Why Ebeye?

Step out in faith and discover this tiny island

Coming to Ebeye was undoubtedly the best decision that I have made in my life; however, it was also the hardest.

The Why

Right before I turned twenty-three in May, I heard a sermon about personal dreams and how they come from God. One dream I always had was to become a missionary and make a difference, but doing so meant I had to leave behind my wonderful life in Los Angeles, California.

I tried to make excuses for why I couldn’t be a missionary. I told God, “I have a good job, a great apartment, amazing friends, and a good car – how can I walk away from that?” Yet, deep down in my soul, I desired to serve God.

My mind could not grasp why God would choose me. Neither did I think I was right for the job. Nevertheless, God told me not to worry because he had everything covered. I couldn’t understand why God was believing in me when I didn’t even believe in myself. Little did I know that I had an even harder decision ahead of me: Where would I go?

The Where

Despite a lot of prayer, I had a very hard time. Many doors closed, and it was so hurtful and frustrating. I prayed continually and asked God to send me to the place He had in mind when He called me. In addition to prayer, I also decided to fast so God could show me the place He needed me to be. God very clearly pointed me to Ebeye in the Marshall Islands, even though I had never heard of the place before. Like Gideon, I asked God to be more obvious. In hopes of finding answers to my never-ending questions, I started reaching out to former missionaries I found through Instagram.

Around mid-July, I applied for Ebeye, hoping I wouldn’t be rejected once again. I was accepted instantly. I met with the principal over Zoom, and he shared with me the great need they had for missionaries. He had also been fasting and asking God to bring teachers to the island. In that moment, I knew without a doubt that this was the plan God had for my life. 

Rebeca (2nd from left) with ladies from the Ebeye Seventh-day Adventist Church

The Wait 

I was very much like Noah, preparing for the flood even though there was no rain. In order to be added to the quarantine list to enter the Marshall Islands, I had to get vaccinated. Then, as a sign of faith, I quit my job in August and waited to hear if I had made it onto the quarantine list. Even after sending confirmation of my vaccination record, there was no call. Despite everyone in my life doubting I would go to Ebeye, I continued to trust in God and in the promises that He had made to me. On September 14th, I received the long-awaited email which stated that I had to be in Hawaii on September 20th.

After that, things suddenly began moving quickly and I began to grow anxious about my preparations before leaving. However, we serve an amazing God who has everything under control. I was able to sublease my apartment, sell my car, find a home for my cat, pack up my stuff, and get on the plane to Hawaii in one week. God kept his promise to me as He handled every aspect of my life.

My quarantine consisted of seven days in Honolulu, Hawaii, and fourteen days on Kwajalein Atoll in the Marshall Islands. The quarantine in Hawaii was quite delightful. In contrast, due to the lack of space in Kwajalein, people shared rooms in the Kwajalein lodge. I had the pleasure of rooming with Ms. Katie, a missionary from a different organization, who was returning to Ebeye. What started off as an unexpected surprise, turned into a huge blessing.

We shared so much together as we kept each other company. Despite the big age difference, we are very similar in character. We exercised, cried, and laughed together. I know it was a part of God’s plan for us to room together as she has been a big help to me on the island.

Rebeca's students in her math classroom

The Welcome

After a total of twenty-one long days in quarantine, I boarded a boat to Ebeye where I was welcomed by the staff. I have received so much love from everyone on the island, and have learned that the people here are what make the island beautiful.

I am truly grateful to God for bringing me to Ebeye. My students are the light of my life; I have never been loved like this before. Although I’ve only been here a few weeks, I have already felt a huge impact on my life. I can now say, in all confidence, that I was born to come to Ebeye.

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