Missionary in Training
Hello! My name is John. I am a senior from Houston, Texas, majoring in missions. I have been so blessed to be a student at Pensacola Christian College, and I thank the Lord for allowing me to attend this college. I would like to share how God has been shaping my life here at PCC as a “missionary in training”!
As a missions major, I always get asked, “What country will you go to?” This has been a difficult question for me to answer, because in truth I am still on the search for “my mission field.” However, the Lord has used PCC to help me on this search.
I have found during my time here at PCC that this college is a “mini-world.” What I mean by this is that PCC is full of students from all around the world! I have met students from numerous countries including Canada, Brazil, Peru, Germany, China, Korea, New Zealand – to only name a few. PCC opened my eyes to see and meet so many people from different nations and cultures. And here is where my Russian-speaking friends come to the picture!
During my freshman year, I had the privilege of being in the same prayer group with Ivan and Yuriy—two Ukrainians that head up the Russian-speaking group. Because of my interest in different cultures, we quickly became friends, and slowly but surely, I got introduced to the rest of the Russian family! At first, it was strange to sit at meals not understanding a word that they said, but I was touched by their hospitality and willingness to translate. The Russian-speaking group at PCC is hardly missed around campus. They do everything together—go to church together, eat together, study together, go to the sports center together, etc, etc. Through these times of fellowship and fun, I got to know them better and I am now considered part of the family. I have had the privilege of eating Russian food (it’s amazing!), learning Russian songs (they all have unique tunes), and learning Russian customs and ways. The greatest thing about these friends is not necessarily that they are Russian/Ukrainian, but that they have helped me grow spiritually and encouraged me to consider being a missionary to Russia/Ukraine. They often teach me new things every day about their culture reminding me that I might need it someday. It has been so thrilling to see how God has sparked an interest and love for the Russian/Ukrainian people in my life. For right now, to say that I am sure I will be a missionary to one of these countries would be premature. However, without a doubt, I can say that if the Lord allows it, I will like to take a missions trip to one or both of these countries after graduation next May. My Russian-speaking friends and I have even talked about the possibility of doing this missions trip together!
Around campus, it is not uncommon for me to get asked several times a week, “John, are you Russian?” Though my response is always a “no” followed by an explanation why I am around Russian-speaking students all the time, this question has been a constant reminder of God’s work in my life. I see that through the multi-cultural experience that PCC offers to missions majors as myself and through my friendship with my Russian-speaking friends, God is beginning to show me “my potential mission field.” I thank the Lord for helping me choose PCC to help and equip me as I prepare to serve Him as a missionary in the future.0