A CHANGE OF HEART

This past summer, I had the opportunity to go on a trip to Guatemala. This wasn’t the first time, since my family had gone with me a couple times before, but it was the first time I was genuinely passionate about going. I had first heard about this trip being an opportunity for students and their parents from my church about a year ago. I knew that no matter what, I had to go.

Since it was a student/parent trip, my mom and I began raising funds for it. The closer we got to the trip, the more nervous I became due to the amount of money I still had to raise in the little amount of time until the trip. It honestly wasn’t until a few weeks before the trip that God provided us with all of the funds. It was amazing, actually. He put a desire in the hearts of family friends to donate just the right amount of money to cover our trips completely.

That’s the moment I knew amazing things were about to happen.

I can confidently say that our trip to Guatemala changed the rest of my life. Not only did I build relationships with some of the coolest, most genuine people I have ever met, but I got to experience God’s love and joy more than I have ever experienced it before.

Every night we would get together with the group that we served with to reflect on our day. Each night left me in tears, amazed at the love of God. I have never felt joy like I did that week.

One of the coolest things was the fact that my mom and I were at the same children’s home, Village of Hope, five and six years prior, before they even had children living there. The impact that they have had on the community and how much they have physically grown as a ministry since our first trip is amazing. There was never a doubt in my mind that God is present at Village of Hope, working through the hearts of each staff member, child, family, and friend involved.

This was also the week I felt God lay a passion on my heart for the first time. I always struggled finding my passions and knowing what to do with my life. I now know that I want to work in the missions field someday, helping His children who may not have a family. I want to live in other countries with foreign languages, and I want to share kindness and His faithfulness through my blog. A couple months ago I was still clueless and discouraged because I had no idea what I wanted in life. I asked him many, many times before to show me my passions and dreams, and I would get discouraged when he didn’t.

I guess through all of this I learned that sometimes God isn’t ready to reveal his plans just yet. I am human and I was impatient, wanting to know all the answers from the beginning. But it all comes down to putting faith in God. Having faith that he will lead you when HE’S ready, not you.

Our trip to Guatemala will always be special to me, being a reminder of joy and faithfulness. If you are ever given the opportunity to travel with a group of people (some of which you may not know) and share kindness and truth, I could NOT recommend it enough. Even if you’re terrified out of your mind, I promise you will not regret it.

If you’re interested in learning more about Village of Hope or potential missions trips to this beautiful place, please visit here.

MY LOVE FOR TRAVELING

Many people who know me know about my desire to travel the world. I am so blessed that I have been able to travel to multiple countries already, and there are so many more that I would love to experience! My love for traveling began when I was a kid and I heard about people taking missions trips to Africa to help care for those in need. The little 7 year old me was so amazed that there are people who travel to countries across the world to spread the love of God. I thought, “How amazing would that be?!” But I didn’t think that I would be one of those people who got an amazing opportunity like that. I thought that only certain people, who were specially chosen, could go on those trips. Luckily, I was wrong! When my dad became a Missions Pastor in 2011, my love for traveling grew. We have been able to make so many friends around the world and I have even been able to travel to their countries to see them! After traveling to Guatemala a few times with my family, and to Germany and Italy with my dad, I knew that I want to live in another country after high school. However, God has a plan for my life, so we will see what happens!