So, before I got the internship for BigStuf this summer, I knew that we were not going to Kenya…I was a little bummed. But, I knew that God had placed the opportunity to do the summer camps a second time. Why would I turn it down? Like I have said in previous blogs, God is really pushing me to trust Him. I don’t know why I have had such a hard time doing that. Maybe because I feel like there were many opportunities in the past for me to take control, fix things, or help out with and no one would trust me or give me a chance to show what I can do. To be quite frank, that has been a struggle for me for the past few years… people trusting in the youth. The youth are rising generation that will soon take the place of today’s adults. Why not trust them, give them opportunity, allow them to see their strengths and weaknesses. But…that is a whole other blog post…
So I decided to trust God and go with the camp internship again. Not going to Kenya provided a new and challenging experience. If we were going to promote 410 and Compassion this summer, my experiences in Kenya would prove vital to helping students and adults understand the dire need of the Kenyans. But BigStuf was moving away from Compassion and towards promoting 410 Bridge and their child sponsorship program called BrightPoint. So there was a lot of new things I would experience this summer. Before they took their interns to Kenya and Tanzania, they did a Mystery Tour where the interns would spend a day serving, learning, having fun and each night would travel to a new location… so this was where I think our summer pre-camp experience was heading… then Haiti suddenly flooded our lives. (more…)
I wanted to explain my new blog header for everyone who notices it is different after over a year of not changing. This is by far my favorite picture of 2009. I took this on our morning safari in Kenya. I was dead tired and had stayed up till dead:thirty in the morning watching interns being interviewed on experiences in Kenya. It was an awesome night, don’t get me wrong, but it heavily affected my enjoyment of the safari the next day. I was the most tired I have ever been in my life, and there were times I selfishly wished that the safari would end. I was to the point of being physically sick of exhastion. But out of that morning and early afternoon came a very beautiful picture on Masi Mara. If you come to my house you will find the full photo (below) framed and placed on the wall. It is the perfect capture of Kenya, of a safari, of how you would expect it to be.
And I took from the picture a sense of awakening. A new dawn or chapter in life. New opportunities would arise and, boy, have they! Where I am at in life is a sort of search for an awakening of my soul. And as I prepare for some important chapters in the next 6 months of my life I pray that you will experience an awakening in my life that will flow into yours.
Folks, I cannot tell you how my life has been changing over the past 6 or so months. God took my places I never knew I would go, he showed me things I never knew I would see. I will post more later this month on Culture Shock and how, honestly, it has only been the past month that I have been able to start the process of reflecting on the best summer of my life. One of the things that is weighing heavily on my heart is Raphael, the child I sponsor in Kenya.
Here’s the truth: I miss him and love the heck out of him.
Here’s even more truth:
When Jesus saw this, he was indignant. He said to them, “Let the little children come to me, and do not hinder them, for the kingdom of God belongs to such as these. – Mark 10:14
I met Raphael. I met the child I sponsor. Who does that?!?! I began sponsoring Raphael in late July/early August of 2008. I had wanted to sponsor a child, but until then could not affort to give a child $32 (now $38) a month. But I felt the time was right, and at BigStuf I picked the child I wanted. Who would know that less than a year later I would be meeting this kid?
Here was my whole perception of child sponsorship before. (more…)
I slept great, but I was dead tired and so was everybody else. We had breakfast and then went upstairs to rehearse skits, songs, and icebreakers. We spent a few hours doing that. A few people were feeling sick so four dropped out when we went to practice soccer in the field. There was already stuff going on on the field so we found a side patch of grass and spent about thirty minutes going over various soccer drills and moves. We then walked back to our hotel. We had a nice break until lunch, so I just rested in my room. (more…)