Several years ago, the Lord placed this thought in my mind, and I’ve never been able to shake it since. It was this thought of mission work. I knew the Lord had huge plans for me involving missions. The summer before my senior year of high school, I took my first international mission trip to Belize with my church. It was after this that I knew I wanted to continue doing international mission work in the future. Ephesians 3:20 became my “life verse,” and still is. It says, “Now to him who is able to do immeasurably more than all we ask or imagine, according to his power that is at work within us.” Then, the Lord began to speak to my heart about pursuing a career in the medical field. Halfway through my freshman year of college at Auburn University, I stumbled upon Psalm 138:8. It says, “The Lord will fulfill His purpose for me; your steadfast love, oh Lord, endures forever!” During a time of such uncertainty about the future and whether or not I was pursuing the right major in school, this verse was exactly what I needed. About the time that I found this verse, my dear friend (that had been on two LiveBeyond trips) began telling me about LiveBeyond and how she was planning to intern for seven weeks during the summer. Hearing her pour out her heart and seeing the pure joy on her face as she told me all about the work being done in Thomazeau, Haiti, was so intriguing. I had to know more. I know without a doubt my precious friend was strategically placed in my life at just the perfect time to tell me about LiveBeyond. I registered for a medical mission week, less than four months before I would depart, and was overjoyed when I found out I was accepted. My church family and friends in the community really got behind me and financially, the Lord made this trip happen.
Fast forward to July 2, 2016, the evening I arrived in Thomazeau for the first time. The very first night I was on Haitian soil, the Lord spoke to me in such a bold and powerful way. I had just showered, reapplied deet, gotten as cozy as you can be under a mosquito net in a bed that had been sprayed with bug spray, turned on a fan, and I picked up my journal. I described exactly what I just did about reapplying deet, the mosquito net, etc., then BOOM. I wrote the words, “I am not comfortable. But maybe that is the point. In this life, I am not called to be comfortable. I am called to GO. We are not called to be spectators that sit around while others suffer.” Woah, God, I hear you loud and clear.
“The Spirit of the Lord is on me, because he has anointed me to proclaim good news to the poor. He has sent me to proclaim freedom for the prisoners and recovery of sight for the blind, to set the oppressed free, to proclaim the year of the Lord’s favor.” (Luke 4:18-19). Does that sound like God saying, “Go ahead and sit in your air conditioning and comfy chair and just relax. Someone else will go do my work,” to you? Me neither. Later in the week, Dr. Vanderpool spoke on that exact same verse with that same message during a morning devotional. I spent the week with that fully on my heart. Go. Serve. Do. In every single thing I did, playing with kids at church on Sunday; being in the pharmacy, lab, and med rooms at the medical clinic; with each person we visited in the community; and even in my own personal worship time.
Now that I am back in the United States, I live with such purpose and intention. Before this trip, I would have been afraid to truly worship and raise my hands in church, to go out of my way to support and love someone, or to be the light to all of the people around me that so desperately need it. The Lord has anointed me to proclaim the good news to the prisoners, the blind, and the oppressed right in my own small hometown. Let me be the first to say that if the Lord is speaking to your heart and calling you to go, do not miss the opportunity. I cannot wait to return to Thomazeau as soon as I can. In the meantime, I have to live with the same purpose and intentions that I did that week in Haiti, right here in the United States. In such a trying time in this nation, it’s desperately needed. I am incredibly thankful for the Lord’s direction and his purpose for my life, and that LiveBeyond is a part of His plan and my purpose.
Alli is a Sophomore Biomedical Sciences major at Auburn University, with hopes of attending medical school. She is from Andalusia, Alabama. The July 2016 medical mission was her first trip with LiveBeyond.