"I didn't let the first closed door stop me from pursuing something that God has given me a passion for."
List out all the summer options you have available.
Pray through the list and ask God what he wants for your summer.
What does it look like for you to trust God in all circumstances?
Coleton struggled with other summer requirements
What made you realize God was calling you to go on summer project?
At first, I was fairly certain I would not be going on a summer project. While on campus, I pursued networking with accounting professionals and focused on getting into the final classes I needed. However, with all the uncertainty and possible things I might be able to do, I felt God was still directing me to go on a summer project.
What obstacle did you encounter along the way?
I was probably confused more than anything else. Here I was with a passion growing in accounting and yet no doors were opening. I began to wonder whether or not God really wanted me to pursue that or maybe some other career choice that I had not thought of yet. My walk with God had never been stronger and even in the midst of all the uncertainty, I felt at peace with where I was headed.
What was the turning point?
The big turning point came during the decision night at Winter Conference. I was sitting down while many of my friends were standing around worshiping. They had already filled out their decision cards and I could not bring myself to decide which box I was supposed to check. My pen drifted between international ministry, making a monetary donation, and giving God control of my summer. The last option seemed like a safe decision, so I checked that box. It was a relatively small action, but it had a very significant impact on why I went to Port Elizabeth, South Africa.
What practical steps did you take during the process?
During this process, I made intentional time to pray. I prayed that God would mold me into an open and willing servant. I have also had a multitude of opportunities to partake in “stranger evangelism,” which forces me to become for comfortable with being uncomfortable. I’ve been trying to comprehend that my entire life should be one lived to demonstrate Jesus all around me, stranger and friend. Stranger evangelism is an intentionality that seeps into every encounter you have in your life, it’s just about realizing that and humbling yourself.
What do you recommend to others who face a similar obstacle?
One of the biggest encouragements during this time was the story of Abraham and Isaac. God had called Abraham to give Him everything even though Isaac's death would put an end to God's promise. Even so, God essentially told Abraham "I know what I told you and I will still provide. Trust me right now. Trust that I am faithful to my promises." God will never call you to do something that goes against what he wants for your life. God has given me so much and blessed me in so many ways. Why would I not want to give my time to serve Him?
Coleton attended Port Elizabeth South Africa Project in 2012.