It’s always such a joy to hear about the experience of someone participating in their first mission trip to a developing country. Enjoy this guest post by recent mission trip participant, Coralie Carter.
When an opportunity arises, be sure to consider it carefully. If you turn it down you may miss out on a life changing experience.
Early this year, Denny and Ellen Freed asked Gary and I if we’d like to go to Africa with them. We’d never thought about going but were interested in the work they have been passionately involved in over the last 40+ years. It was a “no brainer”. Of course we’d go. So in March, at the beginning of the Covid-19 pandemic, we traveled to Kenya for a 12 day adventure.
We visited several MOM water projects, villages and schools, experienced the abundant wildlife and beauty of the Maasai Mara. We met many wonderful people of the Maasai tribe and now consider some dear friends.
At one project site there is a small humble school with metal siding, broken windows, dirt floor, 2 small desks and no visible supplies or books. A few papers and posters hang on the walls and an old chalkboard, but…oh the children!! They were happy, beautiful and curious. They greeted us and entertained us with song and dance. The teacher told us of how impoverished these families are and he spoke of their educational needs.
Gary and I were not prepared for the emotional impact we experienced. We left part of our hearts there and brought home pictures, videos and ideas of how we’d like to return and contribute in some way.
Who knew that in September the four of us would return to Kenya? Travel was even more complicated at this time in the pandemic but God helped us. We were very aware of His care in helping us in certain situations and keeping us safe.
Our focus was the little school We decided to build desks and buy school supplies. Gary packed his tools and screws into a suitcase. Wood was ordered and delivered to the site. This project was truly a team effort. The men of the village were so curious about the battery operated tools and crowded around taking turns using them. 20 desks were built in two and a half days and school supplies and text books were provided for about 45 students! They were so proud and grateful for everything and we came away blessed for having been a part. Many people from the area came the last day to thank us. There were lots of tears and hugs. I know I’ll never be the same.
So what’s next? We’re starting to work on a committee to discuss future school projects. It will be a collaborative effort between MOM and the Maasai, being respectful of their culture and listening to their needs. We’ll keep you posted and maybe you will be a part of a future trip!
It just might be life changing for you too.