When I turned 25 I read a book called "There Is Always Enough" by Rolland Baker and was inspired to feel what life would be like if you lived by faith to unconditionally give. I was moved by this couple's story when they traveled from their home in So Cal to Africa after learning of the destruction caused by the Mozambican Civil War. To this day, they create orphanages and churches all over Mozambique saving hundreds of children and families, just from living by faith. Now when it comes to me, I LIVE to travel. I love learning new cultures, experiencing new perspectives, and being at one with the community. Til then, all my travel was purely for my self enjoyment. Then I heard somewhere that a 'mission trip' can be defined as: an important goal or purpose that is accompanied by strong conviction; a calling or vocation.
I wanted to experience this.
So I went on my first mission trip when I was 26 to Mozambique, Africa to meet Heidi Baker personally and serve her community. I came with a committed intention to offer prayer, quality time, love, and support for children and families living with HIV and AIDS. It was the most incredible experience of my life because my entire purpose to be there was to selflessly` serve and for the first time, I understood what 1 Corinthians 13:4-8 really meant. If anyone reading this understands the virtues of the Five Love Languages, you'd understand how the gift of quality time, acts of service, physical touch, words of affirmation, and gifts are all delivered through the selflessness of a mission trip.
Today it's gotten harder for me to commit to mission trips because of my hectic schedule, so I seek for opportunities where I can support through another. Recently, a very special young woman by the name of Morgan Steinhart let me know of a mission trip to Uganda she was gearing up for that gave me this opportunity to help in any way I could. One part in helping was to share the cause in order to gather financial support for Morgan's trip. Ok.. I don't know about anybody else out there but that's one of my most challenging hurdles. I'm not sure why, but it terrifies me to bother people or ask anyone for anything. So I prayed, and was reminded that asking for support is not for me, not for Morgan, but for the children and communities Morgan and her group would be serving. So I reached out to special friends who I thought would be interested to support and sure enough, within three weeks every single person Morgan and I reached out responded back with either a donation or offering of gifts or prayers. It reminded me of the book I had read when I went on my first mission trip: When you have faith, there is always enough.
Because of every person's outpour of support, Morgan was able to travel to Uganda where her group worked to promote sexual and relational health, and serve those facing unplanned pregnancies or hurting from an abortion or sexual abuse situation. Not only was life-saving information and medical examinations provided, but the team was also able to revisit orphanages to build into the relationships of abandoned children. For further information on Morgan's trip, pls visit here.
I wrote this blog to personally thank all the generous, amazing people who gave selflessly to Morgan's trip, with a special acknowledgement to Andrew and Donna Lee, Carole Middletown, Evan and Robin Warner, Shannon Dellimore, Katie Chin, Francine Le Frak, Rosalina Lydster Noogie Thai, and Uzmee Krakovszki. There is a special video below here for every single one of you, from the hearts in Uganda:
Also, I just had to share this video Morgan especially captured for me!! I couldn't believe she, or these adorable kids, took the time to do this! In the past couple months, I had a few rough days. All it took was to play this video and look into the gentle eyes of these beautiful kids to know that love absolutely conquers all. (He called me pastor without knowing I'm not one, but if it means that they consider me to be one that will continuously pray for them, I proudly receive the title.)
Anyway, thanks for reading this special blog guys. Have you ever experienced a mission trip? Let me know your thoughts below, and if you feel inclined to leave a shout out or prayer to these kids below, please do :)