Published Wed, Aug 31, 2022
Written by Sarah Pietryga
As an early college student when it came time to think about summer plans, I was clueless. I knew that I wanted to try to do something in my future field, but I just was not ready to live in a foreign city for a couple of months where I knew no one. As I prayed through this previous semester, EduNations was not something I was familiar with. The only time I had ever heard the name of this organization was at my church briefly because we started to partner with them. Little did I know God would bring me here and open my eyes to so many people and ideas I had never known before.
Upon coming to EduNations, I had worked in Kids ministry my whole life and had been on multiple trips to Kenya, but I had never been in the non-profit side of missions. When my first day came, I was excited to see what this organization truly was because if I am being honest, I still had no clue what it was about other than they did work in Sierra Leone. As I walked in, I was greeted by the other staff members and welcomed into the little family they had here. Luckily for me because it was summertime, our President, Samuel, was here and I was able to meet him, talk with him about his family, and his heart for this organization, and the people of Sierra Leone.
As the summer went on, I would not say that I had a specific area that I was working in but rather helped in various areas of the organization. I had the privilege to work with Sarah, focusing on social media and content creation for the organization in order to help spread the wonderful work that they are doing. I was also able to assist Beth in some of the Student Sponsorship needs so that sponsors were best able to view and write to their child through our program.
If I had the chance to pick my favorite part of being an intern here, I think I would choose the week we were able to go to Buffalo. Yearly, the team has a chance to go to Buffalo, where EduNations was founded, to visit board members and churches that partner with them. This for me was such a sweet experience because even though I had never met any of these people before, I was treated like family. As someone who is younger and does not have as much experience in the field, I never once felt like I was unheard. I was always asked my ideas and thoughts and for that I am incredibly grateful. The most special part of this trip was getting the opportunity to talk with people, hear their stories and why they choose daily to pursue Christ and the mission of EduNations. This trip is something I will think back on and remember in the future to come.
Some might be wondering, so what is next for you Olivia? I am heading back to school, Liberty University, to continue my junior year studying Women’s Leadership with Missions. I pray that God will continue to use me to do his work but also grow me in him and provide me the knowledge on how best to reach others with his message. I also pray for EduNations and the wonderful work they are doing every day. If you are an avid follower, you know that their jobs are not easy, but God has big plans for this organization. I cannot wait to see the work God will do through them and within the communities of Sierra Leone!