This past September, Emily Tabor, a 4th year veterinarian student and a Christian Veterinary Mission (CVM) Missions Apprenticeship participant, traveled to Mongolia where she worked alongside CVM missionaries for four weeks and explored the call to serve in overseas missions.
Emily was kind enough to share her thoughts on the experience with CVM International Missions Administrative Assistant Malia Drennan. Enjoy!
Malia: What led to you pursuing this opportunity?
Emily: I felt that I was supposed to go and do something the summer in between my 2nd and 3rd years of vet school. I originally was supposed to go to Ethiopia but that fell through and a couple other programs I was enrolled in fell through. I really didn’t know what I was supposed to do with my summer when I got an email from CVM about needing help in Mongolia. I knew that was where I was supposed to go. After my first trip, Mongolia and its people captured my heart. I wasn’t sure if I was ever going to go back but people from my home town told me that I would end up going back. I guess my face would just light up whenever I would start talking about Mongolia.
Malia: So why Mongolia?
Emily: If a non-Christian heard my story of how I came to be in Mongolia they would probably just chalk it up to coincidence. But I think God had all my other plans fall through and when I was worried/wondering about what I was supposed to do with my summer He gave me the answer. I am just glad that I listened.
Malia: What did you do during your time there?
Emily: This time around I worked in the small animal clinic. Even in just the past year there has been lots of growth in the clinic. A typical day would consist of walking to meet the van to take us into devotions, and then working at the clinic. You really never knew what would show up at the clinic. You generally got lots of dogs, but we saw a fair number of cats. We also saw a couple of turtles and a guinea pig.
Malia: What was it like working alongside nationals and the CVM Fieldstaff and seeing the country you traveled to through the eyes of Long-term Missionaries?
Emily: This is a hard answer to put into words. I loved talking to the different long term Missionaries about how they came to be there and just their different experiences. I feel a bond with the nationals. It feels like I have known them for a long time, even though we had just met. Right off the bat the nationals are amazing people. They are loving and warm and welcoming.
Malia: How did this influence your own desire to serve long-term and how did God confirm this calling on your heart while there?
Emily: I know that God is not done with Mongolia for me yet. I am usually a composed person who doesn’t show much emotion but when the plane took off from Mongolia, I just started crying. It hurt so much to say good-bye to everyone there. During my time there, though, God told me to wait, I am not ready to go long-term directly from school. That was hard for me but I feel that in order to best serve God I need more clinical experience.
Malia: Overall what was the experience like?
Emily: The experience was amazing. Probably the hardest thing is getting my stomach to adjust to the Mongolian food, but the people are so nice that a little upset stomach really isn’t a big deal. Of course there are the differences in culture but even these weren’t hard to overcome.
Malia: Would you recommend this experience to another student considering long-term service?
Emily: I would and have recommended the experience to other students. This country and its people have entranced me. VET net really has short-term teams down to a science. They have an amazing program and I am blessed that I got to be a part of it.
A special thank you to Emily Tabor for allowing us to share in a little piece of her journey to Mongolia! May the Lord continue to use this experience to touch the lives of others.
Story courtesy of CVM’s Missions Blog.