Love at First Sight - Ashlyn's Story

As our trip comes to end, there will be many sad tears as we have to leave, but the joy that is planted is far greater. I cannot describe to you the over flowing joy and love that comes with being on these trips, especially when it comes to being with the kids at the schools.


In 2015, I came on my first trip to Kenya. I was helping Jenna as an intern at Crossroads Academy in Vipingo. The first day I went to the school she walked me around to all the different classrooms and introduced me to the teachers and students. As she took me into the classroom with the youngest preschoolers, I looked around at the kids, smiling at them when I meet the eyes of a precious little 4 year old named Esther. Instantly I said in my heart, "Oh, I love her." From that day forward she has been my sweet little friend. After coming home that year I decided to sponsor her. The following year I went back and got to build on this friendship that is so precious to me.

It's been 2 and half years since I've seen her last and this week I got to meet her mom. What a blessing and true honor that was! As Esther took me to her home, along with two teachers from the school, I got to see her village and walk the path she walks every day to and from school. When we got there, I couldn't believe this was happening; I was meeting her mom, sitting in their home and spending time with them. We sat and talked awhile, but the one thing that stuck out to me was the love and appreciation this single mother raising 3 kids on her own with a limited income has for what I'm doing for her daughter.

She thanked me for taking the burden of having to care for her daughter as a single mother off her shoulders. It makes her more of a successful mother for me to sponsor her daughter. She knows her daughter is taken care of and doesn't have to worry about her. She knows how much I love her daughter and wants the best for her. She knows she is also loved because of what I do for her daughter. She told me she was sorry there was nothing she could do for me. I told her the greatest thing she could do is what she did do by allowing me to come into her home to meet her and share her time with me.

This is why sponsorship is so important. It's way more that $25 a month. It's a child life; it's a heavy burden lifted from a struggling family; it's a relationship; it's an unforgettable and explainable love; it's about more than yourself. Through this little girl and the love that God has given me for her, He continually shows me the most satisfying joy and love that I've never felt anywhere else or because of anything else. It's a wonderful thing experiencing Gods love for all people and His faithfulness.