"Many of you have received letters, emails, and church announcements of youth going on mission trips all over the world, asking for donations. Especially in the church and in Christian communities we all want to make a difference and make the world a better place to live in for all. I felt that I had a strong call to do this in my life as well. Unfortunately, as I went on more and more mission trips, I began to become skeptical of how much we were actually changing and how much we were actually doing more damage than good. I was spending thousands of dollars to make communities of people in other countries dependent on what I had to bring or provide for them. Whether you agree with this or not it set off a red flag in my brain for the way I looked at missions. So, I took a break from going on missions trips. I attend Southeastern University where mission trips are highly encouraged and very prominent. I spoke with someone in leadership about my hesitation towards missions and she encouraged me to read the book “When Helping Hurts: Alleviating the Poverty Without Hurting The Poor...And Ourselves” by Brian Fikkert and Steve Corbett. I highly encourage this read to anyone interested in the subject. She also encouraged me to look into the different missions trips and missions organizations that were working with my school. Still hesitant, I explored a trip going to Kenya over spring break. God placed Kenya on my heart when I was a little girl and I have prayed for the country ever since. To my amazement, the leader of this trip to Kenya informed me that we would be working with an organization called 410 Bridge. This organization is the very organization that is based off of the book “When Helping Hurts”. If that is not a confirmation from God I don’t know what is. 410 Bridge looks at missions very differently from any other mission’s organization. They are currently empowering communities in Haiti, Uganda, and of course Kenya. There is a group of staff members in the US that works with the staff in the different countries. However, the part that makes it unique is that us in the US wait for the communities in these countries to pull us there as opposed to us trying to push them to change. The community will draw up a plan for what they need most such as clean water, school houses, healthcare, economy, help providing jobs for the women, or spiritual development of the community. This plan enables the community to build and keep up these systems on their own. They pull us there and we simply come alongside them to help with what they need. This way of planning brings a community together, builds a lasting improvement to the community and builds relationships between the workers of 410 and the communities. In going on this trip I will get to join in with this exciting and life changing organization as it makes a lasting impact. The community we will be working with in Kenya is called Kiu. This community is two and a half hours away from the capital of Nairobi. With trade and marketing being their main economy in Kiu, accessibility to clean drinking water has been their main concern. There was a water plan started and distribution programs are now in place. 410 Bridge is now working with the pastors of this community on The Rejoice Project. This project works with kids on their spiritual development, teaching them biblical principles and morals to the primary level school children. This will most likely be the area of work in which I will be assisting on this trip. It is such an honor to be able to spread the love of Christ while teaching children the bible, knowing that they will be able to teach their children in the future. For those of you who freaked out when I said Africa: Kenya is in East Africa, not West Africa, where the recent Ebola outbreaks have occurred. This means that it is more than a United States length away from where the outbreaks have been in West Africa. We have been much closer to Ebola here in America than the people of Kenya have been. As for the conflict in Somalia, country that borders Kenya, Kiu is not close to the border of Kenya. We will have a Kenyan 410 Bridge staff person with us at all times who knows the area very well. We will also have an American 410 Bridge staff person with us at all times as well, of which I have already met. His name is Micah and he has been helping us plan our trip. These staff members, along with our team leader and assistant leader will guide us and make sure that we are being safe at all times. There is a great deal of prototype that is followed regarding conflict, disease, transportation, etc. put in place by 410 Bridge in order to keep us safe. To learn more about the organization you can go to 410Bridge.org. If you would like to donate to my missions trip you can donate quickly and easily online here and write “Kenya B- Hayley Teague in the “comments” section. "

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