Hellooo World! Or anyone who may be reading this now!
Welcome to my first blog entry!
I'd like to start off by introducing myself. My name is Rosie Sawatzki, and I recently graduated from the University of Mary Hardin-Baylor. While I was there I studied Spanish and Education, was very involved in my church and college group, and very in love with my work of being a Resident Assistant to the incoming freshman girls who came into the dorm I worked and lived in.
Instead of taking the traditional route of going into teaching right after graduation, I decided to do something much different- you might have guessed it, seeing how you already found my blog, but yep, I decided to give the next two years of my life to God, by moving to Central America (specifically Costa Rica) to work with the youth program at a bilingual church there. "What?!" you might say, "Is this girl off her rocker and going crazy?! What a bold and faithful thing to do right after graduating college!" Well, I see how you might be tempted to say that. But please, let me tell you about some of my life and how God has been shaping me to step into this role for such a long time. Maybe then I can help you understand how it was really more of a, "I can't NOT go!" type of situation.
I grew up in a safe and loving home, officially accepting the Lord as my savior sometime in middle school. It wasn't until I was in high school though, when I had an opportunity to go to a young adult's conference in Kansas City, where I REALLY recognized how good God is. People had always told me Jesus loved me- would never leave me nor forsake me, but it was at that conference, when I was able to really EXPERIENCE that goodness. That's when I realized that God truly does love ME! He loves everybody else too, but he REALLY LOVES ME! And he made me in my mother's womb, and he watched me grow up, and he was jealous for ME, because he wanted to spend more time with ME, and hear MY voice, and see where we could go in our relationship. I think after that short conference I found a solidity in my faith. I knew that God really would never leave me, nor forsake me, but I also knew that I couldn't keep living the same life I had been. He had so powerfully changed my life, how could I continue just acting like everything was still "normal?"
God began to draw me into missions with two short term mission trips in my teenaged years. I first had an opportunity to go to Mexico on a week long trip over the summer, and that's where I fell in love with Spanish, learning language, and culture. Meeting people who were different than me, but who faced the same struggles of identity and being a teenager that I faced every day too! We were so similar, but faced a language barrier. That's when I decided, "I have to take all the Spanish classes, learn all the languages, and tell everybody about Jesus' love!!"
A few years later I felt a more direct calling when I went on a week long mission trip to El Salvador, just after graduating high school. I remember a particular moment of discomfort, where the people around me were stressed or frazzled, but feeling a sense of peace and belonging. I remember looking out the window as we rode down the street on our crowded school bus, taking a deep breath, and thinking, "man, I sure hope God has called me to missions, because this just feels so, right."
Since then and maybe all throughout high school, I sort of joked about being a missionary "when I grew up," but I never really thought the possibility was tangible until I went to the University of Mary Hardin-Baylor and found GoCorps. (If you didn't know already, GoCorps in an organization that helps mobilize young adults (like me!) to go into the mission field. They believe that directly after graduation is a great time to go, because, as recent grads, we ARE so mobile. The majority of us "Goers" don't have houses, mortgages, marriages, or children. I consider GoCorps a sort of "bridge program." They give us extra training and help us narrow down and select a placement that we would work really well in. There's a lot of mission organizations out there in the world, and that can be overwhelming, so GoCorps partners with several of them to help US connect and find one we would work well with.) ***Side note over***
As I was considering this possibility and all the different options available to me, with wide open doors after graduation, I was reminded of my grandma. She told me after I returned from my first short term mission trip, that when she was younger, she used to have a recurring dream that she was called to missions, but she never went. I thought, I can’t imagine “not going” or waiting to go, until I reached a point in my life where I was no longer capable of going, then realizing I had missed my opportunity. I think that was probably a big turning point where I realized, I couldn’t not go.
Now I’m committed to serving on a team in San Jose, Costa Rica. While I’m there, I’ll get to help run some of the children’s and youth ministry activities, and I’ll also get to participate in church wide events to create an environment that fosters the truth of God’s word and hope in the gospel. I am looking forward to getting to disciple and pour into the lives of the youth in Costa Rica, and whoever else God puts in my path.
For now, I’m enjoying the present, and leaning into this time of support raising, training, and growth, before I get on a plane to San Jose.
I hope this long and wordy, first blog post, has helped you to get to know me better, and why I know I couldn’t NOT go to Costa Rica. Thanks for reading!