Being a part of Christian Veterinary Fellowship, the school chapter of Christian Veterinary Missions, during veterinary school was such an amazing experience. CVF gave me the opportunity of a lifetime through a veterinary short mission trip to Nicaragua between my first and second year of veterinary school.
Nicaragua had a lasting impact on my life.
When I received the email for short-term missions I wasn’t sure about it at first. I had never really thought about going on a mission trip before, but this tugged at my heart. I prayed about it and believed this was something God was calling me to do. My best friend, Kaycee Stagner, also a first-year veterinary student decided to go.
We packed our bags and headed South!
First thing you should know: I do not speak a lick of Spanish. I took a few courses in college, but unless you want to know where the bathroom is, I can’t help you.
Our mission leaders were waiting for us when we arrived in Nicaragua, so thankfully I didn’t have to try to navigate through the airport only knowing the word “el bano.”
This was a 10-day mission trip filled with serving God, serving people and helping animals.
Our hosts Tammy and Oscar were the best. The rest of our group – a rockstar group in my opinion – was from all over the country. We hit it off from the start.
With the expert guidance of some very patient veterinarians, we learned how to spay and neuter dogs, vaccinate tethered cattle and bless people in these communities. I walked away from this trip having a whole new perspective on life. Christian Veterinary Missions made this possible for me. I have been on one other veterinary trip since then and cannot wait to take a group of students as a veterinarian.
Lancing an abscess on our mission trip, in Nicaragua.
Being a part of this organization has made me feel like I am a part of something so much more.
Last weekend I was honored with an invitation to speak at Christian Veterinary Missions annual Real Life – Real Impact. Many veterinary students from various veterinary schools came together and spent the weekend learning about real life in the veterinary world and how we can make an impact in our profession.
I drove 11 hours to get to this conference. Ummmm…. at the time it didn’t seem that bad. In the future, I will fly. Lol.
I shared with the students about my ups and downs of getting into veterinary school, staying in and getting out. One young woman, sitting on the front row looked very down and defeated. Afterward, she shared with me about her struggles and how her story was very similar to mine.
She told me she was struggling with school and wasn’t sure if she should go on. Questioning if this is what God wanted her to do. We visited for a few minutes and then we both were pulled away to the next session.
Later that evening I felt that God had laid it on my heart to write her an encouraging word in one of my books and give it to her. I told her to NEVER give up. “I can do all things through Christ who gives me strength.” Phil. 4:13.
At first I didn’t know why I drove 11 hours there and 11 hours back to speak for an hour to students. But now I know why. It was to meet her; to share with her my own story of struggle and that God is good! God is ALWAYS there for you, even when life throws you curve balls, you can overcome.
Be the person who plants that seed. It may only be for one person, but that one person is important to God!