(Some of you may have gotten this in an email, so I apologize for not having anything new to say…)
When I went on my first mission trip to Africa, only last October, I remember telling myself that I couldn’t go on another one because of the fundraising part of it. The entire time I was raising funds for the trip, I was continuously overwhelmed and humbled by your generosity and encouragement. Acknowledging the current state of our economy, I couldn’t ask that of my friends and family again. And then I applied to go serve in Cambodia. Less than a year from my last trip and there I was asking for support. But this time, I said outloud, I can’t do that again. No more missions! But the support came just as it had before, littered with words of love.
And so I find myself here again…
How did I get here, you ask? Well, after 5.5 years at my job, I finally decided it was time to look for something else, diversify my resume a bit. I asked myself that questions that people ask you when you’re at a professional crossroads: “If you could have any job in the world, what would it be?” And my honest answer was to work with an organization here in the states that worked with Africa. Maybe I could get a trip there once a year, or something. So I googled the words “Africa” and “admin assistant”. And the first thing that popped up was for a position with Africa Inland Mission (AIM) to be an admin assistant in Kenya. Now, I’m not one who normally notices God’s hand in things, but if I fell in love with Kenya when I was there, and I’m and admin assistant and there is a position for an admin assistant in Kenya available, wouldn’t you think something was up? Had it been Egypt? Or China? I may not have been as interested, but since this was Kenya, I immediately applied.
A long application and a long questionnaire for my references later, I received a phone call that AIM was interested in me. Throughout the process, I just kept praying that if I wasn’t supposed to be here, to close these doors. But, phone call after interview after skype interview later, I was to the point where they could either accept me or say no. I rattled off a long list of my mistakes and excuses as to why I wasn’t a proper missionary. Not that I know what one looks like, but I knew they didn’t have my history. And while I was sitting in a pile of doubt, I got the email that I had been accepted.
Acknowledgement again that God forgives us for our transgressions. Creates in us a clean heart.
Now, who is Africa Inland Mission (AIM)? AIM was started by Peter Scott, a missionary from Philadelphia who saw a need to reach those people in Africa. The first mission team started work in 1895 in Kenya. Now, the organization works in the Congo, Tanzania, Uganda and Central Africa Republic. AIM is committed to being and making disciples of Christ. And they organize all of their missionaries from the headquarters…in Peachtree City, Ga?!
One of the things that drew me most to the organization was their desire to reach the unreached in Africa, but also their ability to create a community among the missionaries. I’m not sure if you’re aware, but, I have a little bit of a social life. I’m active in church, small groups and volunteering. I see my family often. So the thought of leaving all of those groups was a concern for me. AIM understands the need for community and that when faith runs out serving as a missionary, you will need that support to pull you through.
Where are you going? What will you do? What will you eat? All good questions. I’ve accepted a position in Kampala, Uganda and (as of right now) will be leaving January 9, 2013 for a year. Well, just shy of a year. The plan right now is for me to be back right before Christmas. I don’t know much about the living situation yet, only that I will be rooming with someone who already lives there.
I don’t know much about what I’ll be doing other than it appears office work for two organizations there, Dwelling Places and in the AIM office. You can check out Dwelling Places at http://www.dwellingplaces.org/ and AIM at www.aimint.org/usa
While I’m working there, I will be working for free. It still makes my heart beat a little faster thinking about it. I’ll be responsible for providing my own way, housing, food and healthcare while there. AIM has given me my budget that breaks down specifics as far as where the money goes, and if you’d like to see it, I can get a copy to you. The total amount I will need to raise is $18,853.00. And I need to raise 75% ($14,139.75) by December 5th. It feels like a lot of money in a short amount of time. But, I know that God can do big things.
You can go online to http://www.aimint.org/usa/give if you’d like to give a one time, or a monthly donation. From there you will follow the instructions for online giving, including a search for my name. Or, if you’d prefer, you can write a check and mail to me (I’m moving into my parents home at the end of this month. Additional prayers for that for all of us!) at:
79 Pointe View Court
Jackson, Ga 30233
As always, I am so thankful for your faithfulness to the Lord for your part to help spread the word of God to those who have not heard it.
I’m having a “fundraising” party at Sweetwater Brewery on September 21st from 7:30-10:30. I’ll have Mr. Paul Puckett playing some tunes. It’s $20 bucks to get in, get a glass, drinks and a tour of the brewery if you’d like.
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