I, Rachel Blanchard, believe that it is my place, responsibility, destiny and duty, to know, love, and serve God and to help others to do the same. In short, my goal in life, my soul purpose on this earth is to run to Heaven by becoming a Saint. Anything less is a complete waste. I believe that this is only possible through God’s grace. As a weak, fallen, human I am unable to complete this task alone. However, as a Christian adopted by God and endowed with the Holy Spirit through baptism I no longer rely on my own strength but solely on the strength of Jesus Christ who dwells within me.

Given this, God’s grace allows me to work with Him to bring about His kingdom. He slowly reveals His will to me, through the daily circumstances of my life. Over the past two years God has been revealing to me His desire for me to be a missionary. This call was awakened in my soul when I was privileged to go to Gaming Austria. I met some of the LCI students there and love was stirred in my heart in a totally new way.  I am tempted to say that I had never loved before I met the students from Eastern Europe. In some ways I hadn’t. They welcomed me and I eagerly returned their friendship, but there seemed to be something even deeper going on. I was sharing my faith with them. We couldn’t connect on a surface level because our surfaces were so different. They spoke limited English, their culture and manners were foreign, but their faith was the same beautiful one as mine. Their God was my God.

Even though my soul had been awakened through love for the people of Eastern Europe I didn’t realize what God was doing until I returned to the U.S.  God used the summer after my time in Austria to teach me how to love further. I was in pain, pining away for the people I loved in Europe. God’s Grace was teaching me the cross.

After I returned to school my love for the people in Europe continued and I was often lonely. All my American class mates had had a completely different experience in Austria than I had and they told me so. None of them seemed to miss Europe the way I did. Few of them had felt such a deep bond of friendship with the LCI students. In fact, I realized that most of my peers found it extraordinary that I could even talk so much with people who barely spoke English. I was amazed to discover that I had a special talent for becoming friends with people from different cultures.

I have been called by God, through His love, through His grace and through His people. I have been called to serve, to love and, I believe, to be His missionary, using my talents to help others know Him. I cannot do it alone but only by the strength of the One who sends me.

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