Yesterday, I had a phone interview with Empower A Child. After getting off the phone I got the acceptance letter with an orientation packet. Honestly, the "phone interview" wasn't really a typical interview. I knew almost as soon as I started talking to the lady that I was accepted. When I got off the phone, I was extremely excited. Literally, I was jumping up and down with a huge grin on my face and squealing! Yep, never thought I would say that, but I was ecstatic. :D Then it hit me. This is a HUGE deal! This is not just a simple little trip. This will involve tons of time, support raising, preparing, quitting work and moving back home, getting ready for eight months in Africa..... What am I thinking?! Am I really crazy enough to leave everything I am familiar with and love, to live in a foreign country for almost a year? Yes. It will be the hardest thing I have ever done. It will require tons of praying and finding my strength in the Lord. It will force me to step outside my comfort zone and be molded to whatever God has for me. Satan will try and pull me down with doubts and fears, but by God's grace, He will get me through it all. I am nervous, I am scared half to death, but I am confident this is where God is leading me.
God did not place in my heart for seven years a desire to serve in Africa, for me to only go and serve two months. I believe He is calling me to do more, to really get out of my shell and have Him shine forth through me. I went to Kenya last summer wanting to know if God had me in missions long-term, but a part of me was hoping that would never happen. I was scared of leaving behind the comforts I have here. When the two months were up, I did not want to leave Kenya. In that short amount of time, I had gotten used to a whole new way of living and I loved it. Kenya stole more than a piece of my heart. Ever since getting back, I have not gone one day without thinking of my summer there. It seems like no matter what I do, something is always triggering a memory of my summer. There is so much that I miss! Two months seems like a short amount of time, but there are so many memories that you can make in that time. As sad as the memories make me sometimes, I am so happy for them all and would not trade them for anything!
So, Lord willing, in August or September, I will be returning to Kenya....this time for eight months. I will be serving with Empower A Child whose mission is to "bring confidence and self-sustainability to orphaned and vulnerable children of Africa by teaching modern skills, giving the opportunity of education, and enlightening through the Word of God." Each week will consist of going on 4 to 8 outreaches and ministering to over 200 children. These outreaches will involve going to a baby orphanage, boys institution, rehabilitation school (home for adolescent boys who have been rejected by family, accused of a crime, etc), children's home, and evangelizing in Kibera (largest slum in Africa). The projects we do in each of these places depend on the age group we will be working with. To give you an idea though, we will be playing games, sharing Bible stories, performing skits, making crafts, leading panel discussions, disciplining, and sharing/counseling in small groups.
I know it will be extremely challenging at times, but I also know it will be very rewarding and God would not have me there aside for His will.
One of the most important things I could ever ask from any of you, is to remember me in your prayers. Especially that God would prepare me mentally and physically for this ministry.