“Help! I’m Torn Between Doing Missionary Work and College!”
Written by Ask Olivia | December 23, 2014
Hi Olivia. I’m 16 and a high school sophomore. I’m starting to think more and more about my future—not a day goes by without someone asking what I’m planning to do. But here’s the thing: I have a lot of potential in the college department. Like, possibly Ivy League (I’m not saying this to brag, I just want you to know where I’m coming from). But I’ve also felt a call to the foreign mission field—which is also super awesome! I’m just trying to figure out exactly what God wants me to do. I want to be of maximum assistance wherever I end up. And, to be honest, I will probably end up working in an orphanage in Africa or Asia. The big question is should I go to college first? Part of me wants to take off across the world the second I graduate high school. But, like I said, I want to help in the best way I can. And that’s where college comes in. Possibly med school or some kind of counseling degree. But even as I say that, I think, “Isn’t, oh, EIGHT YEARS a little long for a kid who needs help to wait?” I know I have two years to sort this out, but this has been weighing heavily on my heart lately and I was hoping you could help. Please pray for me!
Hey, girl! I know it can be tough when it comes to deciding your future. It’s your future, after all! Plus, you’re totally on fire for the Lord, and looking to do His will is ultimately every Christian’s goal.
I totally understand that you want to go out and get straight to work. And yet, becoming more skilled in the field can only be more valuable to the cause, right?
I really don’t want to tell you what to do. Plus, I’m not familiar with your situation. But what I will suggest are ways to help you get the answer yourself.
So here’s what I think you should do:
- Talk to people you trust. It’s really important to get perspectives that you can work from. So speak to family members who you feel have your best interests at heart. Whether it’s a parent, sibling, aunt, priest or pastor, getting various perspectives allows you to see the choices from all angles.
- Speak to a missionary about your dilemma. A person who actually does missionary work will give you better insight about whether to go straight to work or wait and strengthen your knowledge and skills before heading out. There’s definitely something to being stronger in your knowledge, right? So find out from someone in the field whether waiting and getting valuable skills is smarter than throwing yourself into the field without the education.
- Research whether there’s a way you can help others while you’re studying. This way, you can get to work helping others while studying a specialty that will likely be of immense value when you’re done. It may not be helping children in Africa or Asia, but there are children in need all around the world, including your town or city or state. Get involved in mission trips in the U.S. There are tons of opportunities to help build homes, minister to children or partake in disaster response organizations.
- Pray. God will guide you. He made you for a purpose, after all, so pray hard and listen carefully, and the answer will eventually come to you.
Good luck and God bless!
Need some advice? Ask your relationship questions in the Ask Olivia Girl Talk forum or in the comments below and I might answer them in a future article!