MEET MAI LE: she found her plans changed, followed His call, and learned that He will provide.
You fundraised to attend City Project. What led you to want to attend this program?
My decision to attend City Project was a long and seemingly last minute decision! After my first semester at NC State University, I had decided that I was going to study abroad in Botswana for the summer to get ahead in my degree and build my resumé up! After I joined a college ministry on campus, called Summit College, which is part of The Summit Church, I attended a winter conference they had. Part of it was about going on mission for the summer, and two missionaries from South Africa spoke in a video about how they decided to go on mission there! I was so moved and felt a tug on my heart. I thought about how if God had called me to go on mission for Him anywhere, I wasn’t willing in that moment to give up my own desires to fulfill His own, better ones for my life! Feeling convicted by the Holy Spirit, I prayed through my decision about City Project and what it would look like to give my summer to the Lord. I asked for advice from people who know me well and from people who disciple me, and came to the conclusion that the Lord was calling me to learn more about Him and love Him more during the summer. Even though I had paid my deposit to study abroad, I felt so convicted to go on mission this summer that I didn’t mind giving up that money. Although there is absolutely nothing wrong with studying abroad (it’s amazing for some people!!) if I had gone, my motives were for building my own kingdom and not to invest in the only Kingdom that matters, the Kingdom of God!
What did this time teach you about serving others?
“This is my commandment, that you love one another as I have loved you.” - John 15:12. This summer, I saw my calling clearly to be that as Jesus has displayed the greatest act of love by dying for my sins, I am called to and am able to love and serve others. I also learned that joy-filled ministry comes from the overflow of my heart for Christ!
Why do you think it’s important for believers to serve both locally and internationally ?
It is so important for believers to serve locally. This is because God has sovereignly placed each believer strategically where they are. There are so many people all around us who have not heard the TRUE gospel, how are they to believe if no one preaches to them? (Romans 10:14-15) Not only is it important to serve locally, but we as believers are SENT to the nations! Matthew 28:18-20 is the last command that Jesus gave. Because Christ has ALL authority, He chooses to use us to spread His good news. The good news of being sent to the nations, is that we don’t have to go alone, because Christ promises to be with us to the end of the age. When looking at this verse, we have no option but to go. This means we are sent to our neighbors, to our coworkers, to our peers, to the nations, to our families, and to the world!
What did you learn through fundraising?
Fundraising thousands of dollars was really intimidating, but taught me a lot about what relying on God to provide for money is like! The Lord definitely gave me a sense of peace that if it is His will, He will make a way. I also learned how God will provide in unexpected and crazy ways! There were so many times where someone I never thought would give, donated so much! Also, the amount of shirts that I sold blew me away! (More than 150 shirts!!) Fundraising was way more than collecting money in order to go on mission, it also was a time of growing closer to the Lord in relying on Him!
What would you say to someone who wants to learn more about serving and loving others but isn’t sure where to begin?
To someone who is wanting to learn more about serving and loving others, I would say that I am encouraged by your willingness to learn!! I would encourage you to reflect on the gifts that you see that you have and passions that you have; you do not have passions or a heart for certain things on accident. Pursue these passions with a Kingdom mindset, not asking how God’s plan fits in with your life, but how your life can fit into God’s greater plan for the world, for the gospel to be preached to the ends of the earth. With that said, I would ask your local church about opportunities that are available, as well as searching online for opportunities to go! There are so many summer projects and short-term opportunities! Even serving your local church through small groups, kids ministry, or the worship team, are ways to love and serve others! Seek first the kingdom of God (Matthew 6:33) which is done by reading Scripture, being in prayer, listening to the Holy Spirit’s guidance, and asking for advice and affirmation from mentors and other believers! When you draw close to the Lord, He will surely draw close to you, giving you His presence and His guidance! (James 4:8)