Over the past week or so, I have this nagging thought when it comes to this blog. I keep thinking about how there are so many stories out there that needs to be shared and how my mundane (well maybe not too mundane) life can't be the only thing people should read about. So I started to think of all my friends that are spread out around the map doing awesome things. So I wanted to start a new series called, Tuesday's Story. If I can give a small glimpse of His heart in this series, my goal is met. 

This first edition of Tuesday's story comes to us from the sweetest, most normal 14-year old I've ever met. I met Makaila at a girl's retreat I was speaking at and knew I just was going to love her! She cheers, plays basketball & loves health and nutrition. Not only is she beautiful on the outside, she has the most precious giving heart. She dreams and loves big. Her Mom & siblings are on an 80-day missions trip to South Africa... 

How my journey started:

It is amazing how much can change in a few short weeks. One minute I am in school.. tired, bored and frustrated with the routine of life, thinking there has to be more! I have always had an adventurous spirit.  I'm fascinated by traveling and other cultures.  One night while driving, I had a conversation with my mom about my desire to travel. Little did I know, they had planned an 80 day missions trip to South Africa. Within two weeks of this announcement we were on our way to South Africa to work with Impact Africa.

What we do in South Africa:

Our work is mainly with Impact Kids. The goal of Impact kids is to reach and educate the underprivileged, orphaned and at risk children, with quality, caring Christian education. We spend many of our days at the preschools showing God’s love to these kids.

Ministry and Discipleship in the squatter camps: Extreme poverty can be found in these camps. They are home to over 250,000 people that live side by side in tin shacks. We go shack to shack sharing the hope of Christ and praying for those in need.

What this journey has taught me:

God’s provision always goes before us when we are in His Will. I have learned on this journey how God has went before us every step of the way. There are incidents and situations that we walk into and we know only God could arrange this, in our own human hands this would not be possible.

 I was a typical teenager that was sad leaving my closest friends, a guy I care about, my cheer team, sports, fun banquets and events. To be honest, my biggest worry was about lack of technology and staying connected with people back home. I wouldn’t trade what I have seen and learned and how it has changed me for anything. We can’t be afraid to risk it all and move out of our comfort zone to see God move. I don’t want to be the typical teenage and consumed with myself and my wants!

He told us to “GO”…I think every teenager needs to go at least once. In Matthew, He already told us to GO into all the world before he left this earth. God wants to use us in our youth, he wants his love to move through us.

A few weeks before I left, my group of Christian friends were talking about how they had to share their “salvation testimony” in school. They all said, " its a private matter, we shouldn’t have to share that." I thought to myself, this just can’t be true. If Christ is alive in us how will those who don’t know about Christ ever hear? I don’t want to live in a church/Christian culture were we just live good Christian lives in our church buildings or Christian schools. He wants us to invite the lost and share his love with those who don’t know him.

One night while it was storming my mom and I just felt overwhelmed thinking about all the sweet kids we have come to know and love. These kids are sleeping in tin shacks with cold rain dripping on them. It is hard to comprehend these kids live like this day and day out, yet they are grateful for the smallest things. They show up with smiles when they have no reason to smile! I want God to continue to change me to always have a grateful heart at all times!

The need seems overwhelming, but love and hope is found in Him alone. Each of us can play a role in spreading his love. I realize though I am just one, I can make a difference!

You can follow Makaila's journey on her instagram feed & #80daysinafrica. Thank you Makaila for taking time in between your safari & working in the orphanage to write this lovely update! I am so excited for all that you are doing! I am also super proud of you! Can't wait to hug you when you get back stateside!!