That is a question I have been asked oh so often when I share about the trips. Can a short term mission trip really impact the people??
Those of you who have been following me on this course I’ve been appointed to run, know that I return to the same places multiple times. The Lord wants me to show that yes, the missionaries don’t forget them and in many cases there are those who are “assigned” to certain areas and connect with the people. Maybe not to be there long term, but assigned none the less.
This was the 4 time I’ve been back to Burkina Faso, and, as before, we worked with the orphans and in the bush.
On this trip, we were blessed to have over a dozen interpreters going with us from village to village…
They were all university students who also were attending bible school. It was so much fun working with these young men. There was a young man in particular named Jean Philippe, who is now 18 years old who answered the question that others so often ask me….. here is what happened. It really touched my heart…
Near the end of our time in Burkina, he pulled me aside and said he wanted to share something with me. He lost both of his parents and did not have any family that he was aware of. He was out trying to “make it” on his one. He told me that he came to the orphanage approximately 8 years ago when he was about 10 years old. Children with the Orphanages we work with are identified and then assigned an orphanage usually close to their village so they could stay connected with any family that is remaining… Jean Phillipe explained to me that had none.
He then smiled big at me and said he remembered my first trip to visit them. (He would have been 12 at the time.)
He recounted the toys & soccer balls, school supplies, clothes… But then he said, I remember the Hugs you gave…. I stood stunned as he told me that we gave him a family and a hope for a future because of the work we do to support the orphanages. He was clothed, fed, schooled and loved.
Now he is enrolled in the University. Learning English (Moore and French are first & second languages), and attending a bible school part time too.
He’s a wonderful young man with eyes that sparkle and a smile that transmits the love of the Lord. I need to dig through my photos to see if I can find one of him from the first trip. It was wonderful to hear how the Lord has kept him safe and how he grew in the Lord. We are the extension of the Lord. Through what he shared with me I can honestly say to those who ask if we make a difference, YES we do!
But I want to extend this to all of you too. Because truly, without the support of others, I could not give Him My utmost for His highest… Your prayers and partnering with God in all areas to keep me going are what get the job done. We are partakers together in this wonderful inheritance.