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From the villages of Uganda to back in the classroom

25 Oct
My friend Shelly and me on our first day in Uganda. Her family has since returned, but God has something different in store for me. ©2012BrukMarsh

My friend Shelly and me on our first day in Uganda. Her family has since returned, but God has something different in store for me. ©2012BrukMarsh

A year ago today I boarded a plane for the most exciting trip of my life — teaching the Word in Uganda. When I returned to the States I prayed about going back the following spring and started making plans. However, the same Spirit that nudged me to sign up for the mission trip called me to stay here instead. It was a difficult and disappointing decision at the time, especially when saying goodbye to other team members who’ve been called back to serve in the villages we’d visited. Despite that, I knew God would not ask me to stay here without a purpose and I continued seeking what that might be. This past summer I felt a prompting to look into graduate school, specifically in the field of linguistics. I’d considered such a program in the past, but never found one that fit what I was looking for, partly because I didn’t entirely know what I was looking for.

While I was in Uganda I learned that the Bible the natives read in their own language was more of a paraphrase. Many of the people were attempting to learn English in order to read the Scriptures in their entirety as well as to find better work to support their families. However, education there is not like in the US. It’s very expensive, and many are lucky to get a primary education.

My purpose in studying linguistics is two-fold: I intend to use it for translation work and possibly teaching English overseas. As many of you know, two of my greatest passions are missions and the written word. I’ve spent the better part of the last few years trying to find a way to combine both; first by applying for work as an editor for missions and aid organizations and, more recently, looking for ways to use my gifts in the foreign field.

My search led me to The Graduate Institute of Applied Linguistics (GIAL) in Dallas, Texas, a school that trains individuals who plan to work with organizations such as Wycliffe and New Tribes Missions, among others. Although my undergrad credentials didn’t quite meet the requirements for admission, I was encouraged by the staff to apply anyway. I proceeded knowing that the only way I would be accepted would be by the grace of God. On October 8th, I received an official letter from the school “whole-heartedly” welcoming me to join them in January 2014.

Apart from posting this as an update on what’s been going on in my life, I am also asking for prayer as I prepare for this next big step. The tuition and other expenses are more than I can pay for upfront, so I am currently searching for grants and other aid. I’ll also be looking for work when I arrive in Texas. My desire is to begin classes in January; however, that is dependent on the Lord’s provision. Because my path leads towards missions, I feel strongly against applying for loans, since that will hinder me from entering the field when I’m done with school. Ultimately, I see this as an opportunity for me to look to God instead of myself, and to inform others of my needs as well. Both are traits I’ll need in the field, and both are difficult for me to admit to on a daily basis.

I’m very excited about where the Lord is leading me and just a little nervous, too. “The road goes ever on and on” and there is no telling where it will take me! If you’d like more information about my program, my plans, or anything else, please feel free to let me know. I intend to send updates from time to time to keep those who are interested in my progress in the loop.

In His Service,

Jen

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Posted by on October 25, 2013 in Life, Spirituality, Uganda

 

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