Caitlin, a student from the U.S. interning with OM Madagascar, shares what it’s like to leave home for the mission field.
Caitlin, a university student from Texas (U.S.), is spending a semester interning in communications with OM in Madagascar. From August – November, she’ll capture what God is doing through OM on this island off the coast of southeast Africa. The following is the first in a series, written by Caitlin, in which she shares her insights about what it’s like to serve in this diverse and exciting mission field.
“It feels like just yesterday that I heard direction from the Lord telling me to pursue a position with OM in Madagascar. I had never heard of Antananarivo (Tana), the capitol of Madagascar, and now I will be living there in just a few short days. Preparing for this trip has been exciting and nerve-racking all at once—exciting because I was preparing to go to a new land and nerve-racking because I will be apart from everything and everyone with whom I am comfortable. However, the Lord made it clear to me that this was His plan. I obtained my new passport, visa to Madagascar, and all my vaccinations with no problems. Yet as I said goodbye to my family in Texas and boarded my plane, I wondered if I was making a huge mistake or embarking on one of my life's greatest adventures.
...I can feel the Lord reassuring me every day that He is in control. He will complete in me the good work which He began; part of that completion might be bringing me here, to Africa.
“My plane landed in South Africa, where I will go through orientation and receive communications training from the OM staff before leaving for Madagascar. It was certainly a long flight, but when I landed I had a great sense of peace and realized that when following the Lord's direction there is never any reason to fear. Everything I am experiencing here in South Africa is new and unfamiliar, and while struggling with jetlag, it is easy to feel slightly overwhelmed; but I can feel the Lord reassuring me every day that He is in control. He will complete in me the good work which He began; part of that completion might be bringing me here, to Africa.
“Before I left the USA, my mother encouraged me with these words from 1 Chronicles 28:20, ‘...Be strong and courageous and do it. Do not be afraid and do not be dismayed, for the LORD God, even my God, is with you. He will not leave you or forsake you, until all the work for the service of the house of the LORD is finished’ (ESV).
“People have asked me if I feel as though I'm wasting a semester of college, or have told me how great I am for sacrificing my time in college to go to Africa. In those times, I'm reminded of a quote by the missionary David Livingstone: ‘If a commission by an earthly king is considered a honour, how can a commission by a Heavenly King be considered a sacrifice?’
“I feel so honoured and blessed beyond words to be chosen by God for this task. I'm looking forward to arriving in Madagascar!”
For future updates and to follow Caitlin’s ministry in Madagascar, visit the OM Madagascar webpage: news.om.org/country-news/mgq. For more information about serving with OM in Madagascar, visit www.om.org/en/mission-jobs/by-area/africa#madagascar.