Editor's Note: This post was written by Anne Marie Harris, a 2012 Project GO! volunteer who served in Kenya. She originally published the post on her blog.
It's that time of year again! This time last year my heart was sold to interning with Project GO! and I was filling out an application for the summer. It makes me smile just thinking about how I had no idea how much I was about to experience. And I feel blessed with the opportunity to share my experiences with you. To share my friends' stories. To share my heart and how the Lord worked in it in a way I've never experienced. So in hopes of doing, without going on for pages and pages, here are a few things (of thousands) you will experience if you intern with Project GO!:
1. There will be laughter. Sometimes so much laughter that your stomach hurts, aka belly laughin'. One of my sweet friends, Zippi, laughed with her whole soul. Her whole body would shake and she would burst out a laughter that could be heard for miles. Her smile brought life to everyone around her. There will be so much laughter.
2. There will be people surrounding you that will show you what working hard and doing it well looks like. The staff do all they can to teach their kids. And the children view school as a gift, not an obligation. You will see so many people working hard.
3. There will be lots of dancing. Because when you have so much peace and joy in this life, God makes you dance. There will be dancing of the heart and in your spirit as He does work in your life. There is nothing sweeter than dancing with these babies.
4. There will be joy. Joy goes further than happiness, it takes over your whole heart and body. That joy will overflow from you and pour out onto others. I've never experienced joy like this. This kind of joy, that fills your heart so full is from seeing this joy in the hearts and lives of those around you. There will be so much joy.
5. There will be giving. Of your heart, your attention, your time, your strength. You will be exhausted at the end of the day because you don't know how you gave all that you had. God wakes you up the next morning with the desire to give again, because He has faithfully refilled you. You will give all that you can for your babies and for the people around you. Selflessly and intentionally.
6. There will be new lessons for you to learn. How to love your neighbor well, how to love your God more faithfully, how to give your life fully for Him. You will be humbled. And you will be taught by your kids and will see Jesus in them.
7. There will be prayer. You will fall on your face before the Lord because you are weak, inadequate, and you can't do anything without Him. You will cling to prayer and what a sweet time talking with the Father.
8. There will be sweet little hands, little hearts, little babies. You will get to hold and hug and love these little hands.
9. There will be babies who have never heard how loved they are before. You will get to tell these babies how loved they are by God, by their families, and by you. Loving these babies with my whole heart has been one of the sweetest things God has blessed me with. God calls them each by name, and seeing their face light up when you call them by name will bring you so much joy.
10. There will be poverty that breaks your heart. There will be kids who don't have shoes, there will be kids who don't have parents. By our worldly standards, they are poor. But they are so rich in love. Rich in their love for God and for others. Money doesn't fix us or make our lives whole, Jesus does.
11. There will be beautiful animals. Of all kinds. And lots and lots of adventuring! There will be times when you question how cool the zoo's back home are... because they have nothing on the giraffes and elephants orphanage.
12. There will be tears. The good kind and the sad kind. There will be tough goodbyes. You will have to swallow back your tears and your fear of the unknown. And trust that though you are leaving this sweet place, God is not. It won't be easy to leave, but you will leave with a deep sense of thankfulness and peace in the Lord. You will wonder what your babies are doing right now, or if they are doing well. You will have dreams of returning back. But God is the great protector, and He is faithful. And that's what I rest in. There will be tears.
13. There will be growth. God puts a calling on your heart to serve and He will be faithful in that. He will provide. There will be challenges. But with those challenges, there will be growth. You will grow into the person God has created you to be. How sweet that is.
14. There will be community. How thankful I am for Liz and Hannah and the community we had in Kenya. There will be friendship and a bond formed on the foundation of God. This community will bring you joy, encourage you, and leave you with lots to be thankful for.
15. There will be beauty. In everything that surrounds you. In what God has created. God is in these countries. You may be traveling to serve God and teach others about Him, but make no mistake, He is already there. He is dwelling in the lives, He is seen in the sunsets and in the smiles. He is there. And I am so thankful for that.
If you'd like to serve for this next summer, check out: ItsYourMission.com.
We're excited to share with you all the ways you can shine hope to vulnerable children and families around the world. We invite you to stay connected with us while also growing in your own faith.
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