Mandolyn Orrell | Looking Forward

Week 18


Looking Forward


The title of this blog is all that Keturah gave us as a writing prompt this week.  A bit vague, eh?  This is the blogpost I have 100% been dreading since the start of my fellowship…


Even thinking about writing this blogpost, my heart races.  Heart pounding, racing like I’m sprinting a marathon.  I don’t even know how to begin to describe the emotions, thoughts, dreams, and plans I have about my future.  My next steps.  Man… this is tough.


I am nervous.  Scared, really, about what will happen once the fellowship is over.


This fellowship has been very difficult for me.  The reasons it has been difficult are entirely personal, and does not reflect negatively on NFS.  Please understand- difficult does not mean bad.  On the contrary; through this fellowship, I have learned much that I can take with me and use throughout my professional career.  Part of this fellowship, for me, has consisted of a bit of isolation.  This forced isolation has given me time to reflect on myself, who I am, who I want to become, and where I want to go with my life… it has lent a hand to a lot of introspection… maybe too much.  ;)


With this introspection, and through my experiences in the work I do here at NFS, I have come to discover the area of the movement that I am called to; my niche, so to speak.  What NFS is doing in the movement is amazing, innovative, and is making a difference.  However, it is not where I am designed, equipped, or passionate to be.  I have past experiences that make it where I am designed, equipped, and skilled in rescue, restoration, awareness, and direct victim services.


Though, I am in absolutely no way equating myself with Mother Teresa, this quote from her describes my take on where my place is in the movement:

“If there are people who feel that God wants them to change the structures of society, that is something between them and their God.  We must serve him in whatever way we are called.  I am called to help the individual; to love each poor person.  Not to deal with institutions.  I am in no position to judge.”


So, while NFS is incredibly focused on changing and dealing with ‘institutions’, and social enterprises, and such, this simply is not my place in the movement, and that is completely ok.  This does, however, beg the question, “What’s next, then?”.


Nearly everyone I know has been asking me this question.  I have to give them the honest, yet frustrating, answer of, “I don’t know.”  I simply am not sure.  I am praying, and going down the path I believe is what I am suppose to do, but I’m not 100% sure.  I know being a part of the movement is my vocational calling.  That is certain.  I’m just not sure what that means as funds are/have dried up with most anti-human trafficking organizations.


Also, to be honest, I am so incredibly homesick for Korea.  I have such a deep burden for this country.  There are an estimated 1 million people enslaved inside South Korea, and Koreans are the #1 people group trafficked into America, Japan, and Australia.  So, my current working plan A (that is flexible) is to get a job teaching English in Seoul, which probably wouldn’t start until February of next year.  If I get a job with the public schools, that would give me more time to work with Hope Be Restored, and some other direct service providers in Korea.  I have continued to study the Korean language while being here at NFS, and hope to be fluent by the end of 2012, which will aid in serving survivors in Korea.  This is definitely not my ‘dream job’… I don’t really like teaching English, but I can do it for a while, if that is what it takes to be able to do what I am called to do.


So, for looking forward… I’m just swimming with the currents, going where I feel my God leading me to go.  I’ve got a plan, but that may change quickly… and I’ll adapt to that when that time comes.  I haven’t ruled any possibility out, but am following this path until I’m shown a different one.


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