In the midst of waiting and entrusting God with my impossibly confusing mess of puzzle pieces, I started noticing what God had been up from June 2011 through October 2012. During these 15 months, He had opened up a close friendship with a medical ministry area director and his wife, which naturally led to me attending their Bible study for healthcare students who taught Bible studies on their campuses. He had also given me a few good experiences meeting med students through cooking for the Summer Medical Institute, which eventually resulted in an administrative job with Medical Campus Outreach. Suddenly, I was immersed in the world of healthcare ministry, including outreach to the underserved. Additionally, during this time, God gave me the joy of teaching two classes on mental health issues to community health promoters at a local Christian health center. I found interdisciplinary conversations on patients and health outcomes fascinating and eventually acclimated to the different social rules for dinner conversations.
Due to constantly fluctuating income that bordered on insufficient, I decided to move back in with my parents and reassess how to responsibly pursue my calling. While this meant that my commute instantly doubled, it also meant that with my belongings mostly packed in storage, I was much more available to move quickly on any opportunity that God brought my way. This was not exactly what I had anticipated when I prayed about being “on call” for Christ and his kingdom! But God’s answers are often so mundane that we can easily overlook them.
Moving home also opened my heart to finally attending and quickly joining this church plant in Camden, NJ. Through this multicultural, inner city church, God challenged me to start to face, examine, and work through my own cultural assumptions in light of the gospel. My small group has been family for each other, throughout various difficulties. What beautiful answers to prayer for community!
Another answer to prayer came in the form of financial assistance to attend the Global Missions Health Conference in November 2012. After spending some time coördinating transportation and housing for 22 students and young professionals from the greater Philadelphia region, I looked forward to learning about God’s work in the world and wondered if there may be a space for me on a medically oriented team. I also hoped for many good conversations with folks in our group who were wrestling with a sense of calling and next steps. And I anticipated returning back to the Philadelphia area with encouragement to persevere in my current jobs (now down to three) and ideas about how to start something in Camden, in a couple years.
But I had no idea what God had in store…