“Paul and his companions traveled throughout the region of Phrygia and Galatia, having been kept by the Holy Spirit from preaching the word in the province of Asia. When they came to the border of Mysia, they tried to enter Bithynia, but the Spirit of Jesus would not allow them to. So they passed by Mysia and went down to Troas. During the night Paul had a vision of a man of Macedonia standing and begging him, “Come over to Macedonia and help us.” After Paul had seen the vision, we got ready at once to leave for Macedonia, concluding that God had called us to preach the gospel to them.” – Acts 16:6-10
So many times we think we could never step in to ministry because we haven’t yet figured out every detail of the future. We also think that someone in ministry is so much different than us and has everything figured out and well planned before embarking on answering God’s call on their life..
Many times even in God’s plans, things can still change drastically. Take Ms. Emily Arndt, CVT for example. In 2012 she received the call to serve full time with CVM in a very rural part of Uganda. We all saw how this fit well in her skill set as God continued to open all of the doors for her to move there in 2013 to serve full time. But as we see in the passage in Acts, God can and does send you one direction knowing that in the right moment, He will redirect your path.
Paul had a plan. He was going to visit churches that he planted in Galatia and then continue to share the gospel in some unchurched regions. But after being redirected twice, Paul received a vision of a Macedonian man standing and begging him to come to his region to help. The history of the church was forever shaped by his obedience. He planted several churches including in Philippi, Thessalonica and Corinth. He later wrote five letters to these three churches which we now know as Epistles in the New Testament.
In 2015 God redirected Emily, someone who grew up in the rural Wisconsin countryside on her family dairy farm, to move fromher rural ministry setting to the hustle and bustle of the capital city of Uganda, Kampala. She would have never moved there if she had known God’s thoughts before moving to Uganda. She would have felt inadequate in the ministry God had planned and never wanted to live in a large city. But after God continued to mold her and shape her, she saw how His plan was perfect all along. She has since been working at the College of Veterinary Medicine, Animal Resources & Biosecurity (CoVAB). This is the only veterinary college in the whole of Uganda. While partnering with a veterinary missionary from the UK she is able to use her veterinary technician skills in ways she had never dreamed to be possible. How can ‘just a vet tech’ be good enough to teach vet students in their final years of schooling? In a culture where theory is fundamental in education, it’s invaluable offer hands on experience. Besides offering typical veterinary technician assistance during teaching surgeries, she also has a passion to walk alongside the students as they discover the practical nursing skills needed in their profession. Such as proper I.V. catheter placement, bandaging, animal handling and behavior, surgical monitoring, surgical prep, sterility, client care, etc. But most importantly Emily is able to share her faith in the interactions with the students from many countries and faith traditions within East Africa.
Ministry doesn’t mean being perfect or having it all figured out. Rather it means allowing your faith to be put in to action by trusting God’s guidance. I encourage you to prayerfully consider how the Lord may be asking you to step out in faith and serve Him as you practice veterinary medicine, or to give financially to CVM as we support veterinary professionals serving in their home communities and around the world.