Brenda's Story, Part 2: A Promise Fulfilled

“On that first missions trip to Guatemala, I wrote in my journal on the very first night, ‘God, I don’t understand this, but I feel like I could sell everything and move here.’ I hadn’t even met the kids yet! It didn’t make any sense! But now, now that I know that God is calling me into full-time missions, it totally makes sense.”

“Big things seem to happen on these trips. I went to Oasis again a few years later with another Calvary team, and on that trip, God spoke to me that it was time for me to go home and fill out the divorce paperwork. It was like God was releasing me. That chapter was coming to a close.”

“And then last year, my daughter Jen asked if I would consider going back to Oasis a third time with my granddaughter Madie, who is a teenager. Jen wanted to go to Kenya, but that was an adult-only trip, so would I go with Madie? My heart wasn’t in it, but I always love time with Madie so I said I’d do it.”

“As it turned out, we couldn’t go to Guatemala, but we were invited apply for the Kenya team. Friends and people from the Global Outreach team were encouraging me apply saying I would be a good fit for the trip. In the summer of 2018, we all went with the Calvary team to the Mitaboni children’s home.”

“I felt immediately that this is where God’s calling me to serve. I wasn’t expecting that. I talked with Benjamin, the director at Mitaboni. We were walking somewhere, probably going on a home visit, and I asked how I could come back. He took my hand and explained how an internship would work, and then he said, ‘God can work it out. God can provide the money for you to come back as an intern.’”

“When I came home thinking strongly about going into missions, one of the first question I got was, ‘Are you sure you can do this? I know how close you are to your family.’ My friend Mel Parker asked me that, and she was right. I was wrestling with that. With leaving my kids and grandkids, my parents who are in their 80s. But I said what was on my heart, which was that I felt God was calling me to missions.”

“It was Matt Parker [president of Kids Alive] who reminded me that Kids Alive has missionaries who go back and forth, living part-time in the field and part-time at home. But first I applied for the internship. I asked a few friends to pray for me. There was the application, references, background checks, and then it had to go to the field director for Kids Alive in Kenya, then to their board, and then back to the home office.”

“Finally I was offered the internship. The offer came one year after my divorce was final, the week of the one-year anniversary. And Jen said, ‘Mom, isn’t that cool? God let you be accepted this week? You’ve ended one chapter, and now you’re opening a chapter for missions. He could have done it anytime, but he chose the same week.’”

“I traveled alone to Kenya as an intern this year, where I spent two weeks working in the office and sitting in with Purity [Nyamu, Field Director for Kenya]. I visited 3 of the 4 children’s homes, where I shared my story of how God took my brokenness and made it beautiful. Purity wants me to come back to serve as a full-time missionary.”

“I came back home from Kenya just a few weeks ago, actually. And for two weeks, I felt nothing. I kept praying and praying, but I didn’t know what I should do. Kids Alive was calling to do my debrief and I was putting them off. So I made a list: my fears, what I loved, what I hated, questions I still have. As I’m making this list, it’s clearer and clearer, I still feel God calling me, but I’m afraid to step out and start fundraising. Afraid to take the next step and tell my family. This is scary. But I know in my heart what God is calling me to do.”

“So that’s where I’m at. I met with Kids Alive and accepted. I’m looking at 4 months here, 4 months there so I can still have an impact with my kids and grandkids. We’re moving forward with fundraising so I can go back. So that’s my story. It’s kind of not ended. That’s why I keep reading Jeremiah 29:11. It’s scary, but God has a plan and a hope for me.”