Ending the Status Quo: Student Mission Spotlight

Ending the Status Quo: Student Mission Spotlight

Name: Kate Carbaugh
Major: Speech Pathology
Interviewed by Rachel Arner



Where are you from?
I’m originally from Pennsylvania, but I currently live in Maryland.

You’re going to be a student missionary next year! When do you leave?
I am! I believe I am flying out on July 28 to head to training in Hawaii and to meet up with all the other student missionaries that are headed to the Micronesia Islands area. Then I am going to Palau! More specifically, I’ll be going to Palau SDA Elementary School.  

What are you going to be doing there?
I am going to be the librarian and substitute teacher at the elementary school. Basically, my main job will be “librarian” and then I will fill in wherever they need me. I could be subbing for the eighth grade class one day, in the library another day, and then maybe helping in the office the day after that.

Do you know what the daily life will be like?
I’m guessing it will be early mornings, running around and helping out where I’m needed, and then going back to the student missionary apartments for the evening. I’m not 100 percent sure what my day will look like, but I know that it will involve a whole lot more cooking than this year since we have to provide all of our own meals. Looks like I’m going to have to learn to cook some cheap, simple stuff this summer!

What do you expect to be different next year compared to your usual year here at Andrews?
I’m really excited for the weather. I enjoy the cold and the snow, but I’m an all-or-nothing person. I don’t like flurries unless there’s going to be at least several inches of snow. So going to a place that’s mainly sunshine and rain makes me pretty excited.

What are you most excited about when it comes to being an student missionary?
This is such a hard question. I love to travel and live new experiences, but I really am excited to meet all the new kids that I’ll be with on a daily basis at the school. I’m hoping to be able to join their Pathfinder Club so I can get to know the kids outside of school. I’ve always had a passion for youth, and I’m really excited to be able to show God’s love to everyone I come into contact with.

Is anyone else going to be there that you already know?
Yes! I already know two other girls from Andrews that are going to Palau—Hannah Mbungu (senior, nutrition) and Katie Starkey (senior, agriculture). And I also know Abner Sanchez, the principal of both the elementary and high school there in Palau; he previously worked at my summer camp. The year I was hired to work at Mount Aetna Camp, Abner and his wife accepted the call to go to Palau. I also met the chaplain and the current boys’ dean that are there at summer camp. And then I have some friends from Southern Adventist University (SAU) that have applied, but the hiring process is still going on, so I’m not sure when they will find out one way or another. So I guess you could say I know a handful of people that will be there.

Why did you decide to be a student missionary in Palau?
Funny story! I actually didn’t want to go to Palau at all. You see, a lot of my friends from camp had applied to go to Palau in the past and I did not want to go to the same place they had gone. I wanted my own experience. I wanted to be a girls’ dean in the states, but that position or any position in the United States didn't come to mind when being asked at the student missionary office. As I started to speak, instead of saying where I wanted to go, I just said I wanted to go to Palau. God kind of does that to me. He just takes my words out of my mouth and puts his own answer in its place. After much prayer, I felt God was in fact calling me to go and serve in Palau.  

Have you always felt like you might be a missionary one day?
For sure! Ever since I was a little girl I had a passion for service. I went on a mission trip to an orphanage in El Salvador in 2010 and fell in love with the people, the place and with Jesus. My uncle sponsored me each year I went, and every time I grew closer and closer to God. Every time I went it was a new learning experience. My heart aches to hear the little voices of the girls that would follow me around the campus. I’ve wanted to be an student missionary since I was about 14 years old. On one of the trips to El Salvador, I met two student missionaries from SAU. They were both so incredible and I could tell that they were so passionate about missions. I listened to their stories and fell in love with the idea of taking off a year of school and serving in an unknown place and just being in God’s service.

What do you planz to do when you get back to Andrews?
I plan on finishing my undergraduate degree in speech pathology and applying to graduate school.

What can we do for you while you’re gone? Should we send you anything while you’re there?
Pray! I need all the prayer I can get. Pray that not only I, but all the outgoing student missionaries will be able to show God’s love wherever we are placed and that we are able to adapt and rely on God in tough times. As for sending things, I could use some little trinket prize stuff. I want to start a reading race type thing, where the person to read the most pages wins a small prize. Given that these kids range from Kindergarten to eighth grade, a variety of small prizes would be awesome. I’m sure we could use more stuff, so you should get in contact with other student missionaries that are serving to see how you can help them.

For those who might be considering
being a student missionary one day, why do you think they should do it?Obviously, they should pray about it. Take into consideration that this will be a hard year; nobody is saying it’s going to be super easy. It’s not a vacation. You will graduate a year behind a lot of your friends, but that doesn’t even begin to compare to the amazing life experience you will get while being a student missionary. It’s tough, but after a lot of consideration and prayer if you feel God calling you, do it! God’s call is the greatest motivation that someone could ever ask for. Choose to end the status quo and go serve.


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