A Dream to Serve

Emily Peterson has a mind for service. A junior at Portland Adventist Academy (PAA) in Portland, Ore., she has been a regular “foster parent” to kittens that otherwise would be destroyed at the Humane Society.

She has fed the homeless of downtown Portland, tutors inner-city kids to read, feeds babies at Headstart—the list goes on.

And because of her desire to make a difference, Emily took a personal mission trip to help orphans and street children in Lima, Peru.

When she heard that her aunt and cousin were planning a family visit to Lima’s Miraflores district, she began brainstorming for ways she could assist Adventist Development and Relief Agency (ADRA) in Peru.

Months ahead of time she began collecting school supplies, clothes, shoes, toys, toothbrushes, and monetary donations from her neighborhood, family, friends, school, and anyone and everyone who was willing.

She also arranged with her teachers for time off from classes, so she could maintain her 4.0 grade point average.

While in Peru, Emily recognized her calling and hopes to return to South America to continue her ministry.

She was able to distribute the donations she had collected and visit the child she sponsors through Compassion International.

Mothers begged her to take their babies back to the United States with her, a moving experience for a 17-year old girl.

Her heart continues to go out to the poor and afflicted. She definitely “walks the talk” of serving her Lord, Jesus. •

August 01, 2002 / Oregon Conference