The beginning of the week, what’s referred to as “Immersion”, was difficult. Having to trust God and his purpose for me as an individual while not getting to go out to the communities or schools yet was frustrating. However, this training process grew me more than I ever would’ve expected. Each individual here on our intern team has shown me something valuable in regards to my faith journey. Along with serving others and sharing the gospel, that is what I am anticipating the most; How close can I grow to God?

The most monumental lesson I have learned so far since arriving in Johannesburg is the importance of being vulnerable. Coming into this trip, I had every intention of being open and honest with not only the community and our leaders, but also with God. However, that transparency yielded with one aspect of my testimony that I felt too ashamed to share. Within a matter of days, the Lord has shown me to be vulnerable and use my story to touch the hearts of others while ministering to schools and in the squatter camps.

A post I had made on Instagram referred to all those questions I had been asked about leaving school and the lack of support from many people. In my caption, I wrote: “These kids smile, laugh, share, and appreciate far more than I have ever seen back in the states.” This portion of the caption makes me grin each time I think about it because I remember the first time being in the schools with those children. Each and every one of them was joyful to just have people who show them affection and give attention. Little do those kids know, I was filled with far more joy than they were that day.