I’m so excited to share the story of Sigourney Seybert, one of my classmates and friends from the University of Michigan. She currently works as a Field Staffer at New Life Church Ann Arbor and as an International Missionary at Great Commission Latin America. She is one of the most inspiring people that I know, who follows her heart and faith to guide her in her career. She is making a huge difference in the world, particularly in El Salvador and the Ann Arbor community. She is positively influencing others to pursue their faith throughout the journey of life. Learn insights from her below!
My friend Brittany and I met while in undergrad at the University of Michigan in a social outreach class. As you can imagine there are a lot of people in these types of classes that are passionate about community development, social work, and generally making the world a better place. However, Brittany and I clicked and found ourselves soon dreaming and scheming about our futures and talking about the issues and people groups we were passionate about.
Fast forward to now and I have the privilege of writing a guest post on this blog! It seems like not long ago I was a little freshman heading to Ann Arbor ready to make a splash, but little did I know I would be moving to El Salvador in 5 short years. Going into college I knew that I wanted to do something to help others. Like many hopeful freshman I thought I would go to med school and save peoples’ lives, but after almost failing general chemistry I threw those dreams out the window. I sought out a church community my first few weeks on campus and settled into a church on campus that was full of young people. In the spring of 2010 when the opportunity to go on a mission trip to El Salvador presented itself I knew I had to go. I had no idea what I was getting myself into.
We touched down in “the land of smiles,” as it is known, to find ourselves in the midst of a national emergency. All our plans of teaching English, building houses, and feeding kids went out the window and our entire week was spent doing disaster relief. We delivered clean water, food, and condolences to people who had lost their homes. We heard countless heart breaking stories of families separated in the night as the water rose, houses washing away, and emergency evacuations.
Now I, Sigourney, grew up in a nice New England Parsons home set on ten acres in the country of mid Michigan. Up to that point in my life I could think of few times I had felt uncomfortable. This trip rocked my world. I started asking a lot of deep questions like: Why do these people have to suffer while I live so comfortably? Why do they have so little while I have so much? Can I do anything at all to help?
These questions rang in my ears as I returned to school for my second year. I cried, I became apathetic, I prayed. I didn’t know what I could possibly do with my life to make a difference. So like any logical person would do, I went back.
The second trip was less dramatic, but provided much clarity. I realized that I could make a difference if only for a few people and I became satisfied with that. I realized that what I had fallen in love with the year prior was the people. They don’t have much, but they know what is important. Relationships.