Are you a “missions-minded” vet student in your 3rd or 4th year of vet school? Do you have 4 weeks available to serve on the field? Do you want to receive hands-on training/one-on-one mentoring from a CVM Long-Term Field Worker? If so, then CVM’s Mission Apprenticeship program may be for you!
Applications to the Apprenticeship must be received by October 1st in order to be considered for the 2018-2019 school year.
Victoria Warner, a third year vet student at Tufts University and a past CVM Missions Apprenticeship participant, traveled to Uganda where she worked alongside CLIDE for 8 weeks and explored the call to serve in overseas missions.
Victoria was kind enough to share her thoughts on the experience! This is what she had to say.
Q: Can you share a bit of your experience with us?
Victoria: I spent 6 weeks in Soroti working with the Teso and Kumam people and 2 weeks in Karamoja working with the Karamojong. The Karamojong have a history of cattle raiding and violence and are often looked down upon by the rest of Uganda because they have been less influenced by western society. I greatly enjoyed my time in Karamoja, while there I was able to help with a Community Animal Health Worker Training. This involved teaching people selected by various villages about common animal diseases and how to treat them. This creates a sustainable job and animal health care in the village. While in Karamoja I was able to learn about some of CLIDE’s other projects and provide some veterinary care. While in Soroti I was able to assist in rabies vaccinating dogs. CLIDE is also hoping to start a piggery and so I helped with fencing and planting feed for future pigs. One of CLIDE’s projects is the Goat Revolving Loan. Churches are chosen and given a grant to buy goats for needy individuals in their community. Once beneficiaries are chosen, CLIDE trains them about basic goat care and husbandry and the beneficiary is then expected to return the first offspring to the church, thus making the project sustainable. I was able to help with one of these trainings and distributions, as well as, speak to some previous beneficiaries. Often the offspring of the original goat are used to pay for school fees.
Q: What did you learn about missions in general on this apprenticeship?
Victoria: I had kind of thought that once you decided to serve long term with a group and in a certain place that is where you are forever, but I learned that can change.
Q: Did anything surprise you about long-term mission service?
Victoria: I was a little surprised how comfortably you can live while serving long-term. Not that anyone lived extravagantly, but it was more comfortable then expected. I feel like there wasn’t much that surprised me, though.
Q: What was particularly challenging to you about this apprenticeship?
Victoria: I think the most challenging part of my experience was the language barrier. In Soroti more people could speak English, but in Karamoja fewer people could speak English. It was discouraging because it was hard to build relationships with people when I was having trouble communicating with them at all.
Q: Did you hear anything from God specifically in regards to your call to long-term service? If so, what did you hear?
Victoria: I loved being with the Karamajong and with CLIDE and would love to serve in Uganda long-term, but I feel like God is telling me that there are already enough Christians in Uganda and that he wants me to go somewhere where Christianity is not so prevalent. I think God is leading me to India.
Q. Can you share a story with us?
Victoria: The story that will stay with me the most is about a man who had a cow with a disease causing a clotting disorder. In an effort to save his cow he had given a goat to a witchdoctor to sacrifice and wore bits of the hide on his arm, ankle, and in the cows tail. The uniqueness of the cow’s diseases caused us to spend an hour researching. When we returned we found Reverend Felix and others sharing the Gospel with this man. The next day when he returned for the cow’s second treatment the hide was still in the cows tail but no longer tied to the man’s body!
Q: Do you have a better understanding as a result of this experience as to what God may be calling you to at home or abroad?
Victoria: As much as I would love to start serving long-term now, I still have two more years of veterinary school. I’m going to try to spend some time getting to know Melissa White and hopefully go on a short term trip to visit her during my clinical year. Hopefully then by the time I graduate I can have a better idea if that is where God is calling me.
A special thank you to Victoria Warner for allowing us to share in a little piece of her journey to Uganda! May the Lord continue to use this experience to touch the lives of others.
Mission Apprenticeship Program
If you are interested in participating in the Apprenticeship Program, click here to download the Apprenticeship forms or to read more about the program. Applications are due October 1st!