Africa Calling

Senior to Take Part in Internship Abroad to Grow Humanitarian Skills


Photo courtesy of Faith Elliott

Posing with two children on a mission trip to Rwanda, senior Faith Elliott grows her love of service and exploration. Elliott says what she values the most in her trips is the opportunity to spend time with children. “I’ve never been particularly fond of kids but my heart bursts with love for those precious kids in Rwanda,” Elliott said. “They’ve been through so much and they’re still all filled with joy.”

Megan Bonsall, Guest Reporter

At the end of this uncertain year, many seniors are looking forward to what lies beyond high school. Most are nailing down plans and making final decisions to attend college, but for one senior, a higher calling has led her to choose an alternate route.

Senior Faith Elliott is looking forward to serving as a missionary and developing career skills during a three month internship abroad in Africa, through the organization Gospel Mission. 

Elliott said that while she eventually plans to get a degree in the arts or photography industry, a meaningful gap made the most sense for her individual interests. 

“I really like the opportunities and programs that the internships I applied for have, they’re areas of interest for me,” Elliott said. “I love Africa with all my heart and I’m unsure about college, so it kind of just makes sense to go with what I’m passionate about.”

The internship opportunity will be Elliott’s third trip to Africa, following two prior mission trips to the country of Rwanda, which she says inspired her decision to serve as an intern in Africa following her graduation from high school.

“My time in Rwanda caused me to fall in love with Africa,” Elliott said. “I feel such a strong love for the people of Rwanda, how could I not want to explore the rest of Africa.”

Elliot said that it is her personal faith that has inspired her to take her next steps in missionary work.

I love Africa with all my heart and I’m unsure about college, so it kind of just makes sense to go with what I’m passionate about.

“Since I was young, I’ve always felt this calling to be a missionary. Just this tug in my heart to go help others in need and tell them of God’s love,” Elliott said. “I absolutely think God put this love of travel and adventure in my heart to serve a purpose.”

When abroad, Elliott expects to have many eye opening experiences and skills training, including applying photography and humanitarian work. 

“I’ll be doing a lot of social media work, taking pictures of people impacted by the program, and telling their stories,” Elliott said. “It’s going to be a lot of photojournalism and humanitarian work. We’re still ironing out the details and creating a schedule.”

While she has vague expectations of what the program will entail, Elliott says each mission trip has its own unique twists and turns, and requires adapting to new challenges.

“The biggest lesson I’ve learned is probably that things are not going to go how I plan and I need to be happy about that,” Elliott said.” A lot of times you go on a mission trip with an expectation or idea of how it will go and then something completely different happens “I’ve learned to just trust God’s plan and find joy in any unexpected challenges or twists.”

Going into the next stage of her life, Elliott says she hopes to undergo personal discovery, and learn what being immersed in a new culture has to offer. 

“It’s like being in a whole other world, around every corner there’s something new and beautiful to learn about,” Elliott said. “I hope to learn more about how God wants me to use the gifts he gave me to help others, I want to know why he’s put Africa on my heart.”