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A year ago in November I took a leap of faith and headed on my first mission trip to Limpopo, South Africa with seven strangers. Those strangers became “family,” and this beautiful country changed my life. God opened the door for me once again this summer, and I was able to participate in another short-term mission trip in June. This most recent journey was confirmation that God is leading me to be a full-time missionary in South Africa with Blessman Ministries, Inc. I’ve done much prayerful discernment regarding this opportunity, and I’m excited to follow God’s call as a part of my continuing faith journey.

During both of my South Africa trips I had the opportunity to work with many young children. My heart broke when I learned what these children have to deal with on a daily basis. One particular day at church I met a seven-year-old boy who would not eat his lunch until his three-year-old sister was finished eating. He told me it was “his responsibility” to make sure his sister was taken care of. My eyes were opened to the hardships these children face on a daily basis – hardships that most children and adults in the U.S. never have to deal with. This little boy loved his sister, but that love did not show in his eyes. His soul was hardened because of the responsibilities no seven year old should ever have to take on.

My eyes were opened…This is when everything changed and a check off my bucket list was no longer my purpose in South Africa. Loving the children, putting joy back on their faces, and teaching the love of Jesus Christ was my purpose.

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