Josh Hernandez's Archive

“The mind of man plans his way, But the LORD directs his steps.” Proverbs

24 Commentsby   |  04.19.11  |  Ivankiv, Ukraine

God has already been at work in forming this internship for me. I prayed for complete direction on where to go and I trusted God entirely. Let me tell you a little bit about my story of how I ended up where I am going.

I first was signed up for Singapore working with a church there, I felt OK about it. I wasn’t sure that that was where God wanted me, so I was slightly uneasy. I wanted to go somewhere in Asia, I knew that, I wanted to experience a culture that was vastly different than mine, something I had never experienced before. I had been all over Europe when I studied abroad last semester and LOVED it but I wanted to experience a totally different culture. So I was set on somewhere in Asia. Well one day in chapel, an ACU student spoke about an orphanage in the Ukraine called Jeremiah’s hope where he went. I was inspired by the pictures and the stories he told. I have always wanted to work with orphans, and that’s where I believe God has called me to be for my entire life, so why not start now! So I emailed Larry and told him I wanted to work at an orphanage. I received a reply and he said there was a wonderful orphanage called Bethel in China that I could go to! I was ecstatic! Perfect! China was the country I originally wanted to go, and Bethel looked like a great place to be.

So I was on board for Bethel, and felt pretty good about it. I loved my teammate Stephanie Frakes. We were a perfect team because we are exact opposites! I thought we complimented each other well and looked forward to going to China and working at the orphanage with her. Stephanie had already been accepted as an intern at Bethel, and since I had came on board a little late they had not accepted me as an intern. Time went on and as I emailed Bethel they never came back with a definite answer. Ever day of class Stephanie would ask “Have you heard from Bethel?” and I would sheepishly have to say “no”. During this time of uncertainty, I gave my internship to God. I had an odd sense of peace about it, I knew that I would end up at the exact place that God wanted me to be.

I felt like the time had come about two weeks ago for the decision to come about. After about two months of uncertainty I knew that the time for decision was right around the corner. I was thinking if I am suppose to go to Bethel in China then they will email me with the go ahead, if not then another option would rise up. That week Larry emailed me and said that I should pick a different place for my internship. He suggested the Ukraine to work in the orphanage at Jeremiah’s Hope. I felt long ago about two months ago that I might end up there after I heard the student speak in chapel but it was vague, a kind of tug on my heart that God had given me, yet I didn’t want to listen. I could not listen, there was something there, but it was too hard to define, my own wants was clouding my judgment. I didn’t want to go back to Europe. I had already been there, and I wanted to experience something knew. I would have rather picked Africa or South America before I picked somewhere in Europe. I knew that if Bethel didn’t work out that Larry was going to suggest the Ukraine. It was a weird sense, Larry had never mentioned it, but I had a feeling I was going to go there, a feeling only God could have given me. That’s where God wants me to be this summer. Through a series of wonderful God orchestrated events, I am going to a place that would have been last on my list, but it is first on God’s list for me.

I truly am excited for the work that I will be doing at Jeremiah’s Hope. When you know that God is behind what you are doing you have a renewed vigor. I see my internship as an act of service to my God. I want to be a wonderful blessing to the kids that I come in contact with this summer. All along the Lord was with me in this process. One of my new favorite verses that speaks to my journey so far in my internship this summer is:

Proverbs 16:9 “The mind of man plans his way, But the LORD directs his steps.”

The Lord has been directing my steps from the very beginning. I know that if it were not for Him I would not be going to the Ukraine this summer. I would have followed my selfish desires and gone to a place that was more exciting for me. God has worked in my heart and there is truly no other place I would rather be than in the Ukraine serving in likeness of Jesus. Seriously, you could give me any place on this Earth and I would pick the Ukraine, because I know it is God’s will for me. I thank God so much for what he has done already and I eagerly wait for the future as I follow His path.