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ER nurse answers call to go on 11-month mission trip

A post-graduate nursing student and LaGrange native has been working as an emergency room nurse but dropped everything to follow the calling of missionary work for the next 11 months. 

Emily Christein was in the process of applying to medical school in the fall and working at Piedmont Columbus Regional when she said she felt God’s calling to missions. 

“Originally this was not my plan, at all,” Christein said. “In the fall of last year, I really felt God call me to step back from all of that and give it all back to him.” 

Christein said mission work has been on her heart for several years and now feels like it is time to answer that calling. 

“I kept feeling him say to wait and not yet,” Christein said. “Ultimately, I always wanted to go when it was really convenient for me. Then, I felt him ask me if I was still willing to go when it was going to cost me everything.” 

When Christein answered that call to go, she quit her job, stopped medical school applications and started planning. 

In just over 40 days, Christein will take only a backpack and tent to go overseas to spread the gospel in 11 different countries. 

“I am going with an organization with called The World Race,” Christein said. “I will go to Columbia, Ecuador, Peru, South Africa, Lesotho, Swaziland, India, Nepal, Ukraine, Moldova and Romania.” 

The group of 20, split into seven mission teams, will partner with long-term missionaries based in each country to work alongside with what their mission field is in at each location. 

“We are traveling with just our backpacks and tents to live among the people and live as they do to learn what it is like to really be the church,” Christein said. 

Christein recently got back from an intensive 10-day training camp with the group, which has prepared her for this journey across the world. 

“We lived out of our backpacks and tents with bucket showers,” Christein explained. “It was intense sessions of speaking into us, as well as preparing us for the different cultures we are going to face and different ways we can love on all the types of people.” 

Christein will be completely immersed into each country and its lifestyle, which is what she is most excited for. 

“I will get that different view and see the needs all over the world,” Christein said. “Not just as an overview but also living in it and being able to meet the people where they are at.” 

Even though she is dropping everything to travel across the country with a group she just met, Christein said she feels calm. Additionally, she said she has had a foundation of people who have been extremely supportive through the whole process. 

“I feel like I have gotten out all the nerves and calmer than I should be,” Christein said. “My mom is crazy supportive. I am the youngest child and the one that lives at home, but she really believes in the calling that I have in my life.” 

Those who want to follow along on Christein’s mission trip or donate to it can do so on her blog, emchristein.theworldrace.org. 

“I really wish for people to pray for boldness, courage and safety,” Christein said. “Those are three really big things for our team as we go out and try to live as the hands and feet of Jesus.”