We are thankful for the time we had with Alison this summer as a member of our Journey team. We are even more thankful that she has chosen to come back and deepen the relationships God allowed her to forge in East Africa. Our friends tell us just how meaningful it is when people choose to return, to invest deeper and longer than just a one-trip experience. God doesn't ask everyone to return, but when He does, it sure is a sweet thing to be a part of as He builds His people, His Church, and His Kingdom through fellowship and discipleship! Thanks for investing again with us Alison!
When I walked into Journey this summer I had no idea what I was getting myself into. I was entering into an internship with an organization that I found on google and everyone around me were strangers. When my parents dropped me off I was devastated, going to Africa had always been my dream, but at this point I just wanted to go home. When my parents left me at the Avery’s I thought the summer was going to be rough. As Journey began, first with Camp Highland and then with traveling to East Africa, it started to sink in that this was not going to be the worst summer I had ever experienced. Journey, for me, was 3 months of truly learning who God was. He revealed himself to me in ways that I never thought possible. Through the word, worship, conversations with Peter (A Rejoice Project Coordinator) and all of the Rejoice Project leaders, God showed me who he is and that he is so much better and so much more than I could ever imagine. He used a team of complete strangers to show me how much he loved me and he used a group of beautiful East Africans to show me that there is so much beyond my city in the United States.
Approximately three weeks after arriving in East Africa I began to feel the Lord really tug on my heart and tell me that Journey was not the end for me. In our second community I began really connecting with the East Africans and feeling a pain in my heart at just the thought of leaving. Four weeks into my 10 week summer I started praying about continuing work with Choose to Invest after I graduated in December. Just a few days after Journey ended, I was home and applying for Spring Internship. East Africa had my heart, the Rejoice Project coordinators, leaders, and kids, had my heart and I was about to transition into a season with nothing planned. By this point, I knew that God was calling me back.
Part of the reason that I fell so in love with what Choose to Invest is doing in East Africa and in Haiti is because they have managed to connect everything that I am passionate about. They are currently working in the two countries that I love the most in this world, they are spreading the beautiful name of Jesus, and they are preventing human trafficking and preventing orphans. With graduation coming up in a short month, I can’t imagine doing anything besides going back to East Africa and helping to invest in the lives of people I love so dearly. The Lord has burdened my heart for this organization and the people that they are reaching and I could not be more grateful to have the opportunity to continue working with them this spring!