I shared with you a couple of months ago how I will going on Operation Barnabas this summer. I thought you might be interested in the story of how I got to be going on this trip, so, here it is!
Four and a half years ago (2008), an Operation Barnabas (OB) group came to Johnstown. I got to see the end of their program and really liked what they did. I talked to some of the teens that were on the trip and they encouraged me to apply for OB when I was old enough. I think the age requirement is you have to have finished 10th grade. I had just finished 8th grade so the end of 10th grade was a loooooooooooong way away.
I tucked the idea in the back of my mind and by the time 2011 rolled around, I had forgotten about OB. At the end of the summer 2011, I ran into a friend who had gone on OB. She told me how great her summer had been and encouraged me to go on the trip the next summer.
The summer of 2012 I was planning on going on a Worldchangers trip with some other teens from the church we do AWANA at, so when I thought about OB, I thought I don't want to be away the whole summer, I want to go to Worldchangers. I pushed the thought away for a while but I noticed that it was harder for me to feel like I was really connected with God. I was working on a missions devotion book and I read a testimony of someone who said that they had basically told God no about going on a trip and how their relationship with God suffered while they weren't listening to God. My immediate thought was of OB. I wasn't listening to what God was telling me to do and surrendering my plans to him.
At this point, I wasn't sure if it was too late to apply for OB. The next day I checked their website and found out that I had one week. I had to get 3 references and my forms in. Eek! I got all of the papers in (on the last day of the deadline) and waited for an answer.
A couple of months later, I heard that I was an alternate for going on the trip. This means that if someone with a spot dropped out, they might offer me a spot. They gave me a deadline of when they would let me know by. When that date came, I received another letter saying that they didn't have a spot but I might be interested in a new trip that they were doing called City Life. It was 2 weeks and they went to Philadelphia, DC and New York City.
The dates of this trip overlapped the Worldchangers trip that I was planning on doing so I told them no for that trip as well. Three of us were planning on going to Worldchangers and in May, Chelsie decided to work at Sandy Cove all summer. The other girl going with us also decided to apply for a summer job and so I would be the only one going on the trip!
So about 3-4 weeks before City Life was supposed to be, I asked the lady coordinating the trip if there were any spots left. She emailed me back the next day saying that it was perfect timing, someone had dropped out that day. Talk about God working things together! I went on City Life and had an awesome time (read about our adventures here ). Five of the people on my City Life team had either led or been on an OB team and they all encouraged me to go on OB.
Sooooooo, to sum up this story, I applied to go this year and got accepted!