When I was 19 years old, I went with my sister to Atlanta, GA to attend a conference for college students called Passion in January of 2007. I remember him saying that if anyone in the room felt led to "go", we should stand where we were and he would pray for us. He began calling out places that needed to hear the Gospel, and when he got to Africa the Spirit lifted me to my feet. At 19 you think you can save the world. At least I did. At least I thought I could save Africa. I began trying to do all of these things.
God was not ready for me to go.
Five years passed. And then...
"Mom, I'm going to Africa. They need someone with medical experience and since I've been a nurse for a year I feel like I can really help. Shanna gave me the information about the trip. She went with this organization last year. I leave in 3 months. I will be there for two weeks."
So I went to Malawi. And it changed my life. We were walking down a path and one of the men, Pastor Kapapa (he was a Zambian man who worked part time for e3 as a translator), asked me where I was from. I remember thinking to myself, why is this Zambian man asking me where I am from? As if he will have any idea. When I told him Birmingham, Alabama, he asked me if I knew Kelsey Weeks. Excuse me, what? How do you know Kelsey Weeks, sir?! MIND BLOWN.
And so began the connection between me meeting the man himself, Pastor Kapapa, who had been working with Kelsey in Zambia for years on her mission trips there, and me talking to Kelsey after my trip to Malawi about a small thought she had about starting a Gospel-centered, child-loving, disciple-making organization in the heart of a village called Simukale in partnership with Pastor Kapapa.
Shortly after this, my sister went with Kelsey to Zambia to have the first of Luyando's Kids Clubs in January 2012. She came back sponsoring a child, Makani. I felt like God was pushing me to do the same but I had been praying for all of the kids on the sponsorship website for a long time and there was not one child that stood out. So I waited. By now I had learned that this was a good option. After a few months, I kept being drawn to a sweet little girl in a pink t-shirt.
Her name is Matron. I knew nothing about her. But suddenly, after seeing her photo a thousand times it seemed, that same rush of the Spirit that I had felt sitting in an auditorium almost ten years ago, came flooding through me and I knew. It was her. She was mine.
I have been sponsoring Matron for over a year now and it is the joy of my life. My call to this place called Africa has come full circle. God has been so incredibly faithful in every single way to show me exactly what He wants me to do with this gift that He's given me.
Amber is now one of our biggest supporters. She is the sponsor of two children, Matron and Rooney.