August 20, 2012

Outta Here.

Yup, it's moving day.

I have been slowly packing my bags and preparing for our big move across the web to a sweet little Wordpress site I like to call "A Newfound Vision."

I worked really hard on it for the purpose of making it enjoyable for all of us, and I really hope that you will join me as we begin this new adventure. I cannot wait to see where this little place takes us!

So, without further ado...

come on in!

August 10, 2012

(psst...wanna know a secret?)

I will tell people time and time again that blogging has changed my life. Project 195 has changed my life. You guys, ya'll  have changed my life. For real.

At first I thought that it didn't really do much, it was just that my faith really started to take flight about the same I started this little ole blog about 18 months ago.

But now I think it really did changed me.

Because of what I've learned from all of you, because I've had you to hold me accountable and because we've had amazing opportunities to pray for each other...I have grown closer with my Lord.

So now I've good news and bad news....

It's been a good year and a half, but Project 195 is retiring. This poor ole blog has seen awkward posts, countless makeovers, and has been abused and neglected more times than I should rightfully admit. I think it has served its time well.

On top of that, I just do not feel that reaching every country is my vision anymore. Maybe its something that I will pursue again one day, but for now, I am taking it one step at a time and seeing where God leads me.

Passions change, and 10th graders with braces and a servent's heart turn into seniors with big dreams and humble callings.

So.........does this mean that I am going away?

Absolutely not!

Why, I'm just moving across the web to a place of my own, and I've decided to call it

In just a short little while, I will leave this all behind for this cute little place called that I have been working, working, working on these past few weeks! I am so excited to share more with you and continue to grow as a community.

I have vowed to be more intentional about my blogging and about connecting with you guys, so I have a few things planned as a "housewarming" once we get all moved in and settled down.

Stayed over the next couple of weeks to learn more! :)

August 9, 2012

In Which I Meet My Sponsored Child and Don't Even Know It

I've got to tell you, meeting my sponsored child was probably the coolest experience ever. And I didn't even know it was him.

If you've been around for a while, you probably know about my obsession passion for sponsoring and supporting children in need through Compassion International.

When I went to Kenya, even though I knew I wouldn't be able to meet my sponsored children there (they were about 3 hours away), I secretly kept my eyes open for any Compassion projects. I thought it would be so neat just to see one and know that it was real.

Unfortunately, I never laid eyes on one (or at least, that's what I thought), and went home having never met a single Compassion assisted child (at least....that's what I thought).

I guess it was interesting to get an idea how my children were living. The conditions are about as you would think - devastating. But actually seeing and experiencing those conditions really breaks you.

After I got home, I knew I wanted to do more for this country. A part of my heart was left in Kenya, and I knew that I had to do something more based on the conditions I saw.

I did a little research to see if there happened to be any Compassion projects near the villages where I had been staying, Eburru and Njokerio.

Well, sure enough, there was a project in the little village of Njokerio, where I had stayed for 2 weeks. I'm not sure how I missed it, but it was there. And I was SO excited.

I called Compassion the next day to see if there were any available children from that center. Sure enough, three boys named John, John, and Victor were waiting.

Hmm, I met a Victor in Njokerio. Wouldn't it be crazy if that was him?

I chose to sponsor Victor, and even though I highly doubted that this was the boy I had met, a little part of me had hope. Even if it wasn't, it would still be cool to sponsor a kid in the same village I had lived in anyway.

A couple of days passed, and finally a new name appeared on my account.

It was him. I met him. And now I sponsor him.

This kid is seriously precious, guys. He lives with his aunt because his mom has passed away and his father is working in Nairobi. I remember him telling me that he was in class 6 and that his favorite subject was CRE (a class on Christian studies). I cannot wait to hear from him, I wonder if he will remember me!

I wish I had a picture of him from being when I met him, but unfortunately I did not have my camera with me that day.

So welcome Victor, I am so excited to get to know you more :)

August 8, 2012

Tonight, I Am Writing

I have successfully neglected my blog for a couple of weeks.

Partly because I have been crazy busy, partly because I have been processing Africa and adjusting back to America, and partly because I needed to take a blogging sabatical.

But tonight, I am writing. Here's more about my month in Kenya


While we were in Africa we stayed in 2 villages. The first one was Eburru, and it was gorgeous.

What we did there was work with a school through an organization called David's Hope. We taught preschool and upper grade chapels, lead worker devotions, moved a ton of bricks, and loved on a couple hundred sweet Kenyan babies while we were there. It was so much fun.

The second village we went to was a stark contrast to Eburru. It was called Njokerio, and it was located outside of Nakuru, a major city in Kenya.

It was very smoky and crowded, and the roads were awful. Several people on my team contracted malaria and most of us were sick during the two weeks we stayed. That part wasn't fun at all.

The ministry there, however, was super awesome. We did door-to-door evangelism in Njokerio and another village nearby, and we also had the opportunity to speak at several high schools.

Kenya was life changing, but it was also the hardest thing I've ever done. In all honesty, I wouldn't use the word "fun" to describe it. However, it's probably one of my most favorite experiences ever. I'll tell you why tomorrow. But for now, this high school senior (who started school yesterday, woot!) is going to bed.

July 25, 2012

The Beginning

When we landed in Kenya it was 8 at night. All I could see out the airplane window was skyscrapers and airplanes. We had to pull on ankle length skirts that we had brought in our carry-ons and bundle up - it was 50 degrees outside.

Customs was long and finding luggage took even longer. Maybe it was because I was exhausted or maybe I was just excited to be back on African soil. Everything seemed to be going in slow motion.

When we stepped outside and I breathed African air for the first time in a year, I knew I was home. The smell of Africa is impossible to describe. I guess the closest I can come to explaining it is that it is a mixture of dirt, fried food, and hope. Cheesy, yes. True....yes. Anyone who has been to Africa can testify.

We drove in the dark to a hostel where we would stay for the night before heading west in the morning. Our rooms had warm showers, beds, and real toilets - something we all took advantage of, knowing that our work would be in a village far away from modern day comforts.

The next day was when I got my first glimpse, my first impression of this country I would be living in for the next month.

Nairobi is like many cities we would see here in North America. If you never went beyond the giant billboards and fancy skyscrapers, you may never know anything different.

Once we left the city, however, things started to look different. That's when we entered the Kenya I had heard of.

I'm not going to lie. The poverty did not break me.

The mud houses, the streams of sewage, the lack of clean water and electricity.

No, that didn't break me.

The result of poverty broke me.

The stories that I will share in the next couple of week, stories of orphans like John and the unloved like Daduka, stories of Moses and Mercy and Victor and Frances.

Leaving Kenya having met children with no mother and uneducated women with no husband, watching babies pick through trash and act as beggars before they could speak, hearing men tell me that they sometimes went 2 weeks unable to feed their families and holding kids that would never, ever set foot in a school.

When tragedy smacked me in the face, that's what broke me.

And that's when God shined the brightest. Oh, the marvelous things He is doing in Kenya in the midst of brokenness. The great glory He is producing in redeeming souls, in rising up leaders, in bringing hope.

Oh, the ways He changed the depths of my heart. The ways He gave me a newfound vision.

You'll just have to stay tuned and see. It's so good.

July 23, 2012

In Which I Don't Know What to Say

On Saturday I crawled under the covers in my air conditioned room and said goodnight to America, then whispered it to Kenya as well.

I am home, but I'm not home.

My home is where John lives.

And where corn grows. Everywhere.

And with those sweet little people never get tired of counting to ten.

As I have told everyone here in America so far....
I'm glad to be home. For now.

But I have a feeling that I'll be on another airplane before too long, going "home"...wherever that may be.


Over the next few weeks I'll be sharing some of the crazy things God is doing in Kenya.It's hard to find the words to describe living in Africa for a month, but hopefully and I can give you a glimpse.

God is good, all the time. Bwana asifiwe.