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My Calling to a Life of Missions

Written by: Emily Aviles, occupational therapy student

During my undergraduate experience, I volunteered in Guatemala and fell in love with missions.

After many prayers about which occupational therapy (OT) school to attend, I chose Kettering College. Although mission opportunities were not within the curriculum like other institutions I could’ve chosen to attend, I put faith into God’s plan knowing He wanted me at Kettering College. Surprisingly, the OT program decided, for the first time, to allow this year’s missions trip to Belize to count towards fieldwork, which for me was my Level I in pediatrics.

While in Belize, I had the opportunity to evaluate childhood development, educate new mothers, watch Dr. Aebker (my professor) treat clients, and go on some home visits. My favorite memory from the trip was talking with a young woman diagnosed with cerebral palsy. She had been wheelchair bound her whole life, which led to being her kicked out of school. Although her educators did not want to make accommodations for her, she hasn’t given up. She decided to use a family member’s computer to continue learning. She taught herself English by listening to Americans speak, decided to teach herself how to speak and sing in Turkish for fun, and has a dream of becoming a psychologist.

I left Belize with new skills, friendships, and memories, but I also left wanting more. I believe God has been calling me to do more. I desire to end each day knowing I did all I could in promoting health, aid in maintaining skills, and advocating for my clients. Although I’m unsure if I’ll be overseas or in area in need within the United States, I know God has a plan for me in the mission field as an OT. When He places something on your heart, you humbly go.

Emily, an occupational therapy student from Kettering College, poses with two children from Belize during last years mission trip.

Emily, an occupational therapy student from Kettering College, poses with two children from Belize during last years mission trip.

If you’re interested in the medical mission trips Kettering College takes each year during Spring Break, visit their page for more information!

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