Edward and Kimbilio

In March of 2009, I embarked on a journey that would change my life forever. I felt the call to foreign missions as a sophomore in college. My Sunday school teacher always told me that she thought I would do mission work in Africa and I always thought she was a little crazy. Around the time that I felt God tell me to go to Africa, my church became a partner with The 410 Bridge. I started to look into 410 Bridge and loved their vision and how God was using them. This is also the time I discovered Choose to Invest (note this, we will come back around to it).

In April of 2009 I applied to go on the open Christmas trip with 410 Bridge and got accepted in May. December took forever to get here… Finally on December 26, 2009 I boarded a plane in Atlanta headed to Kenya, Africa with no clue that I would end up leaving my heart there. Before I even left on my first trip I knew I was going to want to spend more time there. When I applied for the Christmas trip I remembered seeing a trip that spent one month in Kenya, which was with Choose to Invest (told you it would come back around…). I began to look into Journey Internship and knew God wanted me to apply. In January of 2010 I got accepted to be an intern for Journey 2010.

While in Kenya on the Journey Internship, God completely transformed my heart and gave me a new perspective on life. God birthed a vision in me that I had no clue what to do with. I knew what I was passionate about and that list looked like this: children, orphans, people with disabilities, education, communication, helping others, missions, and Africa. Before Journey 2010, I wondered how on earth these things could ever align, but during Journey God clearly showed me, while working at a children’s home in Nairobi, Kenya. This vision was to start an orphanage in Kenya. I walked up to the children’s home and before I even saw the first child I told a few fellow interns that I was supposed to start an orphanage. I began to talk about different ideas. Then three kids came running around the corner of the building to where we were doing laundry for the home. One of the little boy’s names was Samuel, we began to talk and from that point on we were attached at the hip. Samuel and I spent the day together and God used Samuel to teach me more about this vision that He gave me, even to the point that Samuel called me Dad when he forgot my name. I got on the bus speechless and in tears. At first I did not want to tell anyone else about this vision God had given me. I knew others would think I am crazy. I wrote about it in my journal multiple times while in Kenya and God would not let me stop thinking about it. I began to tell people and slowly saw things take form. I told Nathanael and Kristin about this and they shared a similar vision. Many people shared this vision with me and supported me.

After Journey Internship, I stayed on with Choose to Invest to do some marketing and fundraising. This past summer I traveled back to Kenya with Journey Internship 2011. While in Kenya this past summer God confirmed this vision for an orphanage more and more as we returned to the children's home and visited other orphanages. God has moved this vision in a mighty way and I am excited for what is to come.

Since last August I have been working on development (fundraising) and research for Kimbilio. A few weeks ago, Nathanael presented me with a question, “Would you like to focus on development for Invest or manage the Kimbilio project?” I spent the past few weeks praying through which direction God wanted me to go. He provided a very clear answer, which was to manage the Kimbilio project. I am so excited that God has blessed me with this opportunity and cannot wait for what is to come! Check back here tomorrow for a blog about my vision for leadership of this project!