“I just need to release myself to learn and pray for the opportunity to know more,” I heard Raphael say clear as day through his heavy Nigerian accent. It was like a message from God piercing through my inner panic and I immediately realized I needed to just calm my nerves to listen and learn. I don’t need to know everything yet. I’m still a student and an intern.
It was the second day of my internship at Voice of the Martyrs when I heard those words. I was sitting in on an interview with a man from Nigeria who had a very heavy accent and whom I was having an extremely hard time understanding. About 10 minutes into the interview, I began panicking as I realized: I had no idea what this man was saying. He was talking so fast and I started doubting myself and my abilities as a (student) journalist.
Worried thoughts started racing through my head. How am I ever going to interview people in the field if I don’t know what they’re saying? How am I going to write any stories without interviewing indigenous people? How am I going to be a foreign reporter or go where God calls me if I can’t even understand people? And at the perfect moment, God put the perfect words into Raphael’s mouth that would give me peace. And I understood him saying it.
Raphael had been sharing about his schooling on prosthetics in the US. He told us how at first, he was overwhelmed at all the new things he was learning and doubting himself and his calling. Just like I was doing at that very moment.
I’m a third-year college student. I’m no pro, but for some reason, God blessed me with an internship at VOM. Maybe I have a lot of varied experience with my community college newspaper, but I definitely didn’t feel deserving of an internship that was in my field in exactly the type of place I dream of working in the future.
But then that saying pops into my head: “God doesn’t call the qualified, He qualifies the called.” I’ve heard it so much it’s almost become a cliché to me, but its truth. And its truth constantly shared in the VOM newsletter. I don’t think many of the people of our persecuted family felt experienced enough in their faith to wake up one day and say, “Okay, I feel prepared to be persecuted now.” God prepared them for it without them even realizing it.
At VOM, the people I work with know I’m here to grow and learn. They know I’m not experienced in contributing to this type of organization. But, this is where God has placed me this summer, and He’s brought me 1,400 miles to Bartlesville, Oklahoma for a reason. I did pray for this opportunity to learn at VOM, now I just need to “release myself to learn.” More specifically, I need to let God work in me and change me so I can learn everything this organization has to offer.
Valerie O. is a summer intern at The Voice of the Martyrs. This fall she will be a junior at California State University, Long Beach studying journalism. She first heard of VOM through a Bible study when someone handed her a VOM newsletter. Since then, she has felt drawn to VOM and its primary goal and has desired for God to use her skillset to help in reaching that goal.