I want to thank everyone who has supported me so far. I want to thank my family and friends and church family who helped me by donating for this trip, and who prayed for me while I was gone. I didn’t post near the end of my trip because it became so busy. I am back at home now; I arrived just a few days ago.
Some people have asked me if the experience was life changing, and the only way I can answer is no…and yes.
You see, I knew going to Kenya was something God wanted me to do. I knew I needed to go, that it was the first step in whatever he had planned for my life. So I went. I loved the people there, and the beautiful terrain. I didn’t experience a deep attachment to Kenya itself, however. Nor did I have a huge revelation and realize I was doing the wrong thing, and maybe I was called to the mission field, or anything like that.
So in that way, I didn’t experience a life changing event. Because, well, I was doing what God told me to do. I knew going into it that I was supposed to be there. And I already knew-have known for years-that I am called to do something involving traveling. So nothing major was revealed to me in that regard.
However, I still felt I learned a great deal through my trip. I discovered once again I have a passion for teaching in a creative fun way, and although the curriculum taught the children, I felt it lacked the spark of imagination that should be there. What is good teaching? I haven’t discovered it yet. I’m still working out what I think is the right way to do it, and I plan to work in various school settings before I make up my mind. I want to work in a Montessori school next, I think. It’s the exact opposite of the school I experienced in Kenya, and I’m curious to see its upsides and downsides.
I learned about the effects of having nothing, how it takes away your understanding of value. Without understanding value, you can’t take care of what you have been given and ultimately you lose it. I realized that value is something that has to be taught. It’s not something a child is born with.
I learned how to study the Word for messages. I’d never taught a message before, and suddenly I had four. I realized that when you are not just taking, but also giving what God has given you, he is able to give you even more. I realized that without an outreach in place, a Christian can only stagnate as the very Word rots within you. I realized that Christians are not meant to just take, but to give as well, and no matter their calling every Christian has that duty placed upon them to teach others around them the truth of God through action and word.
I also learned I might have a gift for languages. Ha! Isn’t that nice? I’m hoping to learn Kiswahili this summer.
And I was reminded to make God my focus. To make goals with his glory in mind and not my own. So I have some goals this summer-I want to learn guitar and piano, Kiswahili, Sign Language, the arts, things like that. But my ultimate goal is to use those things for God and not for myself.
So did I have some life changing experience?
I would say no, no I didn’t. Rather, I would say this trip was a step in the right direction. The direction God has been guiding me towards all along. So for now, I’ll just take it one step at a time.