Written by our summer marketing intern Ashley Gay.
My First Trip to Ndibai
I went on my first mission trip to Ndibai, Kenya when I was sixteen years old. Most kids my age do not get the same opportunity to go on mission trips to another country like I have. One of the most memorable parts of my first mission trip to Ndibai was when I first arrived. When we were driving up to the community, a dust cloud of children came running to the buses to greet us.
Besides the children, I was also greeted by some women in the Ndibai community who all had huge smiles and lots of hugs to give. Everyone there was so excited to see us, which made me just as excited to see what that week would bring.
Another memorable moment I had was with how the Ndibai community treated us. Right away I noticed that the people were very giving and were willing to give you the shirts off their backs, even though they did not have much to give. Experiencing how loving, giving, and faithful the community is, made me realize how truly blessed I am.
Despite the living conditions (some families had lack of water access, no electricity, no transportation, living in a one or two room home made from mud, sticks, and metal), they always had a smile on their face and welcomed us into their homes with a homemade meal.
Thankful for My Blessings
Regardless of their living conditions, they were just thankful for what God had provided. Being able to experience how others live outside the United States helped me see my life in a different perspective and realize how blessed I am. I am thankful to God for these blessings every day.
A Sense of Heaven
One of my favorite things I experienced was attending Kenyan Church. There is nothing like being in a room full of Kenyans praying in Swahili. Even though I did not know what they were saying, God understood every single word. It made me feel like I was experiencing a sense of Heaven and what Heaven could be like.
During a medical trip in 2017, I got the opportunity to help at a glasses station. The glasses station was set up to assist patients in finding reading glasses. Some people in the Ndibai community said they did not have access to glasses but wanted to be able to see better so they could read their Bible.
Being able to watch them put on a pair of reading glasses and become so excited and thankful that they could finally see to read was amazing. It was something so simple, yet so life changing for them.
In 2019, I had another life changing moment during my last mission trip to Ndibai. It was also a medical trip and after people were seen by the clinical staff, families wanted us to pray over them, which I was a part of. One of the families wanted to pray over me and it was an honor to hear them pray in Swahili. It was a powerful and humbling moment hearing them pray for me, despite not understanding what they were praying.
Meeting My Sponsor Child Hannah
On my first trip in 2016, I got to meet my sponsor child, Hannah. Hannah is shy at the beginning of the trip, but by the end of the week she is all smiles! Also, during my first trip, I met Joyce who would become my second sponsor child. She came and sat by me during a church service, and she has always found me each year I return.
When I found out she had did not have a sponsor, I decided to sponsor her toward the end of my second mission trip in 2017. Through letters, I have been able to stay in touch with both of my sponsor children, despite living two plane rides away.
The sponsorship fees support not only my sponsor children but the school. After my mission trips to Ndibai, I am even more amazed with how God works, how He placed Joyce in my life, and how I now have two amazing sponsor children in my life!
Take the Opportunity
I am forever grateful for the opportunity to go to Ndibai because now I have people in Kenya that I am lucky enough to call family! After the experiences I have had while serving on mission trips, I truly believe that if someone has the chance to see the world outside The U.S., they should take it.
The world is more than what is outside our doors. Take the opportunity to go and explore how others live and make an impact in their lives.
Even though I honestly feel that Ndibai gave me way more than what I could give to them, it was a true blessing that I hope everyone gets to experience. I came home with so much gratitude, appreciation, and extra blessings in my heart.