At the end of May, I had the wonderful opportunity to go on a Young Life Expeditions trip to Kenya. To be honest I didn’t really have any expectations going into the trip. I had been on African soil twice before, so I just assumed it would be like the other two times. Boy was I wrong. This might sound cliché but the moment I landed and got off the plane I knew this was a place that God would keep me coming back to. There were more than a few moments that impacted my life while I was there.
Each day we got to help out at Young Life club. Even though club is nothing new to me, I still always left club in Kenya in awe. Not only did I see the authenticity of the joy, and togetherness of the people there but I also felt it. I felt it through the angelic voices of the kids worshipping God. I felt it through each move that kids would do in many of the dances that they did. I felt it through the messages that one of the Regional Directors Martin would give. Just a whole lot of love!
I also want to talk about the leaders I met. Steve, Sam, Koko, Peter, Jonathan, Nyas, Jamila, and many more leaders showed me what it means to truly love one another. I was excited to wake up every day to spend time with them, hear their stories and to just do life with them daily. It was beautiful to see how God used them to reach kids. Their love for the kids is the closest thing to unconditional love I’ve ever seen. I can now say that the leaders I met, and even some of the kids have turned into my family. People I can now call my brothers and sisters. When I was in Kenya God reignited a spark in me that I haven’t seen, or felt in a really long time.
While I was on the trip I believe I became that person that God truly created me to be, which is a passionate, joyful and loving woman. A few years ago, a dream was placed on my heart to lead trips of kids (specifically of color) on trips to Africa. If you didn’t know, it’s not really that common in African-American communities to visit Africa. I’ve always wanted to change that, I just didn’t know how.
Until I went on this trip. While I was there I was told I was only the second African American to go on a Young Life Expeditions trip to Africa. Something I hope will change in the future. I began to share my dreams with the leaders as well as staff there. My dreams of bridging this gap that has been around for years between Africans, and African Americans. My dream of bringing kids and leaders from Kenya to experience Young Life in America as well. The more we talked the more I realized this is exactly where God wants me to be, and this is what God wants me to do.
This trip was life-changing for me. The Kenyan staff, leaders, and kids truly changed me. God changed me. I loved my time there so much that I have decided to go back in December 2018 to stay for an entire month (or more). I’m excited to learn more from YL Kenya. I’m excited to keep building the special relationships I built. Most of all, I am excited to see what God has in store for years to come!