Discovering Purpose

Megan Plantenga

In December of 2015, I went on my first European Initiative mission trip as a second-year Charis Bible College student. Our team of 25+ students spent time practicing and planning beforehand to share the gospel, perform dramas, and teach in Eastern Europe. While I knew my mission trip would be an eye-opening experience, I didn’t fully realize what would take place within me.  

Almost immediately upon arrival, my heart began to deepen with love for the people of Hungary, Serbia and Ukraine. As my heart became full of compassion for them, I started to see miracles. A man that could not walk, was dancing by the end of our time there. Other students experienced the miracle of deaf ears opening! 

 In the USA, we are so often focused on what we need to do and where we need to go that we don’t take the time to truly acknowledge or stop for the people around us. Yet the Europeans we met showed so much care to set aside their agenda to get to know us and hear what we had to say about Jesus. During my trip, the Lord spoke to me (and I had an “Aha!” moment in my heart) through Romans 10:17 which says, “Faith comes by hearing and hearing by the word of God.” I realized that God’s purpose for me was to speak and allow others the opportunity to hear the truth of who He is and that they were created for a purpose. The message of Jeremiah 29:11, was my present purpose in Eastern Europe. Today, I know the promise and message I carry is one all people need to know. I know there are more places God desires me to go so that I may be a voice for Him. 

Before leaving Hungary in 2015, my husband (who was also on the trip), began to pray about coming back to Eastern Europe to lead next year’s student trip. Before we knew it, it was October of 2016 and time for us to apply for that leadership position at Charis Bible College. Our first thought was, “Oh no! We don’t have time!”  Yet then the memories of the ‘aha’ moments, the healings, the precious time that we shared as a team, came to mind and changed our thinking. So we applied, got accepted, and then led the team of 2nd year students to Serbia, Hungary, and Ukraine in December of 2016. It was so amazing to see individuals that started as a team, come home as a family.  We also had the opportunity to get to know the EI leaders and see the ‘inside’ of the EI ministry. We are so impressed with EI. We encourage anyone that is thinking of going on a mission trip to go and to know that EI is a Christ-centered, integrity-driven ministry. We not only recommend that you go on a mission trip and/or spend the summer with EI in the Surge program, but we too are praying for open doors to join EI in Romania in the future!