MEET VIVIAN CARWILE: she said YES at a young age & learned that sharing the Gospel is not one size fits all.
How did the Lord call you to Poland?
Every summer, my church would take a team to Gdansk, Poland to work alongside a church we had a partnership with to host an English camp and a Vacation Bible School. I remember the first summer that my brother went, and when I heard about all of the stories and how God was working in the lives of the Polish kids in the community, my heart was filled with longing to go. The next summer, I felt a strong pull on my heart that God wanted me in Poland, so I prayed about it with my parents, and it became clear that I should go. And so at the young age of thirteen, I embarked, alongside my mother and brother, on my first international mission trip.
What was one fear or hesitation you had about serving internationally, and how did you work through it?
Because I had never gone overseas, I had many fears running through my mind. Most of the time it was about international travel and potentially getting lost in a foreign country where I didn't speak the language. But once again God provided, and after many nights of praying and reading chapters in the Bible where missionaries have felt the same anxiety about going, we had a very safe trip with no one getting lost. And because English is such a common language, many of the Polish speakers also learned English in school, so I always had one of my Polish friends eager to help translate.
What’s one thing you wish you’d known before serving in another country?
Something that I wish I'd learned before serving overseas is that there are many ways to share the Gospel. For so long, I always saw sharing the Gospel as a clear cut script with perfect dialogue and no question left unanswered. But in reality, there is not just one "perfect" way to share the Gospel. Every person is different; their stories may be similar to yours, but they may also be completely different. And that's the beauty of the Gospel. Even in different languages, the message is still the same, no matter what you do to share it with them. God's work is still being done through you!
What did you learn about loving and being loved by others through fundraising for your trip?
I started using Fund the Nations on my fourth trip to Poland. And may I just say, the love and support of my church and friends were incredible. God truly used so many people to help me get to Poland, and I can never thank them enough. It showed me that I didn't have to do this on my own and that I had people around me who shared the same love for the Gospel and want to see it spread to all the nations. It truly gave me a newfound sense of humility and thankfulness to my great God and His beautiful family of believers.
If you could tell the world one thing about serving, what would you say?
If I had to tell the world one thing about serving, I would say that it may seem scary from an outside perspective, but my best advice is to go. And if you can't go, then send. In Romans 10:14-15, Paul says
"How then will they call on him in whom they have not believed? And how are they to believe in him of whom they have never heard? And how are they to hear without someone preaching? And how are they to preach unless they are sent? As it is written, "How beautiful are the feet of those who preach the good news!"
How can we pray for the Gospel to be spread without either going to teach it or sending those to share it? I believe that we all have the ability to share the Gospel, whether that be overseas or in our backyard. The world is filled with lost people who need the Word, and it's our duty and out of love for our Lord to share it with them.
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