Mission Trip to Africa

A few months ago, God laid on my heart to go to Africa with a team from my church. I signed up and with that I was committed to going to Sierra Leone from July 21 - August 2 to serve in an orphanage! Along with my commitment to serve with my hands and heart for two weeks, I'm also required to raise $3,000, so with that the fundraising begins. I want to ask for something small, so would you consider a $5 donation for the children of Sierra Leone?

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It's hard to explain, but the minute I spotted the flyer at Summit Church, I knew I was going. It has been both the best and roughest year of my life, and Africa seemed somehow to be a good fit for both sides of that equation. I feel beyond blessed to have the job that I do right now. Since I am able to take off as much time as I need, I really wanted to show my appreciation and pay it forward by committing two weeks to service, along with my own financial contributions. I was also very close to serving in the Peace Corps or AmeriCorps five years ago, and this feels like a smaller version of that experience, that I still regret not doing.

So what will we be doing in Sierra Leone? Our team of 20+ will be providing some much-needed relief for the African women who usually run the orphanage. Our presence will give them two weeks off, and will we be supervising and helping the kids with their daily tasks of gathering water and food, and going to school. I am beyond excited about seeing a new continent and experiencing a new culture. I am nervous about vaccinations, lions, being as helpful as possible to my team and the children we are serving, and about getting sick because I have hypoglycemia and a couple other medical conditions that will make living without running water and my usual diet pretty rough. So far, we've had three team meetings, put down money on our flights, and I'm going to the doctor this week for all those scary shots. 

So, here's what I'm hoping you can help with. Prayers and support for our team. And (no pressure at all), if you want - a $5 donation (think of it as one cup of coffee!). To donate, simply send money via PayPal to this email address: jsmissiontoafrica@gmail.com (it's a special low-fee account). If you are a company who would like to donate and receive free advertising, please send an email to the same address. Thanks so much in advance for your help! This opportunity to raise money and serve means the world to me, and so does your support.

ps. Summit is not taking online giving for mission trips right now, but if you prefer to pay them directly, or mail a check (versus PayPal), please email for instructions!

Update 7/11: I am very grateful for the tough conversations that happened in the comments section. Fundraising has brought a totally different perspective to this journey than just donating my own money would have. I am bringing a piece of every person that donated with me to Africa, and that fellowship means a lot to me. It has also been a lesson on faith, and trusting God to provide, rather than taking care of it myself. I also hope I have spread some awareness about the hardship in Sierra Leone, and hopefully plant a seed for many of you to get active in your own communities or even abroad. And my attitude of service is greatly different going to Africa, knowing that I am not only serving the kiddos, but also serving all of you who donated, I will strive to do my best for you and your contributions. Thank you to everyone who contributed, but also to everyone who commented with tough questions and helped me further define why I want to go to Africa, and why fundraising in this way was such an important part of the journey! Best, J.