We have a saying in Chi Alpha in regards to missions:
everybody goes. everybody gives. everybody prays.
Shawn, ASU XA campus pastor extraordinaire, regularly challenges students to go on at least one overseas mission trip during their time in college. This summer, I had the awesome opportunity to return to South Africa for the 3rd time to work with Helping Hands in Africa. I also got to bring 4 awesome girls with me. Let me tell you about some of our adventures!
First of all, meet the team!
Kassie- This bilingual education major made her 2nd trip to South Africa. Her super powers include compassion and child wrangling.
Michelle- An art major with a heart for God, Michelle hit the ground running in Africa! A friend to all, her art and playing skillz pay all her billz.
Meredith- Ever since seeing The Lion King, this future missionary has wanted to visit Africa. Her dreams came true this summer as she loved kids until the sun went down.
Jordan– The other bilingual ed major, Jordan provides endless comic relief! Always willing to lend a helping hand, Jordan always made sure things went smoothly.
Me- Yes, I was extremely obnoxious and wore animal print through out Africa.
This is what we did:
We did a Vacation Bible School for 30 kids from a local village. It’s estimated that 80% of the people in the region have HIV. Most of these kids have experienced the death of a parent and so now they are heads of households- at age 9. We taught them all week about how special they were and gave them a chance to be kids!
We visited local public schools where we had the opportunity to teach Bible stories in every classroom (can you imagine that in the US?!)
We helped out with the Helping Hands villiage preschools.
We walked through village, praying for Helping Hands patients as we went.
We helped teach a computer class to young adults. Pastor Mike, of Helping Hands, said this would be the equivalent of someone from the US riding the Space Shuttle. It’s a big technological leap for them and one that will give them lots of opportunities!
We helped feed kids at one of the feeding projects. Helping Hands feeds thousands of kids a day. You can give just $5 a month to feed a child here.
Over all it was a great trip, getting to love brothers and sisters on the other side of the world. It was such an honor to work with Helping Hands- they really have a passion to maintain the dignity of everyone they work with and such a mission to provide hope. Thank you SOOOOOO much to all those who gave financially. Without you, none of that stuff could have happened!
Personally, it was really cool to witness the girls on my team step out in boldness. They really put their whole selves into the trip- even if it was uncomfortable or unpredictable at times. I can’t wait to see what God does with each one of their lives!