On July 19, 2016, I traveled across the world to Tanzania, Africa. I traveled to Africa with my two best friends, Katie Feenstra and Hailey Russell, along with my incredible father. Katie Fenestra and Hailey Russell challenge and encourage me daily to become more like Christ. How amazing I was able to experience this journey with them. Young Life, a Christian organization, reached out to my family asking us to go to Africa, on a life changing mission trip. There was no hesitation – we all answered with a definite yes! After an exhausting day of travel, we headed straight to a Maasai village. The village was filled with hundreds of smiley faces and pure hearts. Although, we were not capable of communicating linguistically, we were able to experience the Lord working in the live among us along with the conviction in our own hearts. We were entertained with games, dancing and worship, and there was so much joy.
The Lord has impacted my life tremendously by using those gracious families and children in the village, whose love for the Lord was contagious, and their trust in Him inspiring.
Community is a marvelous attribute to have in your walk with the Lord. During that tremendous experience I was reminded of the community the Lord commands us to surround ourselves with. For example God tell us in Romans 12:4-5 “For as in one body we have many members, and the members do not all have the same function, so we, though many, are one body in Christ, and individually members one of another” (ESV Holy Bible). Every day is a journey we shall share together as a community joined in the love of Christ Jesus.
Ever since I have been home, I think about those families and the amazing life changing experience. That experience has changed my life in multiple different ways. I am aware of the importance and intentional relationships. The evidence of the Lords love, truth, mercy, grace, humility, and gentleness were so clear. My whole view on the Lords unchangeable Word has been transformed. I have become more dependent and open to His plan for my life. For so long I never fully allowed the Lord to take one hundred percent control of my life and during that trip I let my guard down. He now has one hundred percent control over my life. Therefore, I am sure He makes my paths straight.
Today, as I look back, my heart is full. It is fully content, pleased and relieved. This mission trip was filled with hard work involving building a cafeteria and painting buildings for a boarding school. We went there with unexpected expectations, however we were blessed beyond measures. Day and night I continuously pray for God provision and favor over the Maasai village. I will never forget the many lives that impacted mine. I will forever remember all the smiling faces and hearts completely filled with the Lord’s joy.
The Holy Bible: English Standard Version: The New Testament. Wheaton. Ill.: Crossway, 2007.