#DanesandBrains | Pt. 1

Thirty-five days from now I will begin a new chapter in the book that is my life. Thirty-five days from now I will be lugging two massive suitcases and a hiking backpack through the airport. Thirty-five days from now I will say goodbye to all that I know and love and hop on a plane that will take me to my new home for five months, Copenhagen, Denmark.

People have asked me if I'm going to miss America or if I am anxious about this experience. Honestly, I am not the least bit worried about leaving home to go live in a foreign land. Considering my natural tendency of wanting to control my life as much as possible, I am amazed that I have not experienced that with Denmark. However, there are still thirty-five days to go before I leave...

This summer has given me much time to begin to define the goals and mindsets I want to pursue while I am abroad this fall; but these goals and mindsets fall under two categories: Danes and Brains. I'm not going all zombie apocalypse on you, rather, these two main goals embody how I want to live in Denmark and what I want to do. The first of these is Danes:

| Reach the Danish People & Make Relationships - Danes |

Many of my friends over the years have expressed the desire to be a missionary one day and live in a foreign country and spread the Gospel. I have always supported them and their calling, but I have never once thought that long-term missions would be my thing. I even went so far as to tell God that He wouldn't ever call me to missions. Ever since the Cancer of Biology course I took at Duke TIP during the summer of my freshman year of high school, I have wanted to cure cancer in some way, shape or form. Currently, I'm studying Genetics and English with the plan to pursue my Ph. D. I have always thought of the U.S. as the place to be for anything science related because of the great universities, varied forms of research and grants available. I have always thought that I would live in my hometown for the rest of my life and use Genetics to cure cancer at Duke University.

I have now learned that God has a sense of humor and that God has different plans for me.

A few weeks ago my church began advertising a mission's conference focused on a type of missions that I had never really heard about before called 'Marketplace Missions.' This kind of missions isn't focused as much on raising support and going somewhere to build houses or teach kids, rather it is focused on taking your skills and your job specialty to another country to get a permanent job and reach people who could otherwise not be reached by missionaries. God completely pricked my heart when I heard about this conference. Part of me knew that this fall semester I would be overseas taking my "job" as a student to a foreign land. Eighty percent of Denmark is Lutheran, the majority of those eighty percent don't even know what the Gospel is. Every day, I will be interacting with people that do not understand the gravity of where their soul is at. The Danes are a people that are very private, which means that one of the only ways to share the Gospel with them is to become friends and build a relationship with them. Living in Denmark for five months this fall is the perfect time to do this.

The other part of me realized the amazing opportunities that I could have moving to Denmark after I complete college to pursue my Ph. D or a Master's degree. Many companies offer programs to study and work in their labs but pursue your Ph. D at the same time.  My host dad actually works at Novo Nordisk which is a Biotechnology company headquartered in Denmark that I would absolutely love to work at. Not only would I be challenged in my professional life there, but I would be interacting with many scientific professionals who are closed off to anything religious.

This missions conference is in two weeks and I cannot wait to see how God is going to reveal more of His plan to me. Within the space of two months God has changed my heart of complete and utter selfishness to a heart that is ready and willing to move to another country to love the people there.


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