"In 2013, my life changed. Many things happened that year: I finished school, got rejected from universities, got my first job, and went to Rwanda – the thing that shaped who I am now the most.
I went the summer I finished school as a very naive and enthusiastic team member with 13 other people. I was very expectant that God would completely change my life and I would return from Rwanda knowing exactly what His plans are for me.
I was very wrong. I couldn't feel or see any changes to my life or me as a person. It made me feel confused and frustrated with God."
This is part of my testimony that I shared with some of the team at our final training weekend before we left on this year's trip. Some of the young people in front of me were in the same position I was in four years ago and I am keen to share my experience from before, not so that they know what to expect to be doing while we are there, but to know that God works according to His plan, and He is full of surprises and works in strange ways.
I wanted to show them that you can have no idea where your life is headed, but be sure to continue to trust in God and know that He is the one in control. I expected to come back a new person with a clear idea of what I was supposed to do, but instead the change took time and happened as I matured and continued to live my life with God.
In many ways, I am in a very similar position now as I was four years ago. I don't really have many plans for after I come back from Rwanda and I'm waiting patiently for God to give me a nudge in the direction He wants me to take.
However, since going before, I have learned that I am allowed to ask God for things I couldn't imagine happening! I have allowed myself to trust God more and more, and it is something I know I will continue to get better at doing long after I return this summer.
I am very excited about going back to Rwanda, it's something I have wanted to do since the moment I got home in 2013. I'm so grateful that it is in God's plan for me to go back this year, and I'm waiting patiently for Him to change me, although I'm happy to accept that change whether it is an immediate change or something that happens gradually.
Most of all, I am excited to see what God has in store for everyone involved in the trip, the team and SU Rwanda. I am excited to share such an amazing experience with 16 other people and grow in our relationships with one another and with God. I am looking forward and praying that this trip will be fruitful for those who go; that it will help shape them as they return at the end of July to their normal lives.