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The A18 Project: An Intern's Experience in Guatemala

From the time I was little, I loved missions. I loved doing work and building relationships for the sake of the Gospel; it was a natural love and desire for me. In 2017, I talked to my parents about serving internationally, and how I was willing to do anything to get do so. We had some connections to Servant Life, which turned out to be another answered prayer. Servant Life was so willing to answer all of our many (many) questions and desired to equip us to spread the Gospel.

Somehow, which I can now only contribute to the Lord’s sovereign, good, and perfect will, we ended up taking a team to Guatemala that summer to serve alongside a Servant Life partner. That one week in Guatemala shifted the course of my life. While I was serving there, I could feel God’s call on my life clearer than ever before. I learned about the A1eight Project that allowed college students to serve for longer amount of time, and I felt a deep desire and call to do that when I was old enough.

I applied for the A1eight Project internship as soon as the application opened. The thought of spending my entire summer, my first college summer, in a foreign country made me afraid. I feared natural disasters, violence, the financial cost, not knowing the language, and so many other things. Even in all of that fear, the thought of spending my summer dedicated to the Lord, surrounded by the kids and ministers I had developed relationships with, brought me indescribable peace. By the time I arrived in Guatemala on June 1, I was beyond excited to serve.

For the eight weeks I was on the ground, I experienced abundant life. It was not all easy and good, but I made so many friendships and spent everyday spreading the Gospel, making disciples, and meeting needs. I did not expect the teams that Servant Life sent every week to be so impactful. Their testimonies and encouragement transformed my life and helped me in my service. My life felt more purposeful than ever, since everyday was dedicated to the Kingdom.

One of the highlights of my summer was through a child named Victor. His family, including his mom Rosario, lived at the school to watch over it. Not only did Rosario not know Jesus, but because of a lot of injustices in her own life, she was angry and broken. One day we went into Rosario’s home and got to experience a dramatic release of bondage in her life as she came to know the Lord. It was amazing, and it was even more special to me because we had developed a special relationship over my time in Palin.

I am so thankful for how this A1eight experience matured my faith, gave me so many amazing friends, and gave me confidence in my place in missions. Moving forward, I hope to continue to go back with Servant Life as an A1eight Project intern or as a team member. This summer and my experience with Servant Life showed me that full time missions is something I have a passion for, and now I am waiting on the Lord to show me what that is going to look like.

-Emily, A1eight Intern, Guatemala

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