by Kaebra LaGrange, LAUNCH GO Intern
Finding your purpose, or calling, in life is a difficult task. Many of us go through life searching for it. What is our purpose, and how are we as individuals best able to serve God? That was a question I had been dealing with until recently. It was not until I went on a life-changing trip that I truly found my calling and what I wanted to do with my life. I went to Saipan on a missionary internship opportunity and left changed.
For most of my life I had sort of just glided through. I went to school and decided to settle with an easy major. I felt no calling toward the degree I was pursuing. I was simply doing it to finish school and to be done. I knew it was a fast track way to a decent and easy life. I wouldn’t venture out of my comfort zone. I had everything planned out. That was until God threw me a curveball and my plan crumbled. It felt as though my whole life had crumbled. I now had no idea what I wanted to do with my life or how I was going to do it. I was searching for God, for answers, and for my purpose.
God then proceeded to open doors for me and He led me to General Baptist International Ministries. I applied for a missions internship and was thrilled when I got accepted. I was going to go overseas and serve somewhere. It was scary. I had no idea what to expect. I was sent to a school in Saipan. I had no idea where Saipan even was, but I was excited to go. I knew this was God’s plan for me and I was eager to go where He led me.
God orchestrates trials and tribulations in life to grow us, deepen our faith, and to push us where He wants us to be. If it wasn’t for my trials I wouldn’t have ended up in Saipan and I wouldn’t have found my calling and love for teaching. In Saipan I felt God truly speaking to me and showing me what He wants for my life.
While I was in Saipan my duties at Saipan Community School were being a teacher’s aid, helping around campus wherever they needed me, coaching volleyball, helping in the lunchroom, helping in the library, and substituting. While I was there, one of the teachers left and I had the opportunity to substitute until they found a replacement. After they found a replacement I was allowed to teach Bible in the morning and science in the afternoon. This allowed me to gain experience teaching and was when I truly felt my calling to be a teacher.
Saipan is much more than a tiny island. It’s a place with a culture. It’s a place where people welcome you. It’s a place that now has a very special place in my heart. I went to Saipan because I felt God leading me there. I went to help and to get a feel for being overseas. While I was there I found that I loved it. I loved teaching. I loved being out of my comfort zone. I loved living overseas and exploring the world, and I loved being able to serve.
I no longer desire to do the easiest thing. I no longer desire to stay in my comfort zone. And I no longer desire to be complacent and glide through life. I want to live a life of vigor for the Lord, even if it means being overseas. I want to teach and change lives and spread the love of Christ and Good News while I’m doing it. I don’t know if missions or teaching overseas will be something I do for the rest of my life but I do know I’m not finished yet. I plan on doing much more, taking trips and going where God leads me.
Through all of this I have learned a lot about myself and about God. I’ve learned lessons that I wouldn’t trade. God is good and I am forever thankful for the opportunity I was given to go be a missionary intern. I am thankful to have found my calling to be a teacher. I am also thankful to have found Saipan and for all the wonderful people I met. God works all things for His glory and I praise Him for all the experiences and opportunities He has given me.