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Why I'm Here
By Dave Franco

“But seek first the kingdom of God and His righteousness, and all these things shall be added to you.” Matthew 6.33

While gazing down at little Cynthia, a precious and severely malnourished Nigerian girl, Tori noticed that a bloated, pregnant-looking belly was protruding from her tiny, frail frame. In an instant, Tori felt her purpose crystalize.  Everything she had counted as loss to follow Christ had been worth it.  

“Cynthia was using her accessory muscles to breathe,” says Tori. “Her belly was tight and extremely hard. Her mom had no resources to help. She was doing all she could. She held her daughter’s little hand and waited in silence. I sat Cynthia on my lap. I prayed for her…then I gave her what little food I had.” After convincing Cynthia’s mother that she needed to be taken to a hospital, Tori turned around and when she turned around again, Cynthia was gone. Tori never saw her again. But she knew in their last moments together that she had given Cynthia what she was sent there to do. She showed her Christ’s love. 

Having enrolled in the year long IMPACT 195 program following nursing school, Tori had given up her dream to pursue a full-time nursing career in San Diego. Something else now animated her. Spreading the love of Jesus Christ to the world’s hurting and lonely people was her singular focus.

Prior to her enrollment in the IMPACT 195 program, Tori had taken a three-month missions trip to Mexico where she lived with a missionary family.  While there she had experienced something she had never felt this powerfully before. It was a sweet rest in her spirit.  God began to reveal how He was marrying her education with His plans for her to reach the lost. 

“In Mexico, I served in a week long medical clinic…I learned how to run it, to manage it and ensure that it was successful.”  Tori’s experience in Mexico indeed prepared her for IMPACT 195’s short-term trip to Nigeria where she was given the responsibility of organizing and managing the medical clinic. “It was my responsibility to assign team members roles in which they could flourish and grow.”

We prayed for everyone that came to the clinic and people were healed left and right of their ailments!

As a nurse, Tori knew she could educate the Nigerian locals, but not being a doctor her team could not provide medicine.  “Even so, God showed Himself to be so strong as the Great Physician! We prayed for everyone that came to the clinic and people were healed left and right of their ailments!  It was book of Acts kinds of stuff! In our insufficiency, He showed His sufficiency and many gave glory to God!” 

Over 260 Nigerian people were supernaturally healed of blindness, lameness and a host of other physical ailments during their trip. “I don’t know what became of Cynthia, but I have to believe she was among the healed,” Tori says.  “Where there is so much of Christ’s light and miracles happening everywhere, the hope I have for Cynthia’s life feels natural as the child of a God who is so faithful.” 

As a result of her time at IMPACT 195, Tori’s priorities have undergone a tidal shift.  “I used to think career was the first thing I should seek, that anything shy of that was irresponsible.  But now, having sought first His Kingdom this past year, I know that that God is sending me to the mission fields to use the skills and expertise He has given me in order to win souls.  Nursing won’t be my main purpose, but it will be part of how God uses me to change the world. Changing the world—that’s why I am here.”