It wasn't until I was overcoming a bad depression that God reminded me I had always wanted to do a mission trip. I came into it with a need for purpose and a history of traveling on vacation to China, Thailand, Morocco and Egypt and seeing some of the poorest families on the planet. I had mentioned the desire to my boss who mentioned that her boss attended Fox River Christian Church and had a mission program. The meeting was the following week. So, with a great bit of fear, I attended my first church service at Fox River, attended the mission trip information meeting and joined a mission trip and a church that would change my life.
I had been consumed by fear. My relationship with my boyfriend was failing and I had wanted to leave for seven years. But, I was stuck. I remember the first trip being hard as I'm not great at developing relationships quickly but as I got settled, I learned there is so much more going on than in my little world in Wisconsin. Kenyan children do speak English but are very shy. They appreciate the smallest gestures: a hug, a smile, crafts. Each kindness brings hope to an unexplainable poverty. I learned about gratitude, love, friendship and a God who loves them and me. I learned about grace for myself to give grace to others.
The first trip was amazing: we built a house out of the earth! I left with a new outlook on life and lifelong friends. I left my boyfriend 10 days after that trip. I started buying my clothes at Good Will and I cancelled my cable TV. God told me to support three kids in Kenya and I looked at my budget and said yes! The letters over email I have written and received have given me great joy. In July, I will go back for a third trip because I can't imagine a better use of my time and resources.
I knew missions could change lives but I never expected I would be so impacted. God is good all the time and all the time God is good. It saved my life and gave me purpose and a reality check of what is important: love.