Sarah Ham's testimony, Guatemala
“Be on your guard; stand firm in the faith; be courageous; be strong. Do everything in love” 1 Corinthians 16:13,14
By God’s grace I was accepted into the Escuela Politecnica that is the Guatemalan Westpoint, which I will be starting on January 3, 2012. For sure this was not part of my plan but God who knows what’s best for me, accomplished this.
My parents were concerned about my future college plans as I started my high school years. I’ve changed schools 6 different times each time updating to a higher level of education, starting in a public school until a Christian American School for missionary kids which I graduated from last May. I studied in Spanish all my life but in my high school years God sent me to this very good school and taught me English. Everything was good, until I had to face the future college plans as to how, where, and what I should study. There was a point in which I was so frustrated and struggled as if the major and the university I will attend will decide my future and all my life. So my parents and I prayed and decided, to prepare and take all the tests and see how God leads. But most importantly, I accepted the direction of my shepherd that whatever university I go or major I study, my first priority will always be to be a 1:1 Bible teacher. Once I accepted this, God gave me peace in my heart. Because I knew God, the Creator of this world (Gen 1:1), who overcame death (1 Corinthians 15) and who is my powerful savior (Luke 1:69) will be with me, and will bless me for obedience, then what or who against me?
I tried to the USA first. I took the SAT tests, send college applications to the US, but the college tuition was impossible for me to pay. Then I decided to stay and study in Guatemala. Since childhood my dream was to be a doctor, so after graduation I went to a clinic where I could see, learn, and experience a little bit about medicine. I studied hard in Spanish again and took the admission exams for medicine and dentistry in San Carlos University, and private universities and passed them all. Then I prayed to God to help to choose a college. But with the recommendation of a friend, I decided to try EscuelaPolitecnica. He recommended that I study military medicine, something I never heard before but was an attractive idea. I wasn’t really interested in the beginning but I decided to stay interned during the exam week and see if I like it. There were around 700 applicants but only 200 (180 guys and 20 girls) could be accepted. Staying there I gathered lots of information and learned that after graduation this education will help in many ways in my life. You learn a little about everything and gain discipline. After a hard four years, I graduate with a double major (an academic one and a military one) and I get paid right away so can help my parents for their self-supporting living condition. I really prayed to God everyday for a sign that will say “I want you here.” During the exam week I knew I passed all the requirements of the school (academic, physical, psychological, and medical) except one, my eye problems. I really asked God to heal my eyes if he wanted me there and expected a miracle from God. The next week during the medical checks, by God’s grace I met this doctor who became my role model--a military medical doctor, Dr. Sergio Nitsch. Once I told the doctor my desire to be a military medical doctor, he was moved and operated on my eyes so I could pass. Then I knew this was the sign that God wanted me here. I’m so thankful that God showed me clearly where I should go and to my parents for their support. But after I got the news that I was accepted, they gave a list of things we must buy for next year. In other countries,like Korea, the government pays pretty much everything you will use but in Guatemala each one has to buy their own things. It was really shocking for me. But again God showed his mercy and love for me and used his servants and friends as angels to help.
I was so amazed, the only thing I could say to God was “Thank you.” I really have nothing big or great to offer Him because I’m a sinner, have no power, I’m weak and useless but He shows his unconditional love and mercy everyday in my life. Now I don’t know what, but I know He has prepared something big for me and now I will be prepared to serve Him. As I promised God I will work hard to do my best to be a 1:1 Bible teacher and military doctor all for the glory of God.
As I enter this school the discipline and all the training will be hard physically, psychologically, academically, and spiritually. But I believe this is like the dessert training John the Baptist had to go through to grow independent of the world and dependent of God. My prayer topics are: To always keep in mind grace and obedience to God as a 1:1 Bible study teacher; study and work hard in order to accomplish my dream of becoming a military doctor; always fix my eyes on Jesus to fight to the end.
One Word: be strong, stand firm in the faith and fix your eyes on Jesus.