The most common question I get about my missions work is, “Well…..how on earth did you get started with this?” The answer is simple, actually. The easiest way, however, is just to tell my whole story of how I came to travel so much, rather than answer a ton of questions strung out throughout the next year!
I was a Junior in high school attending the Wesleyan School in Norcross, GA. Wesleyan is known for many things, but most of all, it is known for green, perfect grass and an exceptional missions program for students. I hadn’t been on a mission trip yet in my high school career and the first half of the fall semester of my junior year was almost over. I was sitting in my living room at my old house where I grew up with an empty application in front of me, contemplating the outcomes and whether my heart would be in it or not. As if God whispered in my ear, I just felt the urge to go. So, I wrote out all of the answers on the application and came to the final question, “Which trips are you interested in?” Choices ranged from Central America to Eastern Europe. All of the trips were on Spring Break, but with plans to travel with family, my only option was the summer trip to South Africa.
I’m guessing you are starting to get an idea of how this goes from there. When I got off the plane in Johannesburg, the first person I met was Charl Van Wyk, the man who was later to become my mentor. Over the course of an amazing trip with my school, he convinced me to return several months later over Christmas break to continue to work. I was a bit sick for the duration of that first trip and the flight, time zone change, etc. didn’t help. I returned home looking and smelling like I had just lived under a rock for the last 10 days. My mom picked me up at the airport in ATL and as she hugged me, crying, she remembered the first thing I said to her is, “I’m going back at Christmas”. Now returning for my fourth time, I am excited to see how God works through me again as I am returning for hopefully, ten months, by far the longest time I have spent there yet…
God has led me into the mission field and placed me in a place that I cannot imagine could not fit me any better than the Plettenburg Bay Mission and the work i have the privledge to do in the country of South Africa. The whole process and the “sacrifice” of two weeks of summer I though I was making by going on my first Wesleyan mission trip that fateful summer has paid its dividends as the work of God always does. God has directed my life in this path and I am so excited to see where he takes me next!