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I’m Going to Africa

“I find I’m so excited I can barely sit still or hold a thought in my head…I hope I can make it across the border. I hope to see my friend, and shake his hand…I hope.”
-Shawshank Redemption

There is a quote in Shawshank Redemption that has been on my heart these past few months. This might be because my husband watches this movie most Saturday nights because it’s his favorite movie and it’s always on some cable channel but it’s mostly due to the fact that I’m going to Africa in December and this quote fits my emotions exactly. I’m fortunate to be a member of a team going to Bo, Sierra Leone to spend time with kids living at the Child Rescue Centre (CRC). The CRC is made possible through a nonprofit organization called Helping Children Worldwide. I know several people who have gone on this trip and the stories from their trips make me long to go on a trip of my own.

“I find I’m so excited I can barely sit still or hold a thought in my head.”

I’m beyond excited to go to Africa. Ever since my husband returned from his latest trip to Sierra Leone two years ago, I have been dying to go on a trip of my own. My time has finally come, this is the year when I get to go to Africa and it’s less than five months away! This makes me so excited and nervous. There is so much to do to get ready and only five months to prepare. I have a passport to update, shots to get, prescriptions to fill, clothes to spray (think heavy-duty bug spray), and so much more. It’s going to be a busy 5 months but it’s going to be worth it.

“I hope I can make it across the border.”

When people go to Sierra Leone the hardest part, they say, is getting there and getting back. There is no direct flight from D.C. to Bo. Instead, we take a three-day journey to get there. It involves a (very short) layover in London, a flight to Lungi, a ferry ride to Freetown, and then a (very long) bus ride to Bo. To some, this travel itinerary would sound exhausting and impossible but honestly I believe that God has prepared me for this trip for the past four years. After traveling with three small children on multiple trips for multiple days, the travel to Bo is not stressing me out. Sure, I recognize there will be an element of adventure involved with this journey, but I’m not worried at all. I know I can do it. I’ve been training for this type of trip for the past four years.

“I hope to see my friend and shake his hand.”

When people return from the CRC, they tell stories. They tell stories about the cook who prepared delicious food every day and was incredibly nice and welcoming. They tell stories about the doctors and nurses on staff at the hospital on-site. Most memorable though, are the stories about the children. Everyone has a story about a child. Many have multiple stories about multiple children. I’ve heard so many stories about so many children that I feel like I already know them. These are children that I’ve been praying for. These are children whose smiles I’ve fallen in love with in pictures. I cannot wait to meet these children. This is perhaps the part of the trip I’m excited about the most: connecting with the kids I’ve heard so much about. I can’t wait to have my own stories. I can’t wait to come back and share my stories with others.

“I hope.”

I have so much hope for the children of the CRC. Because of the CRC, these children, who were previously victims of trafficking or orphaned due to a civil war, have a future. These children have full bellies and an education and will be offered an opportunity for a life that they never dreamed. I’m feel so blessed to be a part of that.

So, I’m going to Africa. When I go, I will be blogging as much as possible about my time in Bo. If I don’t get to post while I’m there, I will posting my entries when I return. I realize not everyone can go to Africa so I hope my stories will serve as a blessing to those who cannot be there in person. I hope to capture the joy of those children and help you fall in love the same way I have fallen in love with them without ever meeting them.

Before I can go to Africa, I’m asking for your support in two ways:

  1. Pray for me. Please pray that my team can connect and build relationships with the children of the CRC and make a difference while we are there.
  2. Support Helping Children Worldwide in my name. As part of my trip, I’m raising $3,000 for Helping Children Worldwide.
    If you break this down I need 30 people to give $100.
    Or 60 people to give $50.
    Or 120 to give $25.

I would be incredibly honored if you would consider donating in my name. All donations are tax deductions and can be made online here

I know going to Africa isn’t possible for everyone, but I think we can all agree that children deserve to live a hopeful life. The kids at the CRC have that. I can’t wait to see that hope. I can’t wait to tell you about it.