#InternLife: From Urbana to Blantyre

Oct 24, 2016 | Sports Friends Africa, Sports Friends Malawi

By Daniel Chang, SF Malawi

In December of 2015, I traveled with my family and a good friend to St Louis, Missouri for Urbana, a five-day student missions conference. I was getting ready to start my final semester of college, and I had no plans for after graduation. In the days and weeks leading up to Urbana, I had been praying that God would guide me. All throughout college I had sensed a calling to missions, and I told God that I would go anywhere He sent me – I just didn’t know where that was yet!

On the drive to Urbana, my dad asked my brother, friend, and I what we were hoping for during our time there. I shared that I was praying for direction and that I was really hoping to find sports ministry opportunities in particular. My three greatest passions in life are Jesus, sports, and kids. And as I studied kinesiology, I really wanted to glorify God by using what I studied for missions.

Urbana was awesome. There’s nothing like 16,000 people all together in one place praising Jesus and desiring to discover the role and purpose God has for them! I spoke to many recruiters and missionaries, but one stood out in particular, a woman holding a soccer ball.  As we started to chat she shared about how she and her family were doing sports ministry in Malawi. As she shared the heart and vision of Sports Friends, as well as some of the amazing things God has been doing in Malawi, every word resonated deep within me. Now, I couldn’t have placed Malawi on a map if you had asked me to at that moment, but as this woman prayed over me at the end of our conversation, I knew that God had laid before me the direction I had been seeking!

And so here I am, in Malawi, and I know that I am exactly where the Lord wants me. I faced so many fears and unknowns this year, and then God stepped in and paved the way for me. I will never forget the many miracles that brought me here. I’m amazed at how God led my path directly to the ministry he had in mind. Matthew 6:33 says to “Seek first His kingdom and His righteousness, and all these things will be given to you as well,” and I have seen this so clearly. Ever since God placed Malawi on the radar for me at Urbana, I’ve seen that God loves to provide for His children. Instead of worrying and stressing out about God’s will, I’ve learned that I can simply delight and put my trust in Him.

Daniel Chang served as a short-term associate with SIM’s Sports Friends ministry in Malawi. He graduated from university in May of 2016 with a degree in kinesiology. Daniel was the first Sports Friends Intern to serve in Malawi. This blog is a part of series called #InternLife and highlights the journey of an intern to the field and his return home again.