Welcome to my blog! I am going to be documenting my yearlong adventure around the world, and I think it will be helpful to start off by catching you up on the who/what/where/when/why details of my trip.
Really, the first question that needs to be answered is why? Why am I doing this?
To put it simply, I feel like this is what I’m supposed to be doing right now. I love experiencing new cultures and seeing how beneath the obvious differences, people are so similar no matter where you are. That’s where the interest started, and the thinking/planning process since then has been about a year and a half long. For each decision, I prayed and researched and listened and waited until I had that feeling of inner peace that makes you sure that it was the right one. It was a long process, but I’m excited about how the plans developed and how once I was on the right track, all of the details fell into place!
Now for the who/what/where/when…
I am doing four separate trips to four countries – Ghana, Peru, India, and Armenia. Below are the timeframes of when I’ll be in each, the organizations I’ll be working with and their descriptions of their missions/what they do, and links to their websites.
August – November 2016: Ghana – Volunteer Corps Organisation
“Volunteer Corps Organisation is dedicated to building a better world by improving the lives, living standards, education and health care of those from the most disadvantaged backgrounds. Through affordable volunteer placements in Ghana, Volunteer Corps Organisation offers a unique opportunity for cultural immersion whilst enabling volunteers to share their skills and knowledge with local communities in order to promote self-sufficiency.”
“Esperanza de Ana provides services that bring guidance and emotional support to children and their families who are facing situations of conflict and personal trauma that put at risk the family unit and the functioning of the family.”
“Our passion is to strengthen families while offering a place of healing for the hearts and minds of each child and parent who has experienced trauma or is suffering crisis. Through the education center we focus on the integral development of each child while we work to encourage parents to value each child and discover their gifts.”
April – May 2017: India – Harvest Bridge
“Harvest Bridge is a network of trusted indigenous churches and missionaries, cooperating on church planting, pastor education, poverty alleviation, disaster relief, and various other missionary and humanitarian programs.
We were founded and continue to grow with few worldly resources. The secret to our success is working through local churches and ministries in the countries where we serve. This leverages the passion, experience, and knowledge of local Christians and reduces the duplication of effort and resources.”
July – September/October 2017: Armenia – Birthright Armenia
“Birthright Armenia was founded … with the belief that it is every Armenian’s birthright to not only see Armenia, but also experience their homeland via an enriching, hands-on, life-changing experience.”
“Our mission is to strengthen ties between the homeland and Diasporan youth, by affording them an opportunity to be a part of Armenia’s daily life and to contribute to Armenia’s development through work, study and volunteer experiences, while developing life-long personal ties and a renewed sense of Armenian identity.”
There is just one more what to be answered, and that is what do I hope to accomplish with this trip?
I know that there’s only so much of a difference I can make with such short trips to each place. Real, sustainable change requires a much bigger investment of time and talents. Knowing that, my goal on this trip isn’t to change the world. Maybe I’ll make a lasting impact on one or two people, but even that isn’t a guarantee.
The only thing I can know for certain is that I will be changed, and I’m going to spend every day experiencing and absorbing as much as possible. I want to learn everything I can from the people and organizations I encounter. I want to live outside my comfort zone and eat at least one bug. JUST KIDDING I’m absolutely NOT eating any bugs. But I will eat new foods and say yes to things that scare me and maybe even get malaria. Most of all, I want to learn to trust in God and go enthusiastically towards the future He has planned for me, even without knowing all of the details.
Trust in the Lord with all your heart and lean not on your own understanding; in all your ways submit to him, and he will make your paths straight. – Proverbs 3:5-6
Well, that should about cover it! Feel free to reach out if you have any other questions.
Ready… set… time to go pack!