Coming to Ebeye was unexpected and unlikely. I always knew I wanted to be a student missionary and answered the call my Sophomore year in college, but did not actually go out until after completing my undergraduate degree. I knew that God had special plans for me but I also had my own. I was going to become a Girls’ Dean in an academy somewhere in Africa. Being a dean would be less work, I did not have to work directly with kids, I would be in charge, and everyone would love me. It sounded like the perfect plan to me, so I got started. I officially applied to become a missionary, and was enrolled into the missions class. I was on my way. The options on HeSaidGo were endless but I finally found it, the dream position I was looking for, and in the exact place where I wanted to serve: Kenya. I quickly sent out my application, and just knew I was not going to get turned down.
Days turned into weeks and weeks turned into months. Why was it taking so long for me to get accepted? I was the perfect candidate, and they would be glad to have me. I had tons of experience, and in a few months, I would have my college degree. A month and a half later, I was finally approved by the North American Division to become a volunteer, and my application was sent to a school in Kenya. I quickly told my friends and family to pray for me in hopes that I would be accepted there.
A few days after school was over, I had a phone interview with the Head Dean at Maxwell Adventist Academy. This was it. The phone interview lasted over an hour-and-a-half. It went well, and I was extremely confident. I knew this position was all mine…until it wasn’t. I was denied for the Girls Dean position in Kenya two weeks after the phone interview. After being denied, rejection letters from various other deaning positions continued to come in–position after position, country after country. I was depressed. I was not giving up, and took this as a sign that God wanted me to expand my net and look at teaching positions. So I began to look at teaching positions, and applied for the first position I saw. It was a high school English teaching position in Ebeye, Marshall Islands.
I had never heard of Ebeye before, but thought to myself that if it was the middle of July, and this position was still up, they desperately needed teachers, and I desperately needed a placement. A week after I applied, I was accepted to be the high school English teacher at Ebeye Seventh-day Adventist School in Ebeye, Marshall Islands. Praise God! After the many rejections, I was finally accepted. It was a relief to finally see the word “Accepted” instead of “Denied.” I did some research and found out that a few friends from my school, Southern Adventist University, were also going to Ebeye. I was very happy, and knew this was God’s plan all along.
Now that I was accepted, another major hurtle I had to jump was finances. In order for me to go to Ebeye, I needed to fund-raise a total of $3,000, and so far all I had was $100. This seemed almost impossible, until my friend Angelica Perez encouraged me to ask my friends and neighbors to donate $20 each. I figured out if 120 people donated $20, I would have just the amount of money I needed to reach my goal. I have over 500 friends on Facebook so it seemed very realistic…until it wasn’t. Many people donated, and I had a summer job to also help with the cost, but after all was said and done, I still needed another $1,400. I did everything I could: I emailed, texted, called, and practically begged everyone to donate, but came up empty handed. I also began to explore other options, such as going back to school to complete my Masters degree in Social Work. I knew going back to school was not the route that God wanted me to take. God wanted me to become a missionary in Ebeye, Marshall Islands. Even though I did not know this yet, God was going to make a way so that could happen.
I missed the deadline to have all my funds in, and also my expected departure date. I was crushed and shed many tears. But God was still working. My missions director informed me that If my mother could donate another $400, the school would sponsor $1,000. My mother knew that this was God’s plan, and did not hesitate in agreeing to donate. I was finally cleared, and my flight was in a week. I have never been so happy, excited, anxious, and overjoyed in my life. My best friend was with me through it all, and when everything fell into place, I looked at her and said, “Why did I ever doubt God?” She responded, “You never should”.
Now I am currently serving as a missionary in Ebeye Seventh-day Adventist School as a high school English teacher, and never have I felt so complete. I know this is where God wanted me to be all along. I find joy serving the people here in the Marshall Islands. I am reminded daily of how blessed and highly favored I must be to have such a great God working on my behalf each day. The love, motivation, and encouragement I get from God and my students is just unimaginable, I am lost for words, and there is no place I would rather be. I look forward to serving another eight months in Ebeye, and sharing many more testimonies like this one.
“Being confident of this, that He who began a good work in YOU will carry it on to completion until the day of Christ Jesus.” – Philippians 1:6 (NIV)
*This was written and shared by Lunedy Florveus, a student missionary from Southern Adventist University (through Adventist Volunteer Service) who is currently serving as a volunteer high school English teacher on the island of Ebeye, Marshall Islands.