By Jordan West

CLEVELAND, Ga. (TMNews) – Senior English major, Charissa Veal of Wrightsville, Ga., enrolled at Truett-McConnell College with a passion for people and writing. She did not know that while she was here, God would give her a heart for sharing His word overseas.

The road to TMC
When Veal was in high school, her mom encouraged her to check out Truett-McConnell. “My mom had heard Dr. Caner speak at a convention sometime during [my] high school years, and she was so impressed with him and his heart for missions that she told me I had to check out his school,” Veal recounted.

Her decision was easy. “Once I did,” she said, “I knew that God wanted me to go to there. I was so excited to be going to a school that was so on fire for missions, but little did I know that He would later instill in me my own passion for missions. I love the way He works!”

Adjusting to college life
Veal didn’t struggle with homesickness upon move-in, but she does remember her first few weeks being tough: “I was really excited to come to college, but because I got a cold the first week of classes, I did get a little homesick. That made it harder because I wasn’t at home in a familiar setting, but I was okay after I was well again.”

Her new friends helped make her college experience an easy transition. “I love being able to live with my friends – getting to see each other every day, watch late night movies, or get on-the-spot advice have been some of the huge blessings of living here.”

Veal has been blessed by a number of people on campus who have poured into her during these four years at TMC. “I love all of my teachers and the faculty because of their hearts for the students, she said. “They dedicate so much of their time and energy to us, and they are always available to pray or talk with us if we need them.”

She mentioned Mrs. Hanna Caner, the wife of TMC’s president, Dr. Emir Caner, as a valued mentor. “Mrs. Caner is one of the main people that has impacted me the most, she said. “I’ve gone to her Bible study every week since I came to Truett, and she has been such an encouragement. She has invested four years into my life, and none of it has been wasted. Her Bible study is the highlight of my week, and no matter how much homework I have, I’m always glad to go because I come back refreshed and encouraged.”

Called to missions
Because of her interest in missions, Veal decided to take her first TMC mission trip with a group to Malaysia at the end of her sophomore year. While there, “God showed me what missions was really like and that you don’t have to be a special kind of person to do it—you just have to be willing and obedient.”

It was on a mission trip to Rwanda during the summer following her junior year that Veal was called into missions.

“It was on my way to Rwanda, on our first connecting flight, that I realized I couldn’t do this. I couldn’t do missions,” Veal said as she looked back on the struggle she went through. “Then God said, ‘No, you can’t. Only I can. But I want to use you.’ From that moment on, I knew I had to rely on God for everything, and He guided me through. It was definitely a monumental trip for me. I had the wonderful opportunity of sharing the gospel twice, and each time, a woman got saved. My team and I also had the privilege of seeing a collective 103 people accept the gospel! I will never forget my time there and all that God taught me.”

Post-grad plans
After her graduation in May, Veal is unsure of her plans, but knows she will follow God wherever He leads. She explained, “I’m not sure yet what God has in store, but I would love to be able to write both fiction and non-fiction. A lot of people ask me if I want to teach or do journalism, but that’s really not where my heart is. I just want to write and do missions. I know, though, that God has a plan to bring everything together, so I’m simply trusting Him and taking it one step at a time. It’s definitely an adventure!”

She encouraged others who are in the same place in life by saying, “Seek God’s best for your life and follow Him no matter what. It may not always be what you want, but as you come to know God and His character, you learn that you can trust Him because everything He does is good. It’s just a part of His nature.

God knows every piece of this puzzle we call life—to Him it’s not a puzzle—and if you follow each step as He lays it in front of you, you will end up exactly where you need to be.”


Jordan is a junior English major and is a freelance writer for the college.

Photo/Jenny Gregory

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