Thursday, September 4, 2014


I remember sitting in my bedroom at the age of about eight, reading about Mother Theresa and feeling a little tug on my heart. My mom had given me the children's version of her biography and I devoured it! I had no idea there were so many people suffering all over the world. How could that be when my family was so happy and comfortable? I decided I wanted to serve people the way she did, but in Africa (I'd been obsessed with Africa for a while at this point). At the time I had no idea that humanitarian work was something that many people aspire to or even how I would get there; I just knew I wanted to help, and it had to be Africa.

In High School and college I did a lot of research and studying, trying to figure out what program to join, what country to visit, and how to get halfway around the world on Wingers tips and birthday money. 

It looked bleak. 

I started saving and praying for an opportunity to become known to me, realizing that it would take several years to get there. After college I felt a little lost, having just let go of another dream and feeling very unsure of my path. Then I moved into a van in Jackson and started dating Josh, and found my way again, but Africa seemed as distant as ever. I kept trying to fit it into my life and still honor my other dreams of being sealed in the temple and becoming a mother and it never felt like the right time. So, with a very heavy heart, I tucked Africa away, promising myself that I’d find a way, someday, somehow.

Flash forward to last January. I heard a rumor that there might be a trip to Africa in Sunrise's future. 

I think my heart stopped for a moment. 

As incredible as this was, I didn’t dare get excited or even really talk about it to anyone but Josh because I couldn’t handle the heartbreak that would surely come if the trip fell through. I’m not an overly superstitious person, but if the trip fell apart because I jinxed us, I would never forgive myself!

Now, however, our tickets are confirmed, nasty vaccines injected, and funds (mostly) raised. I am bursting with joy, anticipation, and plenty of stress!

So here are the glorious details!

We leave September 25th and return October 9th. The first half of the trip will be spent building a small school for the children of Lusaka, Zambia. After that we will spend a few days on a canoe safari down the Zambezi river (that way the animals come to us rather than us driving around in Jeeps looking for them), landing in Livingstone where we will visit Victoria Falls and rest before saying one last goodbye in the village and flying home.

It truly is a dream come true and I just can’t believe I’m finally going to Africa. The Lord truly does answer prayers in His own time and way. I'm so grateful and excited I can hardly stand it! I feel a bit like Bilbo. 

“I’m going on an adventure!”


PacificNorthVenture said...

Thank you for sharing the details. No surprise that you have made this happen. I have had a dream to visit as well, but I will experience this place through your eyes and thoughts on this magical place.
See you soon.

Carlee Ann said...

YES YES YES! I can't wait to hear about it! Seriously, post many pictures and include all your beautiful observations about your experience. I am going to be living vicariously through you, ok? :)