Acknowledging the Call

Maria Niechwiadowicz



Receiving my call to China last week can only be described as a whirlwind! Within 48 hours I had received my placement, interviewed with Amity, responded to this call, and then hopped on a flight to North Carolina. The serenity of the Appalachian Mountains was just what I needed to center my heart. As I met new faces in North Carolina, conversations usually went like this:

  • Person: So you are in school?
  • Me: I actually just graduated in May!
  • Person: Oh, congrats! What are your post-grad plans?
  • Me: Well, I am heading off to China to serve for 2 years as an English teacher.
  • Person: Wow, China!? Do you know Mandarin?
  • Me: Nope.
  • Person: So I assume your degree was in Education?
  • Me: No, not quite.

You can only imagine how insecure I felt answering all these questions with responses that didn’t seem to be adequate! The truth is that my call to China has been shocking. While I had no expectations or aspirations for my placement, I somehow did not expect China. It has been easy to pick out the barriers (as seen in the conversation above). I don’t have a teaching degree nor do I know anything about Asian languages. Additionally, I have minimal time to prepare mentally and physically for this challenge! But yet I trust God’s plan.IMG_6242

While in North Carolina, I had the chance to visit a church camp called Glory Ridge; a camp in which my friend Emily attended as a child and later worked at. Youth groups from all over North Carolina to stay at Glory Ridge for a week of service. Every day the students drive to various parts of the county to serve families and communities. Work projects range from painting a room and building a handicap ramp to re-roofing a house and rebuilding a bridge. In the words of their vision statement, Glory Ridge “is a place of welcome, worship, work, and simplicity where the presence of Christ heals lives and transforms communities.”

In the midst of this peaceful place, I was reminded of our role as servants of Christ. I listened to the prayers of these young middle and high schoolers, who were striving to be the hands and feet of Christ during their stay, and realized that I had not yet prayerfully recognized my call to China. BeforeIMG_6418 leaving for NC I was so caught up in the excitement and stress of what this call meant, that I had not truly given it up in prayer. Glory Ridge allowed me a space to enter into solitude prayer and a burden was released.

This week I pray for peace in my call in the words of Mother Teresa:

“Silence births prayer, Prayer births faith, Faith births love, Love births service, and service births joy.”