“The Lord is my shepherd, I shall not be in want. He makes me lie down in green pastures, he leads me beside quiet waters, he restores my soul. He guides me in paths of righteousness for his name’s sake. Even though I walk through the valley of the shadow of death, I will fear no evil, for you are with me; your rod and your staff, they comfort me. You prepare a table before me in the presence of my enemies. You anoint my head with oil; my cup overflows. Surely goodness and love will follow me all the days of my life, and I will dwell in the house of the Lord forever.” Psalm 23
I approached my Belhaven advisor/mentor with my thoughts of studying abroad the next semester. He had spent years as a missionary in South America and understood my heart for international missions better than anyone else. He sat and pondered that for a moment, began rummaging through stacks of paper on his desk, then wheeled around to his computer, and a little smile crept onto his face. “Michelle,” he said, “how do you feel about Scotland?” Scotland. It was a country I’d never given much thought to. My passion had always been more towards 3rd world countries, like Malawi or Mexico. But Scotland… I quickly said, “Yes!” I always have and always will be up for any adventure that comes my wayJ Apparently Dr.M, my advisor, had just begun communication with a pastor of a church in Edinburgh regarding their desire to have interns come and help with their church ministries. I could get credit for the internship, and Dr.M would work with me on doing some independent study courses. It all fell into place so quickly that I knew the Lord wanted me to go. He even laid this same trip on the heart of one of my best friends from Belhaven, Lyd, who decided to join me on the adventure!
I spent the summer after sophomore year working as a counselor/life guard at a camp back in Georgia. It was hard work, a lot of outdoor fun with kids, and it started to heal my heart. A lot of family and my new camp friends met me at the Atlanta airport to give Lyd and I a huge send off to Scotland, and that was the first time I truly felt like my “cup overflows”... On the brink of an amazing adventure, surrounded in love by family and friends.