Graduation Glory!

Exciting news…

 I just graduated from Southeastern University!!!!

Only one month after I was saved in my home church, Christ Church of Orlando, I told Pastor Paul I knew my purpose in life: the Lord had showed me in a vision that I was to be a missionary in Africa!

He paused, encouraged me, and then told me that I needed to go to Bible College first. I remember in an instant my heart felt heavy. I was thinking how on earth could I go back to school after being out for nearly a decade? I was 27 years old and long gave up on the idea of college. I wondered how I could possibly wait four years to finish a degree before going to Africa to fulfill the purpose God created me for. In the naivety of the newness of my walk, I thought I was fully ready to go the next day and help save the world if I could.

Pastor quickly told me Southeastern was a great school, so I decided that if that’s what it takes to get me to Africa I better hurry up and enroll. That’s what I did, the very next day!

That was four and half years ago. Looking back, it was one of the best times of my life and biggest times of growth in my spiritual walk! I completed two of the greatest years on campus and then finished my degree online as I traveled through Africa on the mission field. I was warned by the many wonderful professors at the University that it would be extra hard trying to keep up with school while working full time on the mission field. They even tried to convince me to hold off until I graduated, but my call was so strong and in faith I told them I was going to do it for the Lord and work the hardest I could to graduate at the top of my class and contribute all the praise to Jesus.

That is exactly what I did. I have graduated with an overall 3.7 GPA. The professors were right, it was the hardest thing to do, but with Christ’s strength in me, I did it!

On Saturday, May 1st, 2010, I graduate! While my classmates gather in Victory Church, Lakeland, Florida, I am at the heights of the Victoria Falls where the statue of the great missionary David Livingstone overlooks this natural wonder. I am throwing my cap into the spray of the Falls with exuberant joy! I had just completed this exciting chapter of my life in the midst of my hearts desire, in the middle of my life’s purpose, sharing this dream with my husband who is just as excited as I am. 

With the rush of the mighty Zambezi water flowing over the falls every second of every day since the beginning of creation, not one drop of water is ever the same. God hand crafted each and every tiny little detail of our lives such as this, with the greatest pleasure. I stand overwhelmed by this magnitude of raw beauty and stealth power. I realize that like each drop of water going over and never returning, my life has also been. Daily the old is fading away to make space for the new transformation of my life.

The day I was saved in my church November 25th, 2005, I understood that my life was not my own. Jesus had placed in me the passions and desires of my heart that He had created me to experience. The love of Christ flooded me and gloriously wrecked me once and for all. I promised Him I would go any where He would lead me and I would never leave His side. I came in faith to Africa to serve my beautiful Jesus and be His love to this nation, but at the same time, He was wooing me even closer to Him…

And this glorious day, my graduation day, I am reminded that the best is still to come. As this chapter closes and a brand new chapter opens I wait in joyful expectation. So I say, “Father, I will continue to walk in reckless faith, for in deeper understanding of you, your love just keeps getting better!”

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19 Responses to “Graduation Glory!”

  1. Anita,
    I know that I sent you a personal email congratulating you on your graduation, however, I still wanted to make a public note of how very proud I am of all that you’ve accomplished. Your faithfulness to pursue and complete the work that God has laid before you is exemplary. All the more, the gift of God that works in and through you is powerful and inspiring. May God continue to bless you as He perfects His work in you.

    Love and Blessings!
    Pastor Paul

  2. Ericka Gonzalez Says:

    WOW!!! SO AWESOME!!! congrats on graduating and what beautiful pictures (I think that is my wow! haha) Love you Nita bug you look so pretty and I miss you! So proud of you!

  3. Holly Clough-Bamba Says:

    Congratulations Anita!! I am so proud of you! You are an inspiration to me, (especially since I technically haven’t graduated from college yet myself:)–only a few classes left, but I will finish). I love you guys, be blessed. You are continually in my prayers. With lots of love, Holly

  4. Wow!!! A remarkable achievement if anything! No one but you knows the challenges that Africa throws at one! As they say, Africa always wins but it looks like that this time you have one up on Africa. Well done Anita!

  5. Danielle Says:

    Anita, I am so happy for you! Congratulations. When we will see you again to celebrate?

    I love and miss you always,
    Danielle

  6. Liliana Larsen Says:

    Congratulations Anita… May this new chapter in your life be even greater than the last one. May His blessings continue to be pour in your lives, as you faithfully continue to do His work in Africa.

    Blessings, my friend,
    Liliana

  7. Wow I really admire you! 🙂 One Love! AFRICA Be Blessed Always

  8. Mary Brown Says:

    Anita,

    My heart was thrilled to hear your wonderful news. We are so proud of you at Christ Church of Orlando! Your life is an encouragement to many and a living praise to God!

    Mary Brown

  9. Hi Anita,
    congratulations!!! I am very happy for you! Moving house, graduating, besides being married and work… now I know why I never hear from you 😉
    I wish I could be there and celebrate with you!
    Just missed it ;-)!
    Love from Malawi!

  10. Melissa Says:

    Anita! Congrats! I am so happy for you! God is using you mightily and will continue to use you! You are such an inspiration 🙂 Love you and miss you!

  11. Anette McClellan Says:

    Congratulations! I am also going back to College to be a Missionary. I am originally from Germany but live since 1982 in America. I came to your wedding at River Church in New Hampshire. I am 54 years old and want to be a Missionary. In 2009, I went to Ghana, West Africa, on a Mission’s trip. I want to go where God sends me. I want to “totally” be filled with the Word of God, for It is the power unto salvation for those who believe. Rom.10, and how will they believe unless they hear.
    You and your husband are an inspiration to me! The harvest is white.
    In His service, Anette

  12. That is so wonderful Anita, I am so happy for you and I am excited for you too!!!God is so good and he has certainly blessed you for your faithfulness and your faith…you go girl, blessings and much love. Bonnie

  13. Donna Kahelin Says:

    Congratulations! Go forth in the knowledge of the Lord and keep up the good work of spreading the good news!

  14. gaby burse Says:

    Your parents must be so proud of you. I know I am. Congratulations!! Bet yhour husband is a little proud too :0) May God’s blessings overflow in your work. I actually have a little orphanage in Rwanda. Pastor Wade has been there to see it. Want to get there some day :0) Blessings. Gaby

  15. Sam and Pam Carlisle Says:

    Dear Anita,
    We are so proud of you. This is a wonderful accomplishment considering that you have been a student, a wife and a full time missionary. We are so happy for you and we know that God has great things in store for you. May the Lord bless you and Heiko abundantly.

  16. Melissa Padgett Says:

    Anita,

    Wow… What an accomplishment. I toooo am so proud of you. I pray that God continues to bless you and your husband on this wonderful journey called life. God has already worked through you in so many ways and I cannot wait to see what the future holds !! Love to you both,

    Melissa

  17. Debra Israel Says:

    We all know how difficult it is to graduate college, but to do so under such extenuating circumstances has to be an even sweeter, exuberant, and fulfilling experience. I’m so glad you didn’t let the circumstances and trials distract you from the goal. God must know you as one of his obedient maiden’s and is smiling down on you for your dedication to his word and your determination to claim his promises for your life. Congratulations, and blessings to you for you certainly deserve it!!! I wish I was there to celebrate with you…but a big hug from across the miles will have to do. XOXO 🙂 🙂

  18. Tiffany Brodt Says:

    So excited for you, Anita! Congratulations! You are such an inspiration and we continue to pray God’s blessings over you, your husband and the work you are doing there. Thanks for always sharing. I have to tell you that my daughter just did a report on the Zambezi River and your site & pictures were helpful. Beautiful!

  19. Kim Moore Says:

    I’m so proud of you! Congratulations! 🙂

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