Changing My Major and Finding My Calling

by Abigail Reed

"I thought I came to Azusa Pacific for a specific reason—to become a nurse—but God had different plans. APU has poured into my faith, growing me to fulfill my future calling as a full-time missionary in the Middle East."

Growing up in a Christian home, Stephanie Choi ’20 came to know Jesus at an early age. After graduating from a public high school, God called her to continue her journey at a Christian institution: a place to grow her faith alongside her knowledge. Choi excitedly arrived at Azusa Pacific as a nursing major, pursuing her dream of working in the medical field.

Surrounded by fellow believers, learning faith perspectives from professors, attending weekly chapels—Choi fell in love with the APU community and knew she belonged on campus. As her first semester neared its end, God presented Choi with the opportunity to travel to the Middle East with a missional organization during winter break, and she went in obedience.

From learning Arabic to making friends with local neighbors, Choi experienced the transformative power of missions. When she came back to APU for her second semester, Choi knew she wanted to go back to the Middle East—this time for more than a few weeks, but a whole year. If she took a gap year, however, she could not continue in her tightly knit nursing cohort and would have to chose a different major.

“Instead of living for my future career, I decided to obediently follow God’s calling and trust His plan for my life,” said Choi. “He used me to share His love and grow disciples, cultivating in me a lifelong love for missions in the Middle East.”

When Choi returned to APU, she looked to the future with plans of becoming a full-time overseas missionary. She chose liberal studies as her new major, hoping to grow as an educator and use teaching as a way to serve others. Her time at APU is equipping her for this future, as professors and friends pour into her faith and she builds skills to take abroad.

This article is part of a series that features the inspiring faith stories of APU's students, faculty, and staff. If you are a member of the APU community and would like to share your faith story, contact Rachel White at rewhite@apu.edu.

Abigail Reed is a public relations intern in the Office of University Relations. She is a liberal studies major with an honors humanities minor.