BY HANNAH CHOI
Last school year I served as a student missionary in Southeast Asia. As I prepared to return to Andrews University to complete my undergraduate degree, I prayed that God would help me find a part-time job where the staff are focused on ministry and intentional about prayer. Through unrelated events, I discovered ASAP Ministries had an open position that seemed to be custom-made for my skill set. Soon after, I got hired as an ASAP office assistant. This job was a direct answer to prayer. Open door number one.
When I began working at ASAP Ministries, I did not anticipate that God would call me to new territories.
As an honors student at Andrews, I am required to complete a senior thesis. As I searched for a topic that was personal and important to me, I prayed that God would reveal an opportunity I would be passionate about and that would inspire all those who hear of my project.
I also prayed for an opportunity to serve in another country for the summer, as a way to remind myself that my overarching goal was to eventually serve Christ overseas again. Sometime later, I attended a chapel service in which the speaker shared about her work with Syrian refugees. That day, God put Syrian refugees on my heart and I asked Him to use me to lighten their loads.
Not long after, I met with our director, Julia O’Carey. Knowing nothing about ASAP’s new involvement with MENA (Middle East North Africa Union), I asked if she knew someone I could contact to volunteer with Syrian refugees. That’s when I learned that just the night before, ASAP’s executive board had approved four projects in MENA for Syrian and Afghani refugees! “Maybe we could send you,” Julia said. Open door number two.
I realized that if I was going to MENA to work with Syrian refugees, I could possibly pair my honors thesis with this opportunity. Yet none of the options explored gave my heart peace. And then I remembered a professor who takes Andrews students to MENA every year on a mission trip. The next day, I attended my final chapel, and to my surprise, that very professor spoke about Syrian refugee children from the school I was planning to visit!
That afternoon, I went to his office and we began brainstorming. “What if you write a book?” he asked. “All of these children have stories, and most of these stories are lost when they resettle.”
I then met with my thesis advisers, worked out the details, and presented the plan to ASAP, who agreed to take on my project. I will now spend the fall semester in MENA collecting stories from Syrian refugees, retelling them, and speaking up for these people. The proceeds from my book will go to help Syrian refugees through ASAP Ministries. Open floodgates of blessings!
God opened these doors for a project that is much bigger than I can accomplish alone and I would like to ask for your help. We are fundraising through the ASAP online gift catalog and YouCaring, a website dedicated to raise money for a cause. We would greatly appreciate any support you can give!
And more importantly, I ask for your prayers. God has poured down His blessings and I trust that He will continue to do so. Thank you for your partnership.