I'm Going to Kenya
It's funny because about a month and a half ago, you could find me sitting on my computer searching and filling out endless applications for random jobs. Nursing jobs, personal training jobs, health and wellness jobs, mission opportunities...
As each opportunity came up, I would call my mom, tell her about it, then get super excited about the possibility. Yet after sending in the lengthy application, I would often cancel right before the interview. Because after things got serious, after I prayed about it--- I knew in my heart, it was wrong. That something wasn't right.
One opportunity was to be a personal trainer at Gold's gym and I thought it would be a pretty epic job, really great gym with awesome equipment and networking opportunities. I thought I would love to get into health and wellness. I went to the interview, stressing so much, because I felt unqualified. I then had to go to a second interview where I had to design a personal training plan, complete with demonstrations of client's exercises. It was terrifying and I thought I'd never get the job.. and then surprisingly they offered it to me just the other day.My mind was blown. They thought I could be a good personal trainer!! How cool is that? Except for, I couldn't take it. I knew just like the other jobs, this job wasn't right.
For some reason my heart and mind just wanted change, wanted a new purpose or a new meaning... to the point where I was impulsively applying for everything. And praying and praying for answers. And yet it was to no avail. There was no match, never that peace, it never felt right.
Finally, I sent a message to one of my friends and directors of AMOR Projects, a previous nonprofit organization, I have worked for and asked him for advice. I told him I had spent close to a year working night shift at the hospital, was a little bit burnt out, and was looking for purpose. He told me he would think and pray on it.
The next day, I kinda forgot about the message I sent out for him, and got back into the grind of my nursing work... I was beginning to give up hope of doing something different and starting to feel like I needed to just make the best of where I was at. Maybe God didn't want me going overseas, or switching jobs right now. I finally quieted down my 'ready to jump and move' heart and seemed to settle down, gave God the flag of surrender.
About three weeks later, the director surprised me with a call and said "Brooke are you still interested in missions?"
Stunned, I replied, well I'm curious what you have in mind.
He told me " I have the perfect job and mission project for you. You will love it and you could be an amazing fit."
I was a little doubtful about what he told me because it sounded too good to be true. He told me about Africa Mission Services a nonprofit in Masai Mara Kenya where I would work at a clinic delivering babies and helping with pediatric care. He told me that the area was beautiful, right where the National Geographic filmed the Migration of animals and that it was an opportunity that I couldn't miss out on. And he told me that he thought there was a genuine need that matched my skill set, and that he had already talked to the family that ran the organization, who were kind, and were interested in talking with me.
So I began to pray about this new opportunity and talk to the mission organization in Kenya and it just felt so right. I talked to the family who was running the place, and they were kind and excited to have me come. I talked to my family and they were understanding and supportive. My closest friends, all understood that this was something I had been wanting to do for a long time, and that I needed a change of pace. I began to pray about it, and I felt peace unlike the other jobs or mission opportunities. I felt that God could really use me their. That God was telling me to go ahead- to take that risk and go.
At first it felt impulsive, impossible, abrupt... I felt like maybe it was just my selfishness taking over, maybe I was just running away. But as I began to pray about it, think about it more, and talk to my friends I realized that I had to go. That if I didn't go to Kenya, I might regret it for the rest of my life.
In fact instead of "should I go?" the question in my mind became "Why not now?"
Why not go to Kenya? Why not serve God overseas? Why not learn about another culture and see another worldview?
Where I used to have excuses like classes I had to finish, experience I needed to obtain with nursing, financial limits and debt, and time lines.. I have none. I have no relationship I have to cling too or worry about. I have the freedom to quit my job, and my boss has even told me she will let me keep my job as PRN.
While, there is no reason I have to quit my job, or move away, or travel far to Kenya.. as I feel so blessed living here in Tennessee and I have a great life here... there are reasons why I feel I need to embrace this unique opportunity.
The first reason why is because I love Jesus. I love Jesus enough that I want to have peace about what I'm doing in life and Jesus has given me peace about embracing this opportunity. I also love Jesus enough that I want to make decisions that put me in a place/ community/ atmosphere where my spiritual walk can grow. And I'm not saying that if you love Jesus, you need to move to Kenya, or go be a missionary overseas. But for me, I need to take myself to a place where my faith will be challenged more and where I will have the opportunity to trust God more and tell others about Jesus. For me, I need a change of environment, to help my faith grow deeper.
The second reason why I want to go is because I want to become more selfless, and I want to participate in service. When you go to a place where there are starving children and people dying from unclean water, it should change your perspective on life and make you more grateful (in theory at least).
I have a skill, nursing, that I felt called by God to develop so that I could help in the mission field. And I want to use that skill set to help people who are hurting. And I would love to help the least of these. I believe God calls us to care about the least of these, to look out for the orphans, sick, and the widowed.
The third and fourth reason why I want to go is that I want to learn how to deliver babies and gain new nursing skills in a different country. Particularly, I have always had it on my heart, to travel to Africa ever since I was younger, and be a missionary there. This is an opportunity for me to widen my nursing skills and explore a new area of nursing Labor and Delivery while experiencing Kenya, safari-land, and adventuring. It sounds fun and thrilling and although I'm terrified of being devoured by wild animals, probably trampled by elephants, or crushed by lions.. I want to go.
I want to live without regrets. I want to follow my dreams and follow God without being limited by fear.
I want to explore the world more. I want to challenge my faith and growth. I want to learn to serve.
As my wall in front of my bed says "Please send me" God says " I will send you".
So I bought my ticket.
I'm going to Kenya. Going to Safari-land, to the savannahs of the Masa Marai.
I'm excited to share this news with you friends and I ask for your prayers as I embark on this new adventure for the next 6 months.