Thursday, May 17, 2012

Project Presence Deadline is in 2 Weeks!

Have you ever been somewhere that you just knew you belonged? When this picture was snapped in 1997, I could not have been filled with more joy! I was sitting under a plastic roof getting ready to worship with some of my favorite people in the world: a group of once-street boys in Nairobi who had come to live at Taraja Home. Just a ten-minute walk from the University where I studied, I spent a lot of time at this amazing place, even going home with the "counselors" who often lived in the slums themselves with their own families. Now, 15 years later, I still smile when I think about the time I spent in Kenya and the relationships that I built there. James, Seti, Bob, Survivor, Charles, and Daniel are just a handful of the boys that I remember for their great senses of humor, dancing skills, and ability to make me laugh. They will be in my heart forever.

But my relationships with these boys and their counselors didn't start in 1997. In fact, they started less than 2 years earlier when, during the summer of 1995 right after I graduated from high school, I went on a Youth for Christ mission trip and stepped onto African soil for the first time. It was there that I first fell in love with this amazing place and its people.

We wanted to bring this up right now because on June 1st, applications and the money for plane tickets - $1800 per person - are due. We have been praying a lot about who's supposed to go on the trip, and the truth is: that someone could be you. We are trusting the Holy Spirit to guide and direct each one that's supposed to go (as well as those who aren't but may be going next year...or the year after that...or the year after that!) We totally trust that you'll know. It's a big commitment to the tune of about $2,800.00. The dates are September 6-16, 2012. We have the application ready to send to you, if you're interested. Just let us know. And while you may not come away from the trip loving Ethiopia as much as we do (because, honestly, is that even possible?! :) ), we do know your life will be impacted and changed.

Our goal is to be a presence in the slum community of Kechene. We want to be a blessing. We hope this will be accomplished by meeting the 30 precious children and their families (widowed moms) and hearing their stories. By doing a VBS for even more children in the community over the weekend. By making final preparations at the school, including potentially painting a mural and putting up artwork on the walls. By celebrating on the opening day of the school on September 12 with the staff and children. By participating in the filming of a documentary by a professional filmmaker. And by spending a day at a local orphanage and loving on the children there. It is true that we want to be a blessing and, Lord willing, we will be. However, we also know that we will be blessed. Far more than we would have thought possible. Because that's what happens. That's what makes the old adage "It is more blessed to give than receive" so true. It is in blessing that we are blessed. Project Presence is no exception.

Are you ready to go beyond wishing and go?!?

No comments: