CVM’s Mission Apprenticeship Program Reaches to Bolivia

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o_Gv1-WGY2C3G8Mh7WsinzeC04k6LwdQr5tOX5ZAfMlxnMjAH8HU9YtM3zq_kyprhIsvVEx8JWI=w1047-h612By: Malia Drennan

Are you a “missions-minded” vet student in your 3rd or 4th year of vet school? Do you have 4 weeks available to serve on the field? Do you want to receive hands-on training/one-on-one mentoring from a CVM Long-Term Field Worker? If so, then CVM’s Mission Apprenticeship program may be for you!

Applications to the Apprenticeship must be received by October 1, 2014 in order to be considered for the 2015-2016 school year.

This past June, Elizabeth Wall, a 4th year vet student and a CVM Missions Apprenticeship participant, traveled to Bolivia where she worked alongside CVM missionaries for six weeks and explored the call to serve in overseas missions.

Elizabeth was kind enough to share her thoughts on the experience!

Malia: What led to you pursuing this opportunity?
I knew I wanted to be a veterinarian from about age 8 and I knew I wanted to follow Jesus from an age even earlier than that. Sometime in early high school, my church gave an update on a CVM fieldworker. I had never heard of Christian Veterinary Mission, but I was amazed to hear that a group of people with passions much like mine were united in spreading the Gospel this way. I looked for ways to get involved with CVM as soon as I got to veterinary school and I participated in two one-week trips during my classroom years of vet school (Haiti 2012 and Honduras 2013). One of the students who traveled with me to Haiti went on to do a 4th year apprenticeship in Mongolia for 6 weeks. She came back with a much more detailed understanding of missions and discernment. I had frequently wondered where I fit into global missions – whether travel was a fun adventure for me or if living in another country was more of a long-term calling.

Malia: So why Bolivia?
I chose Bolivia because I have consistently felt called to study and practice Spanish and work with the Latino community. I wanted to go somewhere that would allow me to blend my Spanish language skills with veterinary medicine. I had also heard several fieldworkers talk about Bolivia at Real Life/Real Impact conferences, so I knew there was a lot of work happening there.

Malia: What did you do during your time there?
I was blessed to be able to work with three CVM fieldworkers, their families, and multiple communities within Bolivia. I spent time building relationships with Bolivian veterinary students, participated in small animal surgery clinics, observed and assisted with surgeries and diagnostics in two veterinary teaching hospitals, taught about livestock disease and vaccination, and worked on a large beef ranch. I also got to be a member of the missionary community, participating in Bible studies and church services alongside missionaries from many organization and countries – people involved in projects ranging from schools to children’s homes to community-building coffee shops.

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?
I absolutely loved seeing as much of Bolivia as I could. I spent time in small cities like Trinidad (in the Amazon basin), in large cities like Santa Cruz, and in rural indigenous communities in the Chaco. I spent two weeks living with a host family, which was hands-down the best way for me to understand Bolivian culture. Meeting many Bolivian nationals (and being able to converse with them and work with them) was the absolute highlight of my time in Bolivia. I have been able to maintain contact with several people I met in Bolivia.

I am so glad that I got to work with 3 different CVM fieldworkers. Working alongside each person allowed me to see that God calls us all in different and specific ways. He cultivates our passions and skills such that we are uniquely enabled to bring Him glory. I worked with three veterinarians in the same country, associated with the same organization, and their ministries were vastly different albeit perfectly complementary to one another. I was excited to see the flexibility in what the mission field can look like, depending on what God has planned for individual people.



Malia: How did this influence your own desire to serve long-term and how did God confirm this calling on your heart while there?
I definitely feel called to continue to use veterinary medicine as a vehicle for ministry. My time in Bolivia pointed me strongly toward using my Spanish communication skills in combination with veterinary medicine and I’m currently hoping to enter practice in the United States in an area with many Spanish speakers. I have discerned that international missions will continue to be part of my life, though I don’t know yet whether this will manifest as a long-term placement or many short-term trips. I thoroughly enjoyed connecting visiting short-term teams from churches with the people I had met in Bolivia and so feel like I might be called to repeatedly lead short-term teams to the same place.

Malia: Overall what was the experience like?
Elizabeth: I would have returned to Bolivia the moment I got off of the plane in Washington, DC. My experience was phenomenal and reminded me of who I am in Christ, how often I am not much like Him, and what wonderful news it is that He walks beside me and calls me closer to Him every day. I learned about myself and the character of God. I experienced a new culture complete with language, food, music, and friends.

Malia: Would you recommend this experience to another student considering Long-term service?
Elizabeth: I would recommend this apprenticeship to anyone who wonders how God will use their veterinary medicine degree for His Kingdom. I would recommend that those who participate in this 4-6 week apprenticeship have some 1-week short-term trip experience first, as immersion for more than a month is an overwhelming proposition for many.

Thank You

A special thank you to Elizabeth Wall for allowing us to share in a little piece of her journey to Bolivia!  May the Lord continue to use this experience to touch the lives of others.

Mission Apprenticeship Program

If you are interested in participating in the Apprenticeship Program, click here to download the Apprenticeship forms or to read more about the program.

Applications to the Apprenticeship must be received by October 1, 2014 in order to be considered for the 2015-2016 school year.

Malia Drennan serves as CVM’s International Missions Administrative Assistant.  Read more about our team!

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One comment

  1. javed younus

    greetings from pakistan

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