A Mission Trip Experience by Brittany V. from Pennsylvania

I have felt called to serve God and His people in Africa since I was five. So when I was accepted to be a short-term missionary with Blessing the Children in the summer of 2014, I couldn’t wait to do what God had put in my heart and soul.

I had never done mission work before so I didn’t quite know what to expect. After countless emails with Melissa – she’s a saint – and many questions answered, I was “ready” for Ethiopia. Little did I know how much my life would change there.

During my time serving with BCI, God opened my eyes and heart in a completely new way. It’s indescribable. I had always loved the beautiful, resilient people Africa without even meeting them. I admired them for their child-like faith and appreciation for everything even though they had indescribably difficult lives.

10584062_10152566960508232_7634582204881121058_nAfter actually meeting several adults and numerous children in the city of Debre Zeit, my admiration for these people grew like wildfire. Whether I was doing a home visit with one of the many lovely social workers, fixing up a home, or teaching English at the BCI academy with Kelkias or “H”, I saw God’s beauty in the people. Through their smiles, hugs, and laughter I felt their faith and love for God.

Through these simple experiences during my trip, I grew in my love and faith for The Creator more than I knew could be possible. I was there to serve the people and help them grow in their love for God, and I sure hope I that, but I must say they changed me and my relationship with Him forever.

???????????????????????????????Since I have been back in the US, my husband and I have begun sponsoring one of the boys I deeply connected with during my trip – Abreham. For years for Christmas I had asked for the money to sponsor a child and now I have the honor of continuing to serve sweet Abreham and his family whom I actually got to meet.

I can not wait to go back to Debre Zeit to serve the people there and to remind/reassure them of God’s beauty. Until then though, not a day goes by where I don’t think of the people I met and served. I send them God’s love and light and pray for them daily. During my many journal and prayer sessions while in Ethiopia, one piece of scripture particularly stuck out to me…

1 John 4:7-12 | Dear friends, let us love one another, for love comes from God. Everyone who loves has been born of God and knows God. Whoever does not love does not know God, because God is love. This is how God showed his love among us: He sent his one and only Son into the world that we might live through him. This is love: not that we loved God, but that he loved us and sent his Son as an atoning sacrifice for our sins. Dear friends, since God so loved us, we also ought to love one another. No one has ever seen God; but if we love one another, God lives in us and his love is made complete in us.

The people of Blessing the Children and Debre Zeit live this daily, and I’m blessed to have met and served them.

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