It is truly amazing to me that I am even in Kenya right now. It blows my mind when I think about the process of my prayers and finding MOAM. I had been praying about wanting to do a mission trip, but wasn’t sure how likely that would be or when it would be. Little did I know a few weeks later while scrolling through twitter I would find the answer to my prayers. It was like the Lord literally just put it right in front of my face because still to this day can’t remember exactly how I found the information. The first thing I read was that the trip was for student managers. Check. The second was the financial support that MOAM provided. Check. The only thing I needed financially was about to be supported by an internship a friend had just informed me I could do with her. Check. Answered prayer, after answered prayer…after answered prayer; I had to go. There were too many open doors God gave to me not to apply.
Words aren’t enough to capture Gods grace that has swept over me already while here in the village. A year ago, I would be planning to get with friends for the fourth of July. Instead I am happily surrounded by one hundred children with their contagious laughter and smiling faces. The past week God has given me the strength to overcome even the smallest tasks that I wouldn’t have had the confidence to do before. Leading with this team of managers has meant the world to me. Being in a community with people who have the same passion for sports and to serve The Lord warms my heart.
The first few days here we got to jump right into teaching some basketball. I was pumped to teach them defense and share what my high school basketball coach had always taught us. I told all the kids to scream ENTHUSIASM then slap the ground to get them low in the defensive stance and for more intensity. Later that evening a group of kids ran up to me screaming “ENTHUSIAM,” and hit the ground with a huge smile on their face looking up to me showing me what they’ve learned. It was music to my ears and put a huge smile on my face. Being able to share that with them, knowing they want to actually learn and listen to what you are saying feels so good. That’s the thing that gets me with these kids. They are so eager to listen to what you have to tell them. They want to learn new skills. Its fun teaching them because they smile, have fun, and take nothing for granted. Even evenings watching them play ping-pong or dancing and learning new songs with them has been a blast. They have enthusiasm for the life that God has given them. Nothing else matters on earth to them but knowing who gives them their strength each day.
What we are doing here isn’t at all what I thought it was going to be like. I knew I was going to have to step out of my comfort zones and have more confidence in my faith than ever before. With the love of these children and the maturity of their faith, I have completely set aside all that I assumed and have been all ears to them. They have honestly showed me how mighty our God is. Just being in the presence of these kids has helped me to process my walk with the Lord and has shown me His love for me. All these kids do is love you. I won’t go ten steps walking around this village without someone yelling my name and waving like they didn’t just see me thirty minutes ago. I’ve been able to slow time down while being here and have learned to be still with the Lord.
We have built so many good relationships with these kids. It is definitely going to be hard to say goodbye at the end of this coming week. Even between us MOAM managers it has been such a fulfilling experience. Having brothers and sisters in Christ, serving our God and growing in our faith has been eye opening for me. This whole trip I have been on cloud nine, and I can’t thank The Lord enough for bringing me here. I hope to share what God has done for me when I return to the states and how special that these kids are. They will always have a special place in my heart.
-Mallory Retherford, Ohio Women's Basketball
To God Be The Glory!