When I think about why I came to Africa on a mission trip the first response would be, that I felt God spoke to to my heart to come. I believe that the Bible says that the Holy Spirit lives in us and speaks to our spirit. So my plan in life is to follow the leading of the Holy Spirit to the best of my abilities. Fortunately for me, my wonderful, terrific, and fantastic husband is in agreement with that idea. So when I told Steven that I felt like I was supposed to go to Africa he just said, “So when do you leave?” A side note for all you single ladies out there, if you decided to get married never marry a fella who doesn’t have God a the very center of his life. To live without that, is a sacrifice to HUGE to make. Okay now back to the point. Now that I have been been here for 6 days I have found 3 more reasons I came to Africa. First, meet Pastor Melissa Holcombe. Melissa is currently the Assimilation Pastor at Victory Church in OKC. She is full of life and always ready to give a hug, lend a hand or say a kind word. She just loves people. She is so much better at that than I. Well God spoke to her several months ago and asked her to move to Africa for at least 1 year and work with the girls at the Beautiful Dream Society Rescue Shelter. She will be absolutely fabulous at that. She has sold all her possessions, except her car which she still needs to sell in order to pay for her trip here. If you need a good car contact Melissa and she can hook you up. Anyway after giving up everything including her job at Victory she will be leaving for Lesotho in January. So a huge part of our job for this trip is the renovation of Melissa’s living quarters. To say that they were in need of work is a GIANT understatement. They needed tons of work. So we have sanded, stripped paint, caulked, rebuilt and painted her new very small apartment. I hope she likes it. It has been a labor of love and many body aches. However, I was quick to let her know that she owed me for all the work I did to make her new digs special. Here is a picture of her space that we are currently working on. It’s kind of hard to tell but at least we have added electricity which was missing and paint to the walls. This is a very small part of what we have done to this room. I just realized I don’t have any good before pictures. Maybe that is a blessing. Just trust me when I say it was a fixer upper.
Reason number two is a cutie pie of a kid names Chase. He is one truly wonderful work of God. He is a young guy who loves Jesus and is not afraid to follow Him. Chase has joined us on this mission trip. He is working hard on the renovations of the living quarters. He may be working so hard because one of them will be his. You see God also spoke to him to move to Africa for at least two years and work at the shelter doing maintenance and anything else they need him to do. He is selling his 1999 Ford Mustang that apparently is totally tricked out and worth a considerable amount of money to pay his way to come and live here. So if you are interested in a super good car call Chase. We keep telling him how hard we are working to make his room nice and in usual twenty-something guy response he always says. “I’m not worried about it.” Did I mention I have grown pretty fond of this guy.
The biggest reason and most heart tugging reason to date for my trip to Africa is a 21 year old African boy named Daniel. You see I met Daniel at the shelter because he has been hired to help us. He is very responsible and hard working. He is pretty funny too. Daniel lives with his grandparents because his parents died when he was little. He lives in a village of very poor people. In a house most people in America would not think was fit to live in. He comes to work every morning without breakfast. (So someone on our team always remembers to bring a little something for him) I have never heard Daniel complain. He is happy and always eager to do whatever he is asked. Just to work with him, you would never know his unfortunate plight. Well this morning, Ben our job foreman told us that Daniel wanted to go to college. It costs $800 a year for him to attend college. Eight hundred dollars is like 25 million to us. He has about as much a chance of earning $800 as I do of winning the lottery. You see if you don’t have enough money for breakfast where in the world do you expect to come up with money for college. No one in Daniel’s family has ever gone to college. Well, Ben said that he had been saving money for Daniel and that he had $300 so far. He said that he has sent Daniel some money in the past year. Daniel has been working for Ben at the shelter any time Ben comes over from the US to do construction work at the shelter. Well, as you can imagine, everyone on the team dug into their pockets to help pay the rest of the $500 dollars Daniel needed to go to college. I talked to Ben after everyone had given and Ben said he was still short $100. One of the guys gave some more. He was still short. Usually when I go on a trip I bring back presents for my family. This morning however, I decided to spend the money I had for presents to pay the remaining amount Daniel needed to go to college. So this trip my kids will be getting a picture of Daniel for their souvenir from my trip. You see the gift they gave Daniel in the form of what would have been their presents will make a much bigger impact in the life this young man than any trinket I could bring back to them. The good news for us is our family is very blessed and they will never miss the present but Daniel’s life will forever be changed and the world will be a better place one boy at a time.