Hungry For Life International
“MEI taught me that it is our responsibility to ‘be the change you want to see’. At the end of the day, all the glory, honor and praise go to God!”
In one of my favorite songs by Brooke Fraser, she says “Now that I have seen, I am responsible”. This is exactly how I felt after my third mission’s trip with MEI, to Thailand. There I discovered that it was my responsibility as a Christian to care for the orphans, widows and the least of these as mentioned in Matt 25:40.
My name is Jessica Goshulak (formerly Friesen). Yes, I broke the Mennonite mold and no, I still cannot properly pronounce my last name.
I started at MEI in grade 4 and continued all the way to graduation in 2006. My journey at MEI was one of depth and discovery. Yes, of course academics are a huge part of high school; frankly, I was more concerned with the conditions of people’s hearts than acing my Bio exam (which I for sure did not).
In 2004 I first had the opportunity to go on a mission’s trip with MEI. I took it willingly. On that trip, our leaders Randy and Randi fearlessly trucked a van full of adolescents down to Vicente Gurerro, Mexico and nurtured our spiritual growth and provided us with some good laughs. I remember a specific leg of our van ride where everyone was asleep except for me and Randi, girl Randi . She said to me “Jess, I know God has big plans for you”. Simple statement right? It had colossal meaning to me at that time in my life. I look at that now and think, that was the Holy Spirit using Randi to get me thinking.
“Really?” I thought? How could she say that with such conviction? It must be true. So on I went to discover God’s big plans for my life. Through a series of different spiritually elevating chapel services at MEI I began to believe, and more than believe, act upon that ‘supposed plan’ that God had for me.
In 2006, my 2nd missions experience was a whole different ball game. Without getting into too many details, my heart was disturbed. I knew it was God saying “don’t get too comfortable, I have big plans for you”.
I currently work at Hungry For Life International working to serve the Church by connecting local churches with third world projects and through facilitating teams. I get to see firsthand the reaping of what the Church is sowing. Working together with leaders of the community and building up the Kingdom of Christ has been life giving.
There have honestly been many days where I have thanked God for allowing me to go to a school where nurturing the spiritual aspect of a student is a priority. Without trying to sound cheesy, I truly believe my spiritual life would have flopped if it weren’t for the teachers and spiritual mentors at MEI.
Two particularly life giving times during high school was 1) chapels and 2) my 7am Wednesday morning leadership class. Wow, what a blessing chapels were! Now in life, I look back and think to where my spiritual life truly thrived, and it was the time where I sometimes begrudgingly went to the Tuesday and Thursday mandatory chapels which now I see God used to prep my heart. The seed in my heart was planted.
Leadership class was similar to chapels. It was a time of fellowship and discipleship and growth. It challenged me to see everyone for the person that they are in Christ and to value people! This is where the seed in my heart was watered.
Together with my mission’s experiences, chapels and leadership class, it was a recipe for “God’s plan in my life” that Randi so confidently told me about in the van. Working at Hungry For Life (or HFL) is a direct result of the seed planted way back in those high school days. My job at HFL as a Mission Focusing Consultant has allowed me to meet with many different local church leaders. About a month ago I met with a pastor from Richmond who had that heart, the kind who wanted to change the world. We talked about missions and what some projects might look like for his church. After we talked, we played the history game and found out we were both MEI grads. How great is that? And I am so happy to be able to be in partnership with another MEI grad, outside of school and in our careers.
MEI taught me that it is our responsibility to ‘be the change you want to see’. At the end of the day, all the glory, honor and praise go to God! It is God who teaches us to be more Christ like and only Him who allows us to be a vessel so that people can know God through us. But it was through the foundation that was built in my early years that set my vision on Him. I am just one representative of a multitude of fellow peers who I know through their experience at MEI have discovered their heart to change the world.