Opinion: Student Missions–A View from Palau

Opinion: Student Missions–A View from Palau

Shania Ramirez-Robles

Hi, I’m Shania. I’m currently a student missionary in Palau, Micronesia. I work for Palau SDA Elementary school as the P.E. teacher for grades 1-8. Being the P.E. teacher, I teach a total of 221 students. If you’re wondering, yes, it did take me a while to learn all their names.

It’s been about 200 days since I entered the mission field, but it feels as if it was just yesterday that I was stressed trying to make plans to come to Palau. I had no doubt that Palau was where God wanted me, but the thought of teaching a bunch of kids I didn’t know was still terrifying at times. At first, the experience was completely overwhelming.

All the new missionaries went through training for about two weeks, which is ridiculous when you really think about it because you’re attempting to learn in two weeks what teachers take years to learn. Despite all the stress of preparing to come to Palau, I can say with complete confidence that it is by far the best decision I’ve ever made in my life. I definitely don’t think I would’ve ended up here if it weren’t for SWAU and the people I’ve gotten to know there.

In the spirit of transparency, I’m going to be pretty honest. It’s hard leaving behind friends and family. It’s hard sometimes thinking about what I’m going to do when I go back to school, but none of those worries can even compare to the joy and love I’ve received from these students. Every single day is a new adventure. Of course, some days are harder than others. There are days where I just can’t wait to go home and sleep, but there are also days that I wished wouldn’t end. I try to think about it this way, no matter where I am, I’m going to have bad days. I’m privileged to get to spend my days, both good and bad, serving Him.

I’ve gotten to see God work through me in ways that I’ve never seen before. I used to think that it took huge gestures to please God and make our lives worth His time, but that’s not the case. He takes us as we are and only asks that we come to Him with hands willing to work and feet ready to go where He wants to lead us.

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