How did you hear about ECHO?
I first heard of ECHO on a phone call with a missionary in Kenya about a year and a half ago. I was inquiring about how I could pursue an internship or volunteer alongside him. Long story short it wasn’t going to be a good time so it wouldn’t work out. But we just ended up talking life and he shared about ECHO because he had been an intern back in the 90s and that had really set the trajectory for his life. That was the first time I learned of ECHO and I was really impressed. I casually looked it up online and checked it out. I was mostly excited that this existed and that it was blessing people. But it didn’t really cross my mind that I would get involved with it.
Following that initial introduction the Lord placed a couple who had been interns in the early 2000s at the small church plant I attended in Clemson, I got to know another student who had ECHO connections, and I found out I had family members who were friends of ECHO.
It just kept going. The more I looked into it and initiated the application process I just knew in my spirit that this was something that God had set up for me for a long time. I kept taking steps towards it and he’s opened every door along the way.
I heard about ECHO about three years ago from a professor who had worked in Haiti. And then when I was traveling around doing veterinary work it kept coming up in conversation with people. Everyone was asking me if I had heard about ECHO. Then last year I spent time working on the Beer-Sheba Project in Senegal which is pretty closely connected with ECHO. There are a few graduate interns there who highly recommended that I come to ECHO. I considered it but wasn’t planning to apply until another one of my professors got an email from Brian Flanagan. He sent it on to me asked that I consider it. I sat down right there and filled out the application and had the feeling that I knew this is where I would end up.
What are you most looking forward to in your 14 months here?
I am realizing I need to have a purpose and direction in being here because this internship is designed to propel us into some sort of lifelong endeavor. I know God has begun to put the pieces together in my life and is directing me towards a destiny. As I have been discovering him and the desires that he’s put in me, I know that ECHO has a part in that. I know that he is going to continue to confirm things and give me more specific direction. I think I am excited to more and more uncover God’s desire and intent for my life and then intentionally take steps towards that. I hope it’s not just getting through the 14 months and enjoying it, but really thinking five to twenty years beyond this. I hope this is a place for dreaming about what the Lord has for my future.
I am looking forward to everything I am going to learn. Specifically, about agriculture. I am looking forward to all the techniques and technical knowledge that I can gain here. I am excited about knowing and seeing examples of how this information can be applied practically. I am also excited about diving into how agriculture can be our spiritual teacher especially in terms of God’s character and love. I want to glean as much as I can here so that I can take it to people and share it.
Also, eating a lot of really awesome food. And hanging out with all the amazing people here. This place is rich with conversations, and connections!