On August 2nd, eighteen year old Kelsey Williams left the comforts of home to serve Christ in Africa (Jinja and Fort Portal, Uganda) for two weeks. This is an extraordinary commitment for anyone, let alone a young woman of her age. Kelsey boldly lives out her passion to serve Jesus. She was kind enough to answer some questions and allow me to share her answers with the readers of this blog.
Tim Sherfy: Why are you going to Africa? What led you to want to go on a mission’s trip?
Kelsey Williams: I am going to Africa because somewhere along my journey with Christ, I asked Him to break my heart for what broke His. He did and it just happened to be that my heart broke for the African people. At the same time, I fell in love with the culture. In 2009, I began to sponsor a five year old girl in Tanzania through Compassion International. As I scrolled through the pictures of children awaiting a sponsor, the young face of an African girl named Grace was tattooed on my mind and heart. I knew that she was the one God had for me.
The next summer, I was on a retreat that had partnered with an organization called Active Water. They are focused on bringing clean water to Zambia. Throughout the week, I was nothing short of a puddle of tears as I heard story after story of children who were dying from unclean water. Water. The most basic and essential resource needed to sustain life and it is killing far more than I can even wrap my mind around. God absolutely broke my heart. I decided I had to do something about it and I sold t-shirts to help raise money for the cause. All in all, I raised about $500.
After much prayer and searching, I found a mission trip with Horizon International to take me to South Africa last October. Our team had the privilege of building a new home for a mother of three kids, visiting and praying for the sick, and hosting a VBS for the children. The most chilling factor of the entire trip was being among the first to proclaim Jesus’ name in the village of Ramaroka and placing Bibles in the hands of over 100 adults and children. That was my first mission trip and my first time out of the US.
TS: What will you do during your visit there?
KW: During our trip, we will be ministering mostly to the young adults so that they can bring up the younger generation to know and love the Lord.
TS: What do your friends say about this? Wouldn’t you rather be enjoying summer and having fun?
KW: My friends are awesome and are very excited for me and supportive of this trip. They know my heart is in Africa and several friends have even supported me financially. For me, this trip is me enjoying the summer and if I had had the opportunity, I would’ve spent the whole summer in Africa doing mission work. God has blessed me with incredibly supportive friends and family and I don’t know where I’d be without each one of them, especially my mom.
TS: Are you afraid or anxious in any way about the trip?
KW: I am so excited about this trip! As usual, Satan is always waiting in the door trying to make me afraid and anxious and I am ashamed to admit that he often succeeds. It is a big step of faith and there are many things that play into it-lots of bugs that carry diseases and other nasty things, being away from my family, being in an unfamiliar place, the flight-but the instant I get to wrap one of those beautiful babies up in my arms, it will all be worth it.
TS: What would you say to others considering going on a mission’s trip?
KW: GO! There is always going to be something to make you want to stay in the comfort of your home and I have learned that fear is one of Satan’s most valuable tools. Fear that the money won’t come in; fear that something bad could happen to you or to family members while you’re away; fear of the unknown, etc… While God may not call you all the way to Africa, go somewhere that will open your eyes to the way so many people really live outside of the USA. God calls everyone to different places and breaks our hearts in different ways but one thing remains the same for every believer worldwide: we have all been called.
“Come, follow me,” Jesus said, “and I will make you fishers of men.” (Matthew 4:19)
Have you ever been on a mission trip? Please share your experience with others by leaving a comment below.