"A Fire That The World Cannot Explain" | My Family Travels
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I. Getting There

As a junior in high school, sixteen years old, I decided to go on my sixth trip to the state of Kentucky. I had begun taking these trips when I was eleven years old with my church, Calvary Chapel Westgrove. The purpose of these trips are to encourage the community to grow in faith and love and to help with a home for abused girls called [url=http://www.familyconnectioninc.com/childrens_home/]Hope Hill[/url]. I have been asked, "why Kentucky?", and for me the answer is "why not?"; I realize that churches take trips everywhere, to the farthest regions, like Africa, but just because Kentucky isn't a third world country doesn't mean there isn't hurting people. In fact, Kentucky has twenty-nine out of the top one hundred poorest counties in the United States. When I visit, it is hard for me to comprehend that this kind of poverty exists in America.

â–º  QUARTER FINALIST 2012 TEEN TRAVEL WRITING SCHOLARSHIP

The depravity in this are affects the people there, they are in need of hope, which is what our group offers. Now, in order for me to go with my church group, I needed to raise $1,200 by December 5. This in itself was a challenge; I believe there is much to write about a travel experience but a big part of it is actually getting there. My parents agreed that I could go as long as I raised the money myself. I ended up sacrificing much of my time and what I wanted in order to go on this trip, not even a gift-less Christmas could stop me from getting to Kentucky. This passion and God’s providence is what allowed me to go on my trip to Kentucky, on December 27, 2010 until January 14, 2011.

II. Kentucky- Serving and Realization

Once we took a place from California to Kentucky (and drove a long, long while) we arrived at our home: The Home for [url=http://www.homeforhealth.net/]Health Lifestyle Center[/url], located in Stanton, Kentucky. We began reaching out to the churches in the local Powell County area. We did things like: throw a lock-in for New Years, help with worship, and just form a bond with the community through the love of God. During this time I began to form deep friendships with my team members and also the community. There are people I met during this trip and memories I made that are unforgettable. I believe the moment when I realized that this trip had forever changed my life was while we were at Hope Hill. One of the girls we had been ministering to had told us much of her story, most of the girls who live at Hope Hill have been abused either physically or mentally, and after creating a bond with her… a few of us were able to witness her picking up a Bible and reading it on her own; to see her scarred hands holding God’s word made me realize… this is why I do this.

III. Reflection, Finding Myself

At the end of a trip, comes much reflection. After any travel experience it is good for one to reflect on how it changed them. I realized that being able to give up of myself and give to others is what I value most in my life. I don’t think a stereotypical Californian girl would not have done what I did, I’m not like every other girl, I have a passion for giving and serving, for helping others. This is what I value most in my life, all glory be to God. I encourage others to go on trips, not only will they be enlightened by beauty, make friendships that will last a lifetime, but they will hopefully be able to find themselves.

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