Happy Friday, people! I hope you’re as excited as I am for the weekend! Today I’m going to do something a little different and talk to my lil’ blogger family about an amazing opportunity I’ve received to be able to go to Nairobi, Kenya for a mission trip this summer! The past few months, I’ve been really looking for something I could do this summer that was going to be more impactful on the community and lives than just hanging out at home. Not that you can’t make a difference where you are, because you absolutely can, but I felt like there was something I needed to do that wasn’t in Arkansas this summer. So, I followed the lead of a lot of my friends and looked into camp counselor positions. I found a camp that I thought looked good and filled out the entire two hour application, but I could not bring myself to submit it. Something just didn’t feel right about it. I was a little discouraged at that fact, so I went back on the hunt. I found out my church had a six week trip to Africa equipping people for long-term missions, which seemed perfect considering I would love to liver overseas as a missionary one day. My heart sank when I found out the trip was full.
Then just like that, this trip fell into my lap. I honestly don’t even remember how it happened. I remembered I had emailed Mrs. Taylor, the woman in charge of Go Near ministries, about a month prior, but it had really slipped my mind by the time she called me. During the course of a two hour conversation, I was signed up to go to Nairobi. The Lord is so cool and so good. There were two spots left on the trip, and throughout the conversation she asked me about my strengths. I told her that I have always been a worship leader, and that has been the hardest thing to not really have since I moved to college. She told me that was such a coincidence because they really needed someone to lead worship on the trip, and she asked me if I had any friends who could lead with me. I told her Josh and I led worship together, which led to her getting really excited, because she loved it when dating couple go on the trip, and she wanted another guy for the last spot! Long story short, Josh is going too. My heart is happy!
And there’s more. She also didn’t have the person who normally takes photos and makes a video going on the trip. I freaked out, because I was an intern for a digital media studio and have SO missed being creative in that way, which is part of the reason why I started this very blog! And it keeps getting crazier!! I told her that my major was Communication Disorders, and I know I want to work with people with special needs for my job one day. She then told me that one of the things we are going to be doing is helping out at an orphanage, and there are many kids with disabilities there. So with two positions left, every need was met. I am so humbled and excited to be going on this trip. We will be helping out at orphanages, visiting the township, hanging out with students in boarding school, taking them on a safari, and visiting prisons. I am so incredibly excited and in awe about the way the Lord led me right to this trip, so I’m not going to let a pesky little thing like money stop me!
I know if God wants me here, He will fund this trip. He has to, because quite frankly I cannot. I’m so excited for this time to lean completely on God and trust Him! I’ve already seen Him provide, because with one day left to raise the $200 deposit, from a few posts on facebook I earned $200 exactly in donations from a ton of college students. College students! The number one thing I am asking for support wise on this trip is prayer, because that is something absolutely everyone of you can do! I am also asking humbly for financial support, becuase I 100% cannot do it without you! To make this task fun for you, I have multiple ways you can contribute!
1. Donate Online
The easiest way for you to donate is on this tax-deductable, secure website! 100% of the proceeds will go towards my trip, all you have to do is write “Claire Prather” in the box that asks who you want your donation to go towards! It’s as simple as that! Just head over to go-near.org/donate if you feel led to donate, plus there is a ton of information about the ministry on the site!
2. Buy a T-shirt or Sweatshirt
These say “Go Plant Seeds” because I believe that even though you may not be going on this trip with me, by contributing in prayer and financially, you are helping me plant seeds of the gospel in Kenya. Since I couldn’t do it without you, it’s like we are planting that seed together. I know that this trip is not about me going to Africa, it’s about the body of Christ working together in different ways to spread the love of Jesus across the world!
3. Buy A Go-Ring!
Another exciting way I’m fundraising is through Go Rings. Go Rings is an incredible little organization that was started by a woman named Darcie, who learned how to make some cute little rings to fundraise for her year-long mission trip. Through selling these rings, she raised all $16,000, and they just kept selling! Now they partner with people trying to fundraise for their own trips, so here I am!
Aren’t they stinking adorable?? And it’s not just rings! They sell bracelets, too! Just go to gorings.us to check out these sweet little things. All you have to do is select my name at checkout and I’ll receive a percentage for my trip!
I am overwhelmed by the amount of support I have received from everyone so far, and I cannot wait to see the way the Lord moves throughout the rest of the fundraising process. I hope you guys have an amazing weekend, and here’s a little tidbit of what God taught me through this experience that I want to share with you: You can only be in one place at a time. This seems obvious, but it was pretty monumental when I realized it. If I would have gone to be a camp counselor, I could not have been going on this trip. The point is, there are always going to be other options in the way that you can spend your time. But the reality is, you are here, you are here right now, and this is exactly where you need to be. And when things don’t work out, rest in knowing you need to be somewhere else. The Lord has it under control. And no, that doesn’t mean it’s going to be easy, but you should always know you are purposed to be exactly where you are. And you can make an incredible impact if you choose to believe that.