Daniel, one of the students we took to Panama, got to share his story this past weekend at our Student Training in Missions (STiM). Daniel is an engineering student at the University of Houston, a Senior, and about to move to the inner city of Memphis to get a Masters in Teaching. As a student who moved with his family from Nigeria, Daniel chose an engineering degree to make his parents proud and to be able to provide for his family. But while he was in Panama this summer, God had other plans for Daniel. Little did he know, God was opening his heart to teach! Daniel taught English his last two weeks in Panama and loved it! Despite the language barrier, Daniel realized he had a passion to teach and he wanted to teach in a place in need. The immediate call is to go to the inner city of Memphis, TN and while teaching, earn a Masters degree in teaching to be able to teach wherever God may lead him next.
As I sat on the bus with Daniel on the way to our Mid Project Retreat, I remember him feeling distraught and not understanding why God had brought him to Panama. At this time, he was wondering if he had wasted a summer of his life on a missions trip that he had spent so much time preparing for and missed a summer to make some money for his Senior year. The impact of Daniel's summer continues to be revealed to him as he opened up his eyes and his heart to what God was showing him.
- Heidi Kennedy, Panama Missions Director.