What brought me to Uruguay?
Coming into the University of Minnesota in 2009, I was seeking perfection and success. Leaving high school I was satisfied, accomplished, popular, over-involved and well-liked, and I desperately wanted all of these things to be true of my college years as well. I was going to major in Biology, join a sorority, find perfect friends, get perfect grades, eventually get into my first choice of graduate programs, and live every college students dream. Quickly into my freshmen year I realized that all of these things were unrealistic and maybe even impossible. My success rate was not 100% and therefore my satisfaction level wasn’t either. A few months later, however, I was blessed to come into contact with some girls involved with Campus Crusade (Cru) on campus. They told me about a small group bible study in my freshmen dorm, and after a couple weeks of invitations, I reluctantly attended. Through this small group I developed real relationships with other freshmen women and was led by older women involved with Cru. I grew immensely in my faith and understanding that true satisfaction comes only from the abundant love we have been given in Jesus Christ.
I began to realize that I didn’t have to work or be successful for God to love me and cherish me. My college years taught me many things and being involved with Cru was the biggest blessing. I made incredible friends and learned how important it was to truly follow God. I also learned of the great need around the world for people to know and trust Jesus Christ as Savior and Lord.
But you are a chosen race, a royal priesthood, a holy nation, a people for his own possession, that you may proclaim the excellencies of him who called you out of darkness into his marvelous light. 1 Peter 2:9
Summer 2011, right after my sophomore year of college, I spent in Uruguay with Cru. My time spent there was on campus, meeting Uruguayan students, building relationships and planning outreach events. Amongst the college students, Christianity is a foreign concept and Jesus is unheard of. The depression and suicide rate is the highest in Latin America and many students struggle with loneliness and a lack of hope. I met so many students who felt isolated and without purpose and it was incredible for me to share with them the hope that I have in my life because I know Christ. After graduating college, I decided to spend a whole year in Montevideo, Uruguay doing full time ministry with Cru.
During my first year of ministry here in Uruguay, my Spanish improved, I understood how to live in a new country and new culture, I made great friends, and I grew in my love for the Lord and my love for Uruguay. I loved my team and we saw God at work in and through us in so many ways. When faced with the decision to sign up for a second year, I was torn and struggled, completely unsure of what to do next. Finally, after much prayer and many conversations with my people, I decided, amidst my fears and reservations, that I wasn’t ready to leave Uruguay just yet. Now, in my second year here, I have seen God use so much of what I learned last year to help me be a better leader, teammate, and friend to the Uruguayans. He has shown up over and over and continues to provide for me with His abounding love and grace.
I love it here! I love it and I am so thankful for this opportunity. This ministry is a gift and as a team, we are excited to join God where He is at work and make Jesus’ name known among the nations. We hope to let Him use us to reach Uruguayan college students, sharing with them the excellencies of Jesus Christ and building them up to be sent for Him wherever they may go after college graduation.