Connect with us!

Email Newsletter Signup
Impact India 360
Meet Emily – Future World Traveler

Editor’s Note: We get asked a lot about what it is like at CEM, but often when we invite people to come and see firsthand the amazing work of CEM and their reply is often, “Oh I could never…” Much of the time, it’s the unknown that is most likely to make a person disqualify themselves; so we decided to “pull back the curtain” and let you hear one person’s story – from the moment they are challenged to take the trip to the months after when God is revealing himself even when they are back in the U.S. You can follow Emily’s story the whole way.

Emily - Soon to be world travelerAllow me to introduce myself. My name is Emily Kurlyandchik and I am interning this year at Kensington Church in the Communications and Global Partners departments. I know that sounds like a lot (and it is), but I would not want to spend this year any differently. So here goes nothing…

I’ll briefly give you the lowdown of my life. I grew up in the home of some rambunctious, lively, Lithuanian-Russian immigrants. I was bullied a lot in school, but a move to a new town made me the new girl that everyone wanted to get to know, so it filled the void for the time being.

As I started high school, a bad relationship made me start looking for comfort in tangible things. I had my first panic attack my sophomore year of high school. Anxiety gripped me every single day and controlled my life. I fell into a malicious friend group where I found myself making bad choices.

Little did I know, there was a better way out. About 3 years ago, I was invited to Edge, Kensington’s high school youth group. I was truly loved and accepted by not only the high schoolers, but also the leaders. I began going to Edge every week and joined a small group. God started to reveal to me that my identity was found in Him and Him alone. I’m not going to lie and tell you I have a specific day and time when I gave my life to Christ. I’m going to tell you I give my life to Christ every single day. I may stumble and get lost, but God knows what He’s doing. He has brought me back to Him every time.

On that note, let me tell you about India. I remember the first time I was interviewed for this internship, I was told I would be going to India in October of 2014.

Hold it.



That soon?

Why me?

I know nothing about India, let alone even want to go. I was in full denial. I was SURE God wanted me on the Kenya trip, or even Haiti. So, I started to pray every day, hoping God would let me off the chain this time. I found myself in complete denial and doubt. At this point, there was nothing that would convince me to give in.

One night, I decided to watch a documentary on one of the red light districts in India. My heart ached for these innocent, precious children being forced into prostitution. It hurt watching women act out in anger from pain after all of these years of trying to provide for their kids by selling themselves on the streets. At that moment, I had a pull to leave my fears behind and take on the trip.

A week later, I was in denial yet again. It was a feeling I just could not shake. I asked myself over and over why I was being such a wimp; but I soon came to the realization that I was being misled by my fears and by Satan himself. Of course he didn’t want me to go help people. That was my “ah-ha” moment.

The first day of the Kensington internship, the interns went to the Hillsong Young & Free concert. It was in the middle of one song – Sinking Deep – where I began to sob and hear God’s voice calling out to me. “Go”. That’s all I needed!

Don’t get me wrong – the thought of traveling for 40 hours makes me cringe. I can’t even begin to imagine how exhausting that will be. However, I am ready to face my fears and leave my safety blanket. Although I’ll be stepping into the unknown and maybe even reaching new heights of anxiety, I know God has this in His plan for my life. I cannot wait to take pictures of these beautiful children and aid those that need a helping hand. This is an eye-opening transformation that I have been longing for. It’s time to show others my heart and show God my infinite gratitude.

Now, you can come on this journey with me and watch as I stumble through this, trusting God’s choice over my comfort. You’ll be hearing from me soon!

7 Responses to “Meet Emily – Future World Traveler”

  • What a testimony..your faith in Him and commitment to His guidance is incredible! I’ll be praying for you and the whole group as you impact lives in Jesus’ name..I look forward to seeing what’s in your future and the people you’ll help!

  • Emily, you are amazing and I am so proud of you. Your heart screams for God and I can see Him in your eyes. I will be praying for you daily as you are away from home. Know that you are loved and when anxiety shows it’s ugly face, listen to ~sinking deep~ by Hillsong. Remember that message from the good Lord. Also remember, you are where He wants you to be. I love you sweet beautiful child of God.

  • I am SO excited that you have taken this huge step of faith. I know the road isn’t always easy, but you can count on the fact that Jesus knows first hand what its like to tackle a difficult road. God is already using you to inspire others to live beyond the limits of their fears. Thanks for sharing your story and allowing us to get a glimpse of God’s hand in your life. It’s beautiful to see!

  • Sweet Emily,God is going before you and will be behind you.This will bring you to a new level in your faith.I will be praying for you and your team to touch hearts and open doors for the people there.Love you.

  • Emily, I’m so excited to see what God has in store for you…here and in India. I feel honored to have you as my intern and my travel buddy to India. It’s going to be an awesome journey.

  • Emily,

    What an inspiration you are to me. I know God is going to use you in a mighty way for His glory.

  • Emily,
    Our family has been following you and your family since many years. We are so happy to follow your discovery and support your relation with our Lord .