July 19, 2016

A Trip of a Lifetime: Africa

Where have I been? Well let me just tell you all about it!
First off, let me say, this post has absolutely nothing to do with teaching.
I want to share a personal experience I had the opportunity to take early this summer.

God led my heart to take a mission trip to Tanzania, Africa 2 weeks after school let out for summer. 
I had from February to May to raise $4,100 and prep for the trip. It felt like an overwhelming task. 

God taught me through all that I had to do to get ready that NOTHING is too big for Him!
I raised my money in record time and memorized a stack full of scriptures.

I've always had a love for Africa and a desire to visit and now I know just why God placed that on my heart! I wasn't nervous for what I was going to go do. I was nervous for being pushed out of my comfort zone...and that's exactly where we grow!

The plane ride was the worst part of my whole experience. I was just not made to sit that long!
We flew 2 hours to Detroit---8 hours to Paris---8 hours to Kenya---1 hour to Tanzania.
With all the layovers...27 hours total.
Days 1-3 were travel days...whew!
We finally met up with our team and the excitement was contagious!

We drove 2 hours to our first hotel in Arusha...and let me tell you I was NOT disappointed!
I was thinking I would be staying in some sort of Motel 6ish rooms but look at this....

Definitely my kind of accommodations!
The next morning we woke up and drove 7 hours to Singida. 
To my surprise, the main roads were paved so it wasn't the drive I was expecting. 
We arrived at our hotel and it was just as nice as the first one! This was "home" for 5 days.

We headed to church to meet our team for the week.
Each on of us had a local interpreter, "new" 2 pastors who were planting churches and 2 "old" pastors who already had churches in place but were supporting the "new" pastors. Reality set in as I met the people I would be spending all day every day with for the next 5 days. 
That night I experienced my first "African" meal. Many of you may have seen my fish picture...but just in case you didn't, here was my dinner. YES, eyes/head/mouth and ALL!
So a little about the food--it's bland, very bland. Not much seasoning.
We had the choice of beef, chicken or fish each night with fries or rice. 
Needless to say, I'm totally over rice and appreciate my veggies much more!
Breakfast on the other hand wasn't too bad. We had eggs, toast, carbs, carbs, carbs each morning. 
Enough about food....

 Each day we met for devotion time and breakfast, set out to church, met up with our small teams and headed out to the villages. 

Days 4-5 we went to Ginery.
My interpreter, myself, church pastor and a few others from the church went out and literally went "door to door" sharing our presentation with families. Our goal was to share the gospel with as many people as we could and share with them the news of the church in their village.

I had the opportunity to share the gospel with a group of 13 girls who were on their way home from school. Each and every one accepted Christ. They each were beyond excited to receive a bible that I could not hand them out fast enough. Fun fact: they also loved touching my hair, ha!
This young lady was a family member of a current church member who's home we went to and shared the gospel with. She also accepted Christ and received a bible. We had a special connection!
Talking to some locals at the fruit stand!
 Here is a sweet Muslim family that welcomed us into their home, even though they didn't accept Christ, we showed them His love by giving clothes to their sweet children.

Here are some photographs of the village of Ginery.

 Each afternoon we held discipleship back at the church we were helping to plant. We invited everyone we spoke with to come to the church at a certain time where we would teach them how to disciple to others and share what they had accepted. These are a few of the ladies who showed up from our 2 days in Ginery.

Such a special treat to get to see all the new believers together!
Days 6-7 we went to Mwonkoko.
My team member's interpreter was actually the pastor who was planting a new church in this village. 
So we set out again, going from house to house speaking to as many families as we could.
The first family we visited lived here. This village was a lot more "natural" than Ginery. 
Everyone except for the lady in yellow were born again Christians. They let us know she was possessed by a demon. So our interpreters, who are also pastors, led us in "an intense prayer" to exercise the demon's spirit out of the woman. It was quite the experience!

They had an immense farm where they grew bananas, pumpkins, papayas, mangos. avocados and I'm sure many more foods.
Here's another family who all accepted Christ.
Just look at these photos! I don't need to tell you anymore about this visit...
 And then there's this...
Y'all, I get teary eyed looking at this photo every dang time.
The emotion and feeling. The rawness. It's so real.
It's pretty much the whole reason why I went on this trip in one single photo.

We also had the opportunity to visit....A SCHOOL!!!!!!
God knew all along that my dream was to visit a school, and on the LAST day, he provided!
Here's a glimpse at the school.
My partner spoke with the teachers and I had to opportunity to speak to 2 classes, all crammed into one room of--get this--87 kids! Talk about nerves.

When I walked into the room, they all stood up simultaneously and greeted me!
I honestly felt like the most special person on Earth!
They were respectful beyond belief.
And not to mention, they were the most attentive group of people that I have ever spoken to.
They hung onto my every word, like they couldn't get enough. 
This is probably my favorite moment of the entire trip--right here in this photograph! #teacherhearthappy

45, YES, 45 of them accepted Christ!
While floating on cloud 9, I took a quick tour of the school.

 Here's inside one of the classrooms.
That's it!
I just had to let the headmaster know how much I appreciated him letting us come into his school, stop their classes, and let us minister to these people, amazed!

We also had a great family that opened their home to us over the course of the 2 days we were there.

           The hospitality of the people of this country blows me away...literally! They will stop what they are doing, grab whatever they can find for you to sit on, welcome you in (like they've known you for years) and just share the immense amount of love they  have for you...and it just opens your eyes to love, to the love we are supposed to show to everyone as followers of Christ. 

If there is anything that God taught me on this trip, it is how to truly LOVE PEOPLE! 
Love them not because of who they are, but because of who He is.

Day 8 we visited a local church children's program.

Our leader taught a kid friendly message to 2 groups of children. They were precious in every way.

We gave them all bibles and loved on the quite a bit!

We also had the opportunity to baptize some of the new believers in the local lake.


Day 9
Sunday we went back and visited both churches and attended their services.
One church gifted us with some African cloths as appreciation for our visit.

Later that day, we met up with the team and headed to Karatu...so we could finally be tourists!
We were going on day 9 of African cusine so we were dying for some American goodies.
Look what we got!

Here is a glimpse from our last hotel in Karatu.

Day 10 EEEK--Safari Day!!
If you know me, you know this is the ONE thing I have dreamed to do all of my 28 years of life. And God sent me here to do His work and is fulfilling my dream in the process! #blessed
Lake Manyara National Park
Oh you know, just "the tree of life"!
Hippo pond.



How amazing to see God's creation!

Mt. Kilimanjaro 


A big thank you to those of you who contributed to my trip. 
You were a part of reaching these lives for Christ just as much as I was.

If you want to find out more visit EPPIC Missions website!


  1. I get teary eyed just reading your blog, see you next.June 2017 Africa

  2. I get teary eyed just reading your blog, see you next.June 2017 Africa