is true for all four of them – they are asking more questions than before.

When asked what they’ve learned so far, *Andrea responded,

“I feel like I learn something new every day. Today is Ezekiel 14. An entire chapter that talks about the beautiful jealousy of our God and how the people are His bride, whom He loves so much … I sat there thinking, ‘this is a whole town of people that my God is jealously chasing after, in pursuit of their hearts. And how much more so – if I am on his team, if I am his apprentice – do I need to be pursuing the hearts of these people?”

While this summer has been filled with beautiful memories and adventures, going halfway across the world to an entirely new place is admittedly a daunting experience. It has been stretching and uncomfortable. For some, this could sound discouraging, but for these interns, it has been a way to fully rely on God. Andrea said, “We grow when we are uncomfortable.” This perspective has invited God to move and help them grow outside of their comfort zones, creating opportunities for intentional relationships and exciting new experiences.

One of the interns shared how God was faithful when she allowed her comfort zone to be stretched. *Olivia said, “I stepped out of my comfort zone and found comfort. I remember going to *Mia’s ordination, and they said she was leaving to go overseas in 10 days. And I remember thinking, ‘I could never do that.’ And now here I am working with her.”

As they continue to step outside of their comfort zones and consider new questions, these young women are trusting that God will help them grow in this season and the coming seasons. Their reflections are great reminders to keep questioning how each of us can pursue the hearts of the unreached and what our kingdom contribution might be.

*Names changed due to security guidelines