Meeting Beatrice

Last week, we introduced you to our two new interns. Today you get to hear a little more about Kat!

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“What made you want to go on a mission trip to Africa?” I get this question all of the time when people hear about my trip last summer to Mfangano Island, Kenya. The only response I can conjure up is, “God called me.”

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Before I took off on my 3-week journey to Africa I honestly had no idea why He was leading me halfway across the world, but I decided that it was easier to follow His direction instead of asking questions. At the time, I was attending the University of Tennessee in Knoxville, and working as a manager for the women’s basketball team; work never stops when you are part of an athletic program. I decided that no matter how busy things got, I would make time for a mission trip over the summer. Little did I know, God had already taken care of my plans (as I have found out He always does).

I was sitting in my dorm room watching a documentary on Netflix when I received a phone call from my mom telling me that one of her high school friends, Belinda, and her daughter, Sarah, were staying at our house to break up the long drive of a college tour roadtrip. My mom explained that Sarah was going on a mission trip to Kenya over the summer and that they had a few extra spots available on the trip. I knew nothing about the trip, but at that moment I committed and decided it was meant to be. As soon as I hung up the phone I realized that I had been watching a documentary about Kenya. The next day I learned that my mom, Belinda, and my grandmother were going to make the journey across the world with us.

Three months passed very quickly, and before I knew it we were on the plane to Africa with four stops, and hours of layovers, but two days later we arrived. I still was not sure why I was going on this trip, but my question was answered the minute I stepped off the plane on Mfangano Island. Upon landing, 300 orphans surrounded our plane; one little hand grabbed mine, and from that minute I knew this little girl was the reason that I was there.

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Beatrice Anyango Orwa is an 8-year-old partial orphan who had lost her father to AIDS, and her mother (who also has AIDS) is the primary caretaker for her and her seven other siblings. We were working at a ministry called Gethsemane Garden Christian Center, a school and home for around 500 orphans and partial orphans ranging in age from 4 to 19. Most of these kids are sponsored but I quickly found out that Beatrice was not sponsored, and she was slowly running out of time before she would have to leave GGCC because of lack of funds. The moment I found that out, I decided I would take on the responsibility of putting this precious girl through school.

Africa is a special place, full of faithful, joyous, incredibly thankful people; it keeps a part of your heart when you leave. I am so thankful that even though I cannot be in Africa with Beatrice, I am lucky enough to be a part of Blood:Water, and see the lasting change being created in Africa.