In order to fully explain this, I'm going to have to take you back a little further and tell you some of my testimony.
At the age of five, I decided to trust Jesus to forgive my sins and provide the way for me to have a personal relationship with God, our loving father. Missions fascinated me. I loved hearing missionaries talking about the countries they worked in and stories about what God was doing there.
As I grew older though, I lost focus of how I needed to trust God to forgive me and let him carry the burden of the mistakes I make rather than trying to carry it myself. Because I was still trying to be good enough for God (which is a lie, by the way, God loves us the way he finds us and then he works in us to change the parts that don't line up with him), I wasn't able to see how much he loved me, and I wasn't able to love people with his love. I forgot about my heart for missions for a time while all of that was going on.
I did come back to the relationship that was meant for me with God (another part of my testimony, I'd love to tell you about it if you want to hear!) and in the summer of 2009 I nominated my dad for a contest on the radio station KLOVE.
KLOVE was partnering with Shoes for Orphans Souls that month and they were doing a contest that you could nominate someone that you knew who went the extra mile. I wrote about my dad and submitted the story, later that week it was chosen as one of the stories to be read on air, and put in the drawing for the grand prize. The grand prize was a missions trip for two with Shoes for Orphans Souls to Honduras, Guatemala or Peru. Well, my dad won (:D) and we went to Peru together for 9 days.
During the trip we got to go to many different orphanages and see lots of children who were growing up without parents, and many without Jesus.
It broke my heart.
I loved those children! It upset me that they had so little and I had sooooo much! It was so awesome having the opportunity to just play with the children, and love on them and teach them about Jesus and his love for us.
Being in Peru for that time was so powerful for me because God showed me the love that he wanted me to have for missions once again. Since then, I've had the opportunity to go on many missions trips and even learn that missions isn't always going somewhere else, it's a lifestyle! (Thanks CE National and Operation Barnabas:) )
Even before I left Peru, I knew that I'd be back. I didn't know when, or for how long but I knew that I wasn't leaving for good.
Since the summer of 2010, I've been waiting till I was old enough to go back as an intern with Buckner International (they run shoes for orphans souls as one of their ministries). I started taking Spanish because I wanted to lessen the language barrier (someday I want to be fluent in Spanish!). I am pretty certain that later in life I'd like to adopt children (or at least be open to what God says about that!:) ).
I am super excited to see what God has in store for this summer and I hope you'll continue to follow my journey!:)