Nanette Olsen, Lincoln Nebraska
As a college student I was a member of the International Student Club, because I had always wanted to travel the world, but had never been able to. I had a persistent sense that I was supposed to do something to help people and make the world a better place, but it wasn’t until I began to grow in a vibrant relationship with Christ through a campus ministry group and a local church that I began to realize the critical impact I could have. Few of my friends knew how distraught my inner life was, because on the outside, it really looked like I had it all together. God used others in the power of the Holy Spirit to touch and transform my life from one of worry, insecurity, uncertainty and spiritual defeat to one of confidence in Jesus and His Word, trust in the goodness of my Heavenly Father and spiritual victory.
At a conference over spring break in my junior year, I heard Josh McDowell speak on God’s testing of Abraham with the instruction to sacrifice Isaac, and then His provision of a ram in the thicket for the sacrifice instead. We all went to the beach to individually reflect and pray over what we heard that morning. I had been wrestling with the thought of surrendering my entire life to God for His service and glory.
I was afraid of what He might have in store for me.
Would He send me to Africa, or some remote place? Would He make me follow through with ROTC and become an officer in the Army? Would He keep me single my whole life? Abraham had been willing to sacrifice his son, the son of the Promise of God, his only son from his marriage to Sarah. He believed, because of God’s promise, that if he went through with the sacrifice, God would raise Isaac back up from death.
If Abraham could trust God with that, couldn’t I trust God with my life?
I began to have my heart and mind settled on the fact that whatever God wanted for me would be good, and I believed He wanted to use me to impact others for eternity as He had used people in my life.
The details became less important in terms of my submission to God, but each one revealed His goodness. God released me from ROTC obligations in order to serve Him full time, as a wife and partner to Kurt. We engaged in campus ministry in the U.S. and the Middle East, always with the thought that we could reach the nations from wherever we are.
In 2006, He led us back to the U.S. and to international student outreach with iFace. What a blessing it has been! This ministry enables us to take our unique gifting and calling, training, experiences and Spirit-led inclinations and put them to use in the fulfillment of His purposes for our life. He is using us as the hands and feet of Jesus, sharing His love among people who have never heard how He cares for them, right here in Midwest U.S.A. Many have gone back to their home countries or moved on to other places. Some carry the love of Jesus in their hearts and share it with others. Our biggest dreams are being realized as we trust God with every detail.