Alli Kennedy: Alumni Q&A
Spring 2022 Graduation is here and Women's Ministry would like to direct you towards encouragement in God's word, as well as the testimony of a notable Anderson University Alumni woman, Alli Kennedy.
We pray that this can encourage you and impact you as you move on to the next chapter of your life. As you read Alli's story, think of the way that you can see God moving in your own life and for the good of your future!
"And this is my prayer: that your love may abound
more and more in knowledge and depth of insight, so that
you may be able to discern what is best and may
be pure and blameless for the day of Christ, filled with the
fruit of righteousness that comes through Jesus Christ,
to the glory and praise of God."
Did you experience much fear approaching graduation? If so, is there a particular verse that you feel has spoken to you as you move past that season in your life?
During my last year of college, I hoped to find a job that would combine my love for people who have never heard the gospel with my photography profession. That job market was small, so I prayed that the Lord would provide a clear opportunity. He had given me a successful photography business, but my heart ached for the nations. Through an incredible series of events, God provided the job I had prayed to do for so long. It was a tangible blessing. He was faithful in providing for me even when I was fearful of the future. I still live every day in awe that he would include me in His work among the nations in Europe.
“Therefore, my beloved brothers, be steadfast, immovable, always abounding in the work of the Lord, knowing that in the Lord your labor is not in vain.” 1 Corinthians 15:58
Can you recall a certain time in your life when you felt God speaking to you, especially as you made such a big move in your life?
Most people think choosing missions work involves a single moment of epiphany or an emotional high. While there have been times in my life when I felt emotions in my relationship with the Lord, His voice was so much more subtle in the time I was choosing to go overseas. I tend to rely on feelings to dictate my actions. The Lord was teaching me obedience without all of the feelings. I walked alongside Him in what felt like silence, but He is never truly silent. His Word always spoke to me, and His Word always said to “go,” so I went.
How has God accompanied you through this journey?
I had spells of doubt after college. I had doubts about whether or not I was qualified. I kept thinking, "I am not an eloquent speaker. How am I going to share the gospel?" While friends were walking away from Jesus in droves and choosing the world, I wondered, am I doing the right thing? I am thankful that He is faithful in our doubts. He is a comfort in our questions. God taught me so much about his steadiness. I have a tattoo of the Big Dipper constellation on my arm because the stars have become a symbol of the Lord’s steadfastness wherever I go. The first evening I slept in my new room overseas, I looked out the window and saw the Big Dipper right there, the only constellation in the sky, framed by my window pane. I broke down in tears. It was such a clear, sweet sign from Him that He was there with me. It’s still the only constellation I can see, six months later.
What have you learned about mission work and being an ambassador for God as you have traveled throughout Europe?
I may be the only Christian within a mile of where I live in Europe. I’ve observed that consumerism is a form of worship here. The mall is like a temple. It’s a place of worship in disguise, not nearly as blatant as a mosque or temple, yet it is full of idols of self-image. I’ve started to imagine people shopping like I would people going to a place of worship. As I file into shops with them at the huge plaza where the mall sits, it makes me think about lostness differently. Here, people don’t see their need for God because they have become their own gods.
How is being a witness in Europe different from your life in South Carolina, or is it?
South Carolina has been reached with the gospel. There is a difference between reached and unreached people groups. Reached people know who Jesus is and have had the chance to respond to the gospel or reject him. Where I live now, all I have to do is hop on a bus and go down to a different part of town to be among people who have never heard the name of Jesus. A people group completely unreached. It’s sobering. God put it on my heart to begin to pray for those around me whom I see on buses, trains, and planes, those who haven't been prayed for before.
What advice do you have for soon-to-be graduates of Anderson University?
People underestimate the power of the transitional time of leaving college. I’ve seen so much loneliness and lostness among friends who thrived and loved the Lord college. I say this to encourage preparedness. The local church is so important. Your college community may dwindle, so you’ll need to plug into a local church. Serve with them. Worship with them. Be disciplined in this new stage of your life by people who understand that transition you’re going through. When you look for a job, involve God in all the details. Cover your decisions in prayer. Consider how you’re going to use that job for the Kingdom and the ways that you can serve him. If you feel called to the nations, look for opportunities to use your time right after college to serve Him. Thousands of people live and die every day without the gospel. You can be a part of changing that.
How do you use your gifts for ministry?
I am an introverted, observant, realist creative in ministry. I don’t know many people like me. I felt out of place in ministry work for a long time. It took me longer than I’d like to admit, but I know now that God has made each of us individually unique to carry out His will. We were made in the image of God. Just think of that–each of us is a living, breathing representation of a living God. I cannot deny Him my trust and humble service when I know He has a purpose for who he made me to be. Right now, that looks like using photography to capture places where people can go and proclaim His name among the nations. I never needed to force myself to fit in a perfect mold for ministry. God created all people uniquely for His glory. You can be used in Kingdom work no matter who you are or what you do. Seek ways to use your gifts and personality for the Lord!
Alli Kennedy graduated from Anderson University in 2020 with a bachelor's degree in Digital Communications and a double minor in Marketing and Writing. As of 2022, she is a full-time freelance photographer shooting weddings, elopements, and lifestyle portraits. Kennedy is also an author and freelance social media specialist. Currently, she lives in Europe where she takes photos, makes friends, and lives for God.
CHECK HER OUT!
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