In the fall of 2016 we hosted our first formal Vision Trip in years. As I worked on the promotional materials, began sending emails and having conversations l admit, I was apprehensive. Would anyone want to go? Would we be pouring (our very limited) time and resources into a trip with no return? Would our travelers fall in love with Kenya or be preoccupied without some of the comforts of home? These were just a few of my concerns. We launched our promotion in May. Not even 24 hours later, we had our first travelers! Within a few days and we were up to four. With the excitement of these four, all of whom have faithfully sponsored children for years, we were content. Then in the coming month, God brought six more people to round out our team. Four I had never met, one was a former intern who was bringing her mom on her first cross-cultural experience. God knew exactly who he was bringing together. The team, with an age spread of nearly 50 years, was an amazing group!
I could write page after page about this team and trip, but I’ll summarize my highlights:
They caught the vision – Within 48 hours of being on the ground in Kenya, jet-lagged and everything, I was blown away by the conversations we were having. Without me saying a word, our team caught the vision of Chariots. Through interacting with the children, staff and managers, our team saw the heartbeat of our homes. They experienced the familial relationships that exist in the homes, and began to fall in love with these people that amaze us every day.
Sponsorship matters – Watching sponsors meet the children they support for the first time in person were beautiful moments for both sponsors and children. I’m not sure who had bigger smiles. As they played games, shared gifts and sang together you immediately knew these were moments neither party would ever forget. The moment of meeting is not always picture perfect as apprehension and language can cause barriers, but the depth of meaning in these moments is beyond words
God Provides – While by no means a new concept, there is something special about seeing God provide in the moment. God used, and is continuing to use these team members in significant ways. On the trip, I got the privilege of watching team members encourage our staff members who work so hard caring for the children, reinforcing how important they are to this ministry. Their words of encouragement touch our staff so deeply. Upon arriving home I’ve witnessed many team members giving sacrificially of their time, talents, and resources to meet needs they learned about on the trip. I think I speak for our whole US staff in saying we are blown away by how God provided for needs in Kenya through these individuals.
God is doing His work in and through each and every supporter of Chariots for Hope as they so generously give of time, talents and resources to give each and every child hope and opportunity for their future!
We’re thrilled to announce that we’re planning our next Vision Trip for this summer. We invite you to come experience the heartbeat of Chariots for Hope for yourself!
Visit our travel page or give us a call (267.815-1067) to learn more!
Content written by Andelyn Robb, Communication & Development Director at Chariots for Hope