Sophomore Jeanna Evans is 8,000 miles away from home, but her only concern is how she is going to trust God wherever she goes.
At 10 years old, Evans’s family took a leap of faith and moved to Lusaka, Zambia with little preparation. Although her family previously did not have missionary experience, the call to follow God — even all the way to Zambia — was so strong that no one stopped to think about how crazy it was.
“It just seemed to make sense in the moment — that was definitely God,” Evans said.
However, even with God’s presence and guiding hand, Evans remembers the trials she faced while serving in Zambia.
Specifically, Evans labeled one event that as one of the most defining moments of her faith. While in Zambia, a violent robbery took place on her mission’s campus, where a man was almost beaten to death.
Although the attack was terrible, Evan said the moment showed God’s faithfulness by giving her an adopted brother, the man who was beaten.
“God used (that situation) to help me depend more on him and realize it wasn't me being (an) amazing, super cool person; it was just me being a light for him because I couldn't do it on my own,” Evans said.
19-year-old Evans now realizes how with every step she took, God was providing the way. Evans identifies as a third-world culture (TWC) kid due to the formative years of her life being spent in Zambia. Because of this, she began to experience issues she notices many TWC kids struggle with when choosing a college. Evans had to choose between going to a local university and stay with her family or go out-of-country to receive what she thought would be an education better fit for her.
Evans knew she wanted a TWC program she could be involved in to find a place where she belonged. With a simple Google search, she found Taylor University, which had exactly what she wanted: a program known as Mu Kappa (MK).
“(MK is) an on-campus student organization that exists to help create a community for missionary kids and third-world culture kids as they're transitioning into life at Taylor, (while also) trying to help them retain their unique cultural identity,” she said.
Taylor was the only college Evans applied to after a single visit in 2016, and soon found herself thousands of miles away from the place she called home. Evans noticed how God aligned her life in a way that would lead her to be on the cabinet of MK her freshman year.
Besides the program offering a place where she and other TWC students feel supported, Evans loves creating an environment where she can help people feel involved.
“Being able to be there for (TWC) students (is) my favorite thing about being involved in Mu Kappa — (it) is having that position to be able to help,” she said. “It brings me so much joy to see other people finding that group for themselves.”
Today, Evans is MK’s co-president, alongside junior Logan Tuckey.
While working alongside Evans, Tuckey noticed how they compliment each other well as co-presidents. He also said Evans had all the skills when it comes to being a qualified leader.
“(Evans is) bright, but also reflective; she's very much a ‘talker person,’” Tuckey said. “ She can inspire people with her words. (She) helps (MK students) reach closer to their potential with her words rather than just by leading by example.”
While Evans’s experience and cultural diversity aids her in many areas, she thought she was missing out on the typical American teenage experience. Evans felt the missionary work she was doing was becoming mundane. It took constant reminders from both herself and God that her work was important to the community she was serving in.
Evans recognizes how God has been teaching her to rely on him through every chapter of her life, taking note of how her past experiences have all made her who she is today. From rural Zambia to small-town Indiana, the message of “God’s got this” has become her anthem.
“Through everything, he's been reminding me, ‘Hey, it's not you, it's me here,’” Evans said. “Anytime I start to get a little bit like, ‘Yeah, I think I got this,’ God's like, ‘Jeanna, remember, I'm here. You need to depend on me.’ That's kind of been the theme of my life: depending on (God). This is where God has me, and I'm happy to be here.”