Abigail Carter’s YiM Story
My YIM journey started the winter of 2015. I was finishing my first semester of college, what I believed would be the beginning of the best years of my life, feeling confused, misled, and stagnant. I knew my Social Work and Cultural Anthropology degree would be vital in my future plans to work in The Nazarene Mission Field, but waiting four years to “start”in the mission field was weighing on me. I have always had a strong calling from God towards mission work, but felt torn, because I knew completing my degree would help me be a better missionary, but I also knew that God was urging me to begin my mission work ASAP. So at the end of my finals week, I googled “Indy Mission Trips” and Youth in Mission was the first to pop up. I completed an interest form and what felt like seconds later, was talking on the phone with the YIM Director, Kenny, planning my upcoming summer trip to serve in The Southwest Oklahoma District. Now two years later, I’ve served in The Southwest Oklahoma District, interned as a recruiting rep. for Youth in Mission, participated with YIM at the 2017 General Assembly, and now am preparing to serve for 4 months in Cactus, TX.
It still amazes me how much my mindset about mission work has changed since I began with Youth in Mission. I had always felt called to missions, but was consistently focusing on future mission fields instead of the present. Overall, Youth in Mission has taught me that the greatest mission field is the present. There are always people here and now that have not heard The Good News and we can’t wait until we have our degrees, are married, have experience or whatever our excuse is, to reach out to them. There’s nothing wrong with planning a mission trip like I did, but I knew God was weighing on my heart, because I wasn’t acknowledging the mission field He had placed me in; IUPUI’s campus. Youth in Mission was an amazing outlet for me to serve through The Nazarene Church, but being able to come home from a mission trip excited and prepared to partake in a daily missional lifestyle is irreplaceable. As previously stated, I’ll be heading to Cactus, TX soon to work with their immigrant and refugee population. As I prepare for this trip, I have to remind myself, usually throughout the day, that my mission work does not begin and end the moment I step in and out of Texas. Our mission work is our everyday lives, and I wouldn’t be confident about that without the experiences I’ve gained through Youth in Mission.