Mission Trip: Armstrong Student Emmi Propst’s Experience


Emmi teaching a Bible study

Emmi Lou Propst is a sophomore nursing student on Armstrong Campus. After doing one year at Columbus State University, Emmi made the big decision to transfer to GSU with her two best friends and move to Savannah. A week after transferring, she changed her major to nursing.

Despite all of the change, Emmi is thriving at Armstrong University, and she is applying to nursing school in the Fall. On top of her already growing workload, Emmi will be traveling to Kenya for the whole summer to work as a missionary at an orphanage called Naomi’s Village.

Emmi shared some of her experience at Armstrong University as well as what brought her to the decision to move to Africa for the summer.

Inkwell Staff: So I know that this is your first year at Armstrong, or Savannah as a whole, what made you decide to leave your hometown?

Emmi P.: Well I originally was against the idea when one of my friends told me they were moving. I knew that I was really stagnant at home, so I prayed a lot about it and God opened a lot of doors and told me that I needed to go. So I did.

Inkwell Staff: This year came with many changes, can you tell me about why you decided to change your major this year?

Emmi P.: Again, it was God. I prayed a lot about it. I knew psychology was not something that I wanted to do for the rest of my life and I continued to pray, and pray, and pray, and God showed me in a very definite way that I was supposed to be nursing. And…so I changed my major the first week of moving here and he opened some doors for that. So, I knew that was what he wanted me to do.

Inkwell Staff: I know that you have some family members that are nurses or have been in the past. Did that have any influence on your choice to become a nurse?

Emmi P.: Yeah, I think it did. I think that I knew that it would also be something that would make my family proud and I feel like in a way I can honor Sarah. Sarah is my aunt that passed away at 21 the week before she was supposed to graduate nursing school and it was really hard for my family and they were all super proud of her.

She has a scholarship in her name and everything, and I knew that if I did pursue this career, this is something everyone would support me on. And, I feel like I can honor her in a way, and she definitely had some influence over my life. I saw how special it was to her, and that somewhat persuaded me to go into this field.

Inkwell Staff: How has Armstrong impacted your future career as a nurse?

Emmi P.: Well, the advisors here are actually very, very helpful. And I was able to talk to them and kind of get a guide on what different majors would look like and talk to them about what would happen if I changed my major. And, they’re super helpful in giving me instructions on what I could do and how I could do it, and that made the whole process a lot easier.

Inkwell Staff: So I know that you recently decided to embark on a mission trip to Naomi’s village, so how does your future career coincide with your work in the mission field?

Emmi P.: Okay, so I know my one job in this lifetime is to serve God to the best of my abilities, and I know the gift he has given me is to help others and to care and nurture for other people. That is something that I am very skilled at. So, I knew that not only is nursing a good field to go in because of my ability to care for other people.

But I guess it would be super cool to go to other countries and serve God and tell other people about the love of God also while helping them physically. Because not a lot of like–there are a lot of places overseas and stuff like that that don’t have good medical facilities. And so, to be able to go and provide that care for them when they, you know, need it and to be able to share the love of God simultaneously. Seems like a really good way to go.

Inkwell Staff: Can you tell me a little bit about Naomi’s Village?

Emmi P.: It used to be just an orphanage for young Kenyan children who were either abandoned, trafficked, sexually or physically or verbally—any kind of abuse, if they took any abuse. They come from all different backgrounds, but it used to just be a home, a village, a school for these children, but now they have opened it up and it is a school for all of the kids in the surrounding area. It’s an orphanage for the kids who need a home. It is a place where mothers can go to learn how to raise their children.

It…I mean…it has so many different aspects to it. Like they have an elementary school now, like a middle school and a high school and preschools and whatnot. So it has grown drastically. But basically, it is a place for people to feel safe in Kenya. It is somewhere where they can go and learn the love of Jesus and also become a good Kenyan citizen.

Inkwell Staff: And what kind of work are you going to be doing there?

Emmi P.: I’m just going to be working with the children, so I’m going to, you know, love on them, pray with them, play with them, help them with school. I mean, work with the teachers there and help teach them about the gospel and really just show them the love of Christ.

Inkwell Staff: What brought you to Naomi’s Village and in general to undertaking such an arduous task?

Emmi P.: So about, I would say around Christmas of this past year, I started asking God what he wanted me to do for him because I wanted to serve him, but I felt like going to school wasn’t enough and just doing my daily tasks wasn’t enough. So, I started praying–you know “God what do you have for me? And like, how can I serve you?” And he told me: missions. Like several times, he spoke missions over my life, and I didn’t really know what that meant.

But I told him that if he gave me the opportunity that I would take it, and I made a promise to him and I didn’t tell anybody that. And then, two days later Kami texted me–which is a mentor of mine–and said, “Hey, Naomi’s Village just emailed the church and they were wondering if we had anybody interested in summer internships in Kenya,” And, she texted and she said, “Hey, I feel like you would be perfect for this job.” And, I knew then that that was exactly what God wanted me to do.

And so I applied and I got the internship and the only reason that I feel okay going overseas and doing something this big in this season of my life is because I know it’s what God has for me, and I would rather do his will and it be a little scary than do my own and, you know, not fulfill his will.

Inkwell Staff: Do you have any advice for anyone interested in serving overseas and going on mission trips?

Emmi P.: First, make sure that it is God’s will that you do that. Because it can be very, very difficult if you don’t have his help. I guess the best advice that I have is to really pray about where you’re going, don’t just do it because you want attention, do it because you want to serve God and because he told you to do it. Not because you want to post pictures with kids in Africa. You know what I’m saying?