I went on my first trip with the Mighty Acorn Foundation in August of 2014. I had been dying to go to Kitale since I had first heard about it at a Matilda Jane trunk keeper conference in 2013 so I jumped at the chance when my sweet friend Kim asked me to go. I didn’t realize at the time just how much this trip would truly change my life.
I had never traveled overseas, but found the trip to not be difficult at all, although I’m not a very high maintenance kind of girl! The bond created among the team that traveled together was almost instant and when I met the children for the first time, I knew I wanted to come back as many times as they would let me. It’s funny, I found that people sometimes don’t consider it a “mission” trip because we aren’t technically doing medical, construction, or other “specific” work, but I can tell you that meeting your sponsored child face to face, spending time with them, holding their hand, bragging on them, and simply letting them know how much you love them…..love is often the best medicine someone can get!
We sponsor an 8 year old little girl, Faith, who literally moved into the orphanage the day we arrived on our August trip last year. She and her twin sister, Mercy, who is sponsored by one of my best friends, April, were so shy and scared especially when they were meeting their new white sponsor moms for the first time!
I was able to take my 16 year old daughter, Anna, with me on the trip this last August. To travel back and see the changes in Faith and Mercy just in the past year was incredible. They greeted us almost immediately with huge smiles on their faces and big hugs!
The biggest thing I have taken away from the two trips so far is that the impact the children and the experiences have on me far outweigh anything I feel like I do for them. The children there consider their sponsors their parents. Many of them truly are orphans and even if they aren’t, they long for someone to love them, encourage them, just to feel like someone cares. I never understood that until I went. They carry around the letters and pictures that we write like badges of honor. Each one stops me and asks if I know their sponsor. They are so proud of the very little they have and are truly so happy to have a bed to sleep in, to be able to go to school and to get to eat warm meals.
If you are on the fence about joining us on a sponsor trip, I hope this encourages you to join us! The bond that the group going forms is hard to describe. This last group was the most diverse group of people and yet I left feeling like I was leaving family. I truly felt like I came home from Africa last year with a lot more perspective on what was truly important in my life. I truly don’t plan to ever miss another trip!
– Brea Freeman