If you want to get technical, my run as an APU blogger ‘ended’ over four(ish) months ago when our summer break began. However, after the life changing eight weeks I spent this summer in Tanzania I felt that this post was entirely necessary after talking so much about this trip in my previous blogs.
I don’t really know where to begin, that seems to always be the toughest part about talking about a trip that had as big of an impact as this one had on me. I traveled to Tanzania (South-Eastern Africa) and spent two months there with a team put together by both the Office of World Missions and more importantly, God. (He hand picked this team perfectly, might I add.)
We spent about 5 weeks in Nkungi village where we did work assigned by the village leaders, taught at both a primary and secondary school, installed water filters, distributed food packets, built blocks for a teachers home at one of the primary schools, and loved like crazy on the beautiful kids that we spent endless time with.
Then we spent about 2 weeks in Singida Town where we worked at a childrens community center where food was distributed to the children that couldn’t afford it (in exchange for them being educated). We had the blessing of constructing a playground which was unheard of there and also repainted and fixing up the entire building. The other 1 week of the trip was spent in travel time and debriefing on a safari.
I think that the most present things that God taught me during that time was that (1) fears are petty when compared to life lessons that can be learned. We think our fears are justified, until God uses those fears to bring himself glory. (2) Statistics on poverty, lack of clean water, hiv/aids, prostitution, and disease are REAL, not only are their faces behind them but there are stories and names behind them. (3) Love and grace speak infinitely louder than words. Just because you can’t speak fluently in a language doesn’t mean your impact is less valid. (4) Stepping out of your comfort zone is always worth it. (5) The Holy Spirit is as as REAL and ALIVE as God and Jesus are, pray for the Holy Spirit to work through you because He most definitely desires to and WILL. (6) We cannot be strong and we cannot spread God’s perfect love without the power of the Father, Son and the Holy Spirit. Seek it.
Basically, the point of this post is not to boast about what I was blessed enough to do this summer but rather to encourage you and to point the glory to God and let you know that He has great things in store for you! A year ago I would have never imagined that going into APU God would call me to this mission trip and this mission trip would lead to so many convictions and blessings. Trust God and trust that His plan is infinitely greater then your own. Allow your life to look differently then you thought it would.
Also, while I know that world mission trips are obviously not in God’s calling for everyone, I DO encourage you to seek out Focus International mission trips at APU and see if God is calling you to one. We are all called to be missionaries, some in their hometowns, some in Azusa, some in other states, and some globally. Seek out where God has called you as a missionary.
A side note: If you are a new freshmen at APU, WELCOME. I cannot explain my excitement to see so many new faces around campus and to finally have campus filled after 3 weeks of Alpha Leader Training! I encourage you to seek out ministry opportunities at APU and pour yourself into others. One of the greatest things about APU is being handed so many options to serve others and glorify Jesus Christ.
And if you are reading this blog as a prospective student, I encourage you to do the same, except where you are at. Google away and search opportunities to serve and love on others. Trust me when I say that it is worth every second. Bringing glory to God, and purpose and joy to yourself.
God bless you all.