MEET EMILY KIRKPATRICK DE HERNANDEZ: she say the Lord making a way for her to serve internationally, gave her best yes, and found the confidence to share her story.
How did the Lord call your heart to El Salvador?
I remember first feeling called to missions when I took high school Spanish classes. I realized that another language was a tool I could use to reach a whole other people group, but I wasn’t open to long term trips until my family and I moved from Olive Branch, MS to Clover, SC in 2013. After the move, I felt like God had used the struggle of changing my surroundings and everything I was used to in order to prepare me for something bigger. I had to realize that “Home” is wherever God calls me and begin to trust in His plan over my own. So I took my first week-long trip to Guatemala and felt like God was calling me to something longer.
How did your family and friends respond to your desire to serve internationally?
At first, my family wasn’t so keen on me wanting to move to another country for several months, much less for the foreseeable future. It took a lot of time and talks, but eventually, God softened their hearts and let them see me moving to El Salvador in a different way. They even came down to visit me!
What’s one thing about the culture and the people of El Salvador that you love?
One thing I love about the people of El Salvador is their hospitality! People are so inviting, especially when they know you’re here to help and be love.
How did serving internationally change you long-term?
Serving internationally has actually forced me to be more open. I’m still a shy person, but missions has given me confidence to tell my story, knowing it could help or encourage someone listening. As a missionary in a foreign country, you get asked A LOT. So it has been good practice for sharing what God has done and is doing in my life.
If you could tell the world one thing about serving internationally,
what would you say?
If I could tell the world one thing about serving internationally, I would say to take a chance! I have never heard someone say that they wish they had never gone on a mission trip. Do what I did and just start with a week. He may not call you to get married and move to a foreign country like me, but He could call you to something else, and the excitement is in the mystery. Give God a week of your life to show you things you couldn’t see or experience in the states and see if anything changes for you.