In January 2010, I got my first chance to go overseas – it was also my first time out ot the USA!
I wanted to go to Africa with my church so badly! I was willing to work for it. I raised all my money, I filled out all the forms, and I was ready to go!
I went with my mother and 24 others to be an "Asseblies of God World Missions" volunteer. We assisted Alan and Pat Pettinger in building a church (pictured) and ministering to the small town. We played games, preformed skits, danced, laughed, and sung.
We were able to make an immediate difference in their lives by passing out socks and clothes for the winter (Lesotho – high in the mountains – has seasons similar to America's) and providing candy and toys for the children. By providing them with a church – a shelter for pysical and spiritual needs – we were also able to help them in the long term.
One of the things Alan Pettinger said to us from the start was "to come with a servant's heart and to remember the old African saying: Time in America is your enemy, but time in Africa is your friend." He meant to give us willing spirits and patience in a culture we might not understand. Instead, I recieved peace. The people in Lesotho, with houses as small as my bedroom, were happier than many of my friends and schoolmates at home. They knew more joy, love, peace, patience, kindness, etc than I had ever seen before. They were relaxed. They loved life. They lived it to its fullest. And that's what I took away from Africa, Not suviners or trinkets but a new appreciation for life and every small beauty it has to offer.
I hope to return one day – maybe even live there. Though little know, Lesotho is a beautiful country filled with beautiful people.
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