The SOS story: Part 1

I’ve known for a while that I wanted to write my story about Summer of Service (SOS) and how Greece came to be on my radar. It’s a bit of a long story, so this may take a while. But I will try, because it is so crucial to how I view my going abroad this summer, and crucial to an understanding of who I am and how I view the world…which is really why I write, I suppose.

Side note: I write because we each have a different perspective of the world around us, and I think there is inherent value in these stories—thus they should be shared! I also think we can learn SO MUCH from others’ stories, and who am I to assume that God can’t or won’t use my story? So I surrender it to you, the reader, as I have surrendered it to the Lord.

Back to the story of how it came to be that I have plane tickets to Athens, Greece June 2nd through July 29th, 2013…

It began in October. On October 10th, I wrote this:

“Father, summer 2013 has been on my heart and mind a lot lately. What do you want from me? I give you my summer. I want to glorify you. I don’t think this means going home. Here are options.”

I then listed things like work at a camp, educational opportunities, stay in Orange City to work, Summer of Service (SOS), and Ascent ministries in Kansas City. At this point, I had come across an opportunity to work with Ascent, a discipleship ministry with summer unpaid internships (support raising!) that sounded really appealing. On my list, I had typed out SOS and then put a strikethrough over it. Looking back, what a strange decision! I knew it was an option, but rejected it. Still, it showed up as rejected when I looked back at the journal. This will matter later…

Then as November came I had a conversation with the director of missions at Northwestern about potentially going to Ascent ministries through the college’s SOS program. Good idea, right? I applied the day before it was due, and the references definitely came in late. But I trusted God to show me through this process what He had for me. In my interview a favorite professor of mine asked,

“What if God calls you abroad this summer?”

My answer: “I would go! If I knew that was where He called, absolutely. But I really don’t think that’s what He wants of me this summer. This summer is about learning to serve Him wherever I am at, and I think I will likely learn more by staying in America and doing ministry here.” I thought I was headed to Kansas City.

Hahaha. God is funny.

In mid-November I was accepted to the SOS program and from there the story will have to continue later. It is a long story, but as others have told me time and again, God’s fingerprints are all over it, so it is worth telling 🙂

Telling His story and mine,

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One Response to The SOS story: Part 1

  1. Ansley (Griess) Lovgren says:

    I cannot wait to hear the rest!!!!!! I applied for an SOS really for no reason when I went. It was the best random decision I have ever made!

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