As a junior in high school four years ago I made a decision to step out of my comfort zone. I decided to put my entire life into God’s hands and dedicate a year to being a student missionary.
About six months ago that decision finally became a reality.
Now as I’m finishing up my midterms for the third quarter, I’ve been able to look back and see how God has worked through my life in ways I never could have imagined. I’ve also experienced things I never would have back at home or in school.
My degree is to be a high school science teacher and being here has confirmed my passion for making a difference in the learning experience of my students whether it’s academically, spiritually, mentally or socially.
I currently teach nine classes with the main ones being chemistry, biology, and algebra II in the high school and language arts, social studies and developmental reading to my eighth grade advisory class. Having the chance to impart knowledge to young people about topics I’m passionate about it so incredible and humbling to someone who is only a junior in college.
To be honest, the experiences that have been the most inspiring to me haven’t been the big things.
It’s the little things all put together as a whole that have made a difference in my life. Being able to sit down with a student struggling with a challenging concept and to see the “aha” moment sweep across their face makes my day.
When things get tough, it’s my students who make me smile and laugh again even if they were the ones making it difficult in the first place. Seeing their joy and energy helps provide me the God-given strength and patience needed to go through each and every day.
Can they be frustrating sometimes? Yes, definitely.
But whether it’s helping them organize bake sales, playing games during class parties, seeing them put together Bible skits, having discussions about what God has done for us or anything else we do as a class, I have the opportunity to be accepted and loved by them and to be able to enjoy the fun and joys of being their teacher.
For anyone interested in becoming a student missionary, I’ll say it’s an amazing experience and I would support anyone wanting to do it. It’s challenging, and to be perfectly honest, there will be days where you might want to give up and go home to where things are familiar and comfortable.
It’s during these difficult times where I’ve grown the most as a person, and in my relationship with God.
That makes the struggles worth it. Whether it’s to coming here to Micronesia or somewhere else in the world, becoming a student missionary is an opportunity that will change your life forever.
Ran Annim (good day) from Chuuk!
Mira Ball is an international volunteer serving in Chuuk.