Growth requires boldness
Kelsey Carlson has learned trust by stepping out of her comfortability both in Poland and the U.S. | Chak Hee Lo / THE CHIMES
Sophomore public relations major Kelsey Carlson remembers the first time she translated for her camp in Poland. She kept thinking of all the people who would better qualify for this position of leadership. In her insecurity, she learned to trust in God, and saw the growth in her relationship with him. After that camp, she boldly stepped into positions that pushed her out of her comfort zone, from other camps to now a Resident Advisor in Alpha West.
“That was pivotal… in my life because I realized in my insufficiency,” Carlson said. “Those were like the best days, best camps in my life where I was so out of my element but so dependant on God.”
Missions Conference held a different meaning for Carlson than for many students. It brought home to her, and it brought her two worlds together. Carlson grew up in Poland, where her family served as missionaries for Josiah Venture.
“I was just super thankful to be even born into the organization, and some of their values have become my personal values,” Carlson said. “[Mission’s Conference] kind of made me miss it more. But I was really proud to help out and represent Josiah Venture here at Biola. It was kind of like my two worlds colliding.”
Josiah Venture sends missionaries to 14 post-communist countries in central and eastern Europe with the intention of training local pastors and sharing the gospel with youth.
“I think an answer to the meaning of life or how to do it is to live missionally in the great commission, like we’re sent to make disciples that make disciples that makes disciples,” Carlson said.
Her growing up years
When fellow students ask her about living in Poland, she finds it interesting because Poland is her home. She had not known anything different until she moved to Biola two years ago. She speaks both Polish and English fluently as well as some German. She grew up immersed in the Polish culture and attended a Polish public school.
With Josiah Venture, she too got to take part in the missional living, as they take a family approach to ministry. In junior high and high school, she worked along her peers to host camps for others her age where they could hear the gospel. She ended up going into positions of leadership in the camps, such as serving as a translator.
“I loved where I was at in Poland, and everything I was involved in and the Polish education system is really intense and really great, but I just thought it would be a great experience to mix my faith and my education because that wasn’t an option in Poland,” Carlson said.
Looking back at her experience now, she realized living as a missionary taught her to really cherish her relationships. Her care for people has led her to now becoming a public relations major with an emphasis in nonprofit and ministry, and venturing into the nonprofit field this summer with her World Vision internship.