To my friends and family,
I write to you today with great excitement and zeal for the future with a plea for support. After finishing up my junior year here at Gordon, I will be shipping out on the adventure of a lifetime: I have been accepted for a two-month internship in Malawi this summer! I will have the amazing opportunity to shadow a physical therapist and his team at Beit CURE International Hospital where they specialize in restoring function to children with clubfoot and other serious orthopedic needs. They are a Christian non-governmental organization that sees all the individuals they serve as “royalty”.
I want to share a little bit about my journey and hopes for this summer and invite you to be involved, either through updates as this summer unfolds or in financial or spiritual support.
My journey begins with my acceptance to Gordon College in 2012. I took on one of Gordon’s most demanding majors, kinesiology, with high hopes of being a physical therapist. Gordon is a pricey school at $42,000 a year so Dad and I quickly scrambled to figure out how on earth we were going to make this a reality. After applying for countless scholarships, taking out a loan, and making sacrifices to save up, we secured money for my freshman year and prayed over the future. God has been so faithful!
For the past two years I have worked full-time as a nanny for a local family while taking classes. While the job is very demanding I am able to remain faithful to my education and make enough money to chip away at my tuition bill. Though it has been quite stressful at times, God has provided rich financial and relational blessings in this season. Other blessings such as living off-campus and receiving a donation from my grandmother when money had fizzled out have helped propel me into this third school year. I have so much to be thankful for and it seems God isn’t done yet.
I want you to know who I am but more importantly to know what God is doing in my life and how I want to use my time and this internship to serve him. In a nutshell, I am an optimistic, loyal, intentional, and active young woman with a lot of dreams and passions. I truly desire to use the gifts and talents God has equipped me with to be a medical missionary in Africa. Here’s what you need to know about me.
What has motivated me to take this internship?
I have always felt most called towards a vocation that is both active and relational. I have had a general idea that my interests and affinities would land me in the medical field, specifically physical therapy, yet I also have a love for French and for different cultures. This year I have been delighted to realize that perhaps I can synthesize my skills and dreams into a career that incorporates each of those areas and have developed a deep passion for serving abroad. I am motivated towards the field of PT, and this internship specifically, because I desire to bring hope into the lives of those who are physically burdened, to connect meaningfully and relationally with people from all over the globe and to broaden my perspectives.
I have been positioning myself to become a physical therapist because I am drawn to the practical positive impact as well as the social atmosphere of the career. Serving the needs of others brings me great joy and I would relish the opportunity to do so for the marginalized or hurting. I don’t seek fame or fortune but to restore hope and function to those who don’t have the liberation it brings.
Additionally, I think connecting with patients is vital to the wellbeing of the community as well as the individual. To be a member of a team that learns more than just names but also the struggles and joys of the clientele gives me much excitement. Being able to rejoice with others is a great honor. The possibility of walking alongside someone who is using his or her legs for the first time after a surgery is a key motivator.
Lastly I am aware that my worldview is currently very narrow and I find that to be unsettling. I have spent my whole life in a world where medicine is at one’s fingertips and society sees productivity and efficiency as the highest value. I look forward to seeing the impact in my own life of going to a place where the rules are different, the people express themselves in ways that are unfamiliar, and the food and language are brand new. I would be blessed both to witness the culture and to be able to participate in rehabilitation. I consider it an honor to be the hands that bring someone healing and laughter.
What do I hope to accomplish on this trip?
I aspire to be a physical therapist and it would bring me immense satisfaction to learn about what it might mean to be an agent for rehabilitation in a place like Africa. This trip would be an invaluable tool to train me for this vocation. It can test whether or not I have the grit, patience and intentionality to serve the community and my Lord well.
With this trip, I hope to experience the lifting of cultural blinders in order to identify and discard prejudices that have crept into my American worldview. Identifying also the hesitancy and resistance in my own life to service has been a rude awakening, one that I wish to redeem. I seek to catalyze a participatory lifestyle so that the suffering of others becomes something I consistently and actively work to alleviate.
Because relationships are so valuable to me, communing with people who are injured and need aid is a great aspiration. I want to impact those I work with by reassuring them of their dignity and worth, no matter their morality, bodily state or religious heritage. It’d be great to experience an internship that sends me back with tangible medical knowledge and practice as well as intangible life experience.
Prayers and shares are the best gift you can give me in this endeavor. I need to raise about $4,000 to cover boarding, internship fees and flight costs and I would love for you to join me in whatever capacity you can. If you feel the nudge to give financially I would love to say thank you and I sincerely ask for prayer, humility, safety and an open heart as I prepare for this trip. I plan to keep an updated blog to share the experience through pictures and journaling so if you would like to be involved, list your email in the space provided below. My fundraising page is also marked down below and I ask you to spread it around to anyone you feel would like to support my mission.
Laura Kavin ‘16
*Spreading the word is one of the most powerful things you can do. You can share this link http://www.gofundme.com/jetc70 on any website and spread the word about my endeavor! In the event that excess funds are donated, the rest will go to tuition (for which I am working a full time job while in school to pay for). If you need any more information about myself, the trip or the donations, contact me and I will gladly chat with you about it!
Thank you in advance for your support!
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