Samford senior graphic design major Alex Wolf said, “For people considering a semester studying abroad or doing missions abroad, there should be no considering. Just doing.”
Wolf spent January to June of 2013 as a missionary in Johannesburg, South Africa, with the International Mission Board. Her official title of storyteller meant she used her gifts and knowledge of video editing, design and publishing to “tell the stories of the Lord’s work among the people of South Africa.”
While her 9-to-5 office job kept her plenty busy, Wolf devoted all of her free time to the many ministry needs in urban Johannesburg. She met with prostitutes, worked in orphanages, led a bible study for teenage girls and played basketball with South African boys.
“I knew what my job would be like, but the ministry I did in the afternoons and on the weekends is what became so important to me. I just never thought I would love it as much as I did. I could have chosen to do the minimum, but I chose to do every single thing I could get my hands on. I couldn’t be happier that I chose that,” Wolf said.
Wolf said that getting to Africa wasn’t easy, but now she can’t imagine her life had she not gone.
“Just weeks before I remember thinking, ‘Why in the world did I sign up to move to Africa with no one I know?’ I was so nervous, but when I got over there, I loved it. It’s hard, but once you fall into the pace of things, it’s hard to come home.”
Wolf said her transition back into life post-Africa has not always been easy. After living with people generationally effected by HIV, girls forced into prostitution and toddlers without parents, Wolf said it is hard knowing that those people are still there while she is here.
“[Being away from Johannesburg] is sometimes really hard to bear, but I’m learning that while I can’t be there right now, my prayers are absolutely more powerful than my presence.”
For more on Wolf’s experience, visit her blog at http://delightedpeople.blogspot.com/.