I remember when I was a little kid thinking about being a missionary in Africa. A lot of wanting to be a missionary was because of my parents, but I have no clue why I wanted to go to Africa. That dream began to fade away as I got older and started walking away from the Lord. After giving my life to the Lord my junior year of high school the Lord put that desire of serving Him overseas back on my hearts. That brought me to where I am now on the World Race. Now that childhood dream is being fulfilled as my squad and I are in Africa being His hands and feet. It’s absolutely crazy being able to look back and see how the Lord has brought things full circle.

My squad and I have been in Africa for about a month and a half now. We first arrived to South Africa and had a week of debrief. This was a great time to debrief all the Lord had done in Asia, as well as have some sweet time of fellowship with the squad after my team being separated from the rest of them all of Asia. The week was full of intentional conversations, time for processing, and fun activities for our squad. We were even able to go on a safari as a squad. As well, me and some of my friends went free falling off a bridge. These were both crazy experiences I am never going to forget.

An elephant we saw on the safari.

After debrief we all piled in the vans to head to Eswatini. Our whole squad is living together at the Adventures in Missions base in Nsoko, Eswatini. It has been super sweet to be able to be back with the whole squad again. The last time we were all together was in Guatemala. It’s been cool to see how the Lord has moved in all of the squad’s lives as we have been away from eachother for the past couple months. We have also been a lot more intentional with eachother to make the most of these last few moments we all have together as a whole squad. There have been a lot more intentional conversations being had as well as just random fun being had as we play cards or play wiffle ball with eachother. We also have been able to do teachings and lessons with our whole squad again which I really missed. I even had the opportunity to teach one of the lessons during these times of worship and teaching. It was really awesome to be able to be used by the Lord in this way, and he really showed up and moved in a powerful way.

A beautiful sunset at our base in Eswatini.

As far as what ministry has looked like here, it has been an absolute blast. Adventures in Missions has a ton of care point set up throughout Eswatini. Our squad is split up going to 4 different care point in the area. My normal team of 8 guys is split up and each half goes to ministry with a different girls team. Me, Nick, Easton and Noah go with the girls team, Team Abide, to ministry at the Joyela care point. At the care point we do a lot of things to love the kids well. We play with the kids a lot on the playground, pick them up, give them piggyback rides, and let the younger kids be held and fall asleep on us. Many of these kids don’t grow up with two loving parents, mainly due to how big of a problem AIDs is here. Many of the kids may only have one parent if any at all living with them. Because of this it really means a lot to the kids to be able to be loved in these ways. It’s also really cool doing ministry with the girls team because the children get to experience a mothers and fathers love from us. We also do teachings, skits, songs, and games with all of the kids. This is a great way to share the gospel with them and speak Biblical truth over them. Not all of the kids come from christian families so for some of them, this is their only exposure to the gospel. The kids also get fed a meal that one of the women on our team will help prepare. This is a huge blessing for the kids because a lot of there families struggle to put food on the table at home. This is my 3rd country in which we have done childrens ministry. Before the race, I didn’t really enjoy childrens ministry and even saw it as pointless at times. The Lord has really changed my heart and allowed me to really enjoy it and given me a huge heart for the children we are working with. The Lord has also shown me that it does have a big impact on the kids whether or not I am ever able to see the fruit firsthand or not.

Me with two of the kids from the carepoint.

In the mornings before the kids get out of school, it can be a little bit slow at our care point. There will typically only be like 1 or 2 younger kids at the care point before school gets out. This use to frustrate me a little bit because I felt like we weren’t doing anything during this time. However, the Lord began to reveal ways to use this time well. We have been able to use this slower time in a number of different ways. One way I’ve really been enjoying is using the time to intercede for the care point. It’s been really nice to be able to pray for the care point and to pray for all of the kids. We have also been able to use the time to minister to one another. We have used the time in the morning to talk with one another, share what the Lord has been doing in our lives, as well as have times of worship. We also have had the opportunity to do home visits in the mornings as well. I absolutely love home visits and missed when we would do them in Guatemala. It’s been cool to visit some of the children’s homes and be able to relate to them better as we see what it is like at home and hear their parent’s stories. We have also been able to see the Lord work in some really cool ways through the home visits. In one home visit, we were able to share the gospel with an unbeliever and she gave her life to the Lord. In another house visit we prayed for a man who is paralyzed in half of his body, the Lord is healing Him and he is slowly being able to move the paralyzed side of his body again.

Africa has been so much more than I had originally imagined. I am so excited to see how the Lord continues to move during the rest of our time here. I am so blessed to be where I am today, and could not be here without you guy’s support and prayers. It is so encouraging to know I have people supporting me back home. Please continue to lift my squad and I up in your prayers. You can pray that we can finish our time out in Eswatini well and take advantage of the opportunity we have to be with the whole squad. You can also be praying for our ministry host and the shepherds of the care points who are here long term. Also please be praying for me and that the Lord will bring clarity for my future and that I can trust in His timing. Finally you can be praying for my squad as we enter a transition and head to South Africa in about a week for ministry, also for the squads health. Again thank you guys so much for supporting me and the work that the Lord is doing in and through me.