Student mission made possible
Published: Tuesday, April 24, 2012
Updated: Tuesday, April 24, 2012 00:04
Some people will fill their summer days by soaking up sunshine on the beach’s sandy shores, breaking their pocketbooks at the movie theater or enjoying a couple months of Mom’s home cooked meals and free room and board.
However, University of Southern Mississippi freshman elementary education major Emily Torres’ summer days will be filled with serving others in a land far from home. Torres has been accepted into an internship in London, England, where she will work as a missionary with London City Missions.
“Since I was about 14 years old I’ve just felt a call to international missions,” Torres said. “I didn’t know exactly what that would look like and I still don’t know exactly what that will ultimately look like, but this is where God has me right now, in London, helping there.”
Already making her mark on the Southern Miss campus as a student in the Honors College and a member of Delta Gamma sorority, Torres is broadening her horizons to make a difference in a whole other part of the world.
London City Missions is a Christian organization that engages staff and volunteers to work as missionaries in London. Torres said she found out about London City Missions and learned that the organization needed more girls to go.
“I was kind of reluctant and didn’t want to go so badly, but it was totally just a God thing. That’s what He had for me, and it just worked out.”
From June 4 until July 20, Torres will be in London working at Café Forever. There she will assist in a variety of activities, including teaching English as a second language to the local Bengali community, helping with after-school clubs and participating in door-to-door ministry.
In order to fulfill her dream as an international missionary, Torres has begun fund-raising toward her $4,000 goal.
During the winter, Torres pulled out her needle and yarn to begin a project she dubbed Crochet for Christ. For $10 each, Torres crocheted warm, fuzzy headbands to sell to friends.
“What is so admirable about Emily is how much time she puts into working toward her goal,” freshman kinesiotherapy major Brent Newsome said. “When she did the headband fund-raiser, she spent Friday nights hanging out with us while she was crocheting.”
Newsome first met Emily when they began working at Chick-Fil-A two years ago and said he admires how dedicated Emily is.
“Emily is such an amazing person with her friends and people she doesn’t even know,” Newsome said. “I have never seen Emily put herself before anyone she sees; she is always willing to help me and would even a complete stranger.”
Along with putting her crafty skills to use, Torres has designed t-shirts and sells them for $15 each. The blue shirts say “Love for London” on the front and have Bible verse Galatians 6:9 on the back. On Saturday, Torres had a Coke sale in which people could either pre-order cases or walk up to the truck she worked at for six hours. Altogether this endeavor brought in $330, bringing Torres closer to achieving her dream of serving others abroad.
“It has been very challenging at times, but through it all, even when there have been so many times when I’ve been like I just want to quit, God has been so faithful, and He showed me that when I give it up to him He’s going to take care of it,” Torres said. “It’s all in His hands. He’s the one who is making any of this possible, and it’s not about me, it’s about Him.”
Torres has also been selling raffle tickets for a date night for two. For $5 dollars apiece, couples have a chance to win a ticket that will get them a $50 dinner at Tabella and two movie tickets to The Grand.
“In everything she does she’s a bright light to everybody she’s around,” said freshman fine arts major Kelly Jo Brumfield, who met Torres during sorority recruitment last year.
Brumfield said the most admirable thing about Torres’s venture is that she’s done it on her own.
“She took the initiative, she did it, she saw something she wanted to do and did it, and that is a wonderful example to me and basically to everyone. “
Although Torres says it can be intimidating to go out in the world, she encourages other students to not be scared.
“It doesn’t have to be going on a trip like this across the world. It could be right here in Hattiesburg, in your hometown…you can’t learn in a classroom what you learn whenever you get out there and serve others,” Torres said. “So I would encourage people just because it’s a huge learning experience. We’re all called to be missionaries in some form or another, and that looks different for everyone.”
To purchase a “Love for London” shirt, contact Torres at email@example.com.