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Twelve years in the making - Jesse's Story

October 2, 2015

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Jesse's Summer

February 23, 2016


Have you ever been to a place that felt so incredibly familiar that you started to believe it was your home? Well, that’s how I felt when I went to South Africa last October. If you read my blog post from earlier, you probably understand how big of a deal this was. It was a trip I had wanted to take for twelve years and God finally answered my prayers.


My trip to South Africa was nothing short of remarkable. God taught me so much about being a hope to the hopeless even when I didn’t feel like I had any hope myself. The Spirit of the Lord is so alive in Sweetwaters. It was especially evident in the lives of the mentors, the local men and women who care for the children in the community. Many of the children come from child-headed households, so it is extremely important that they have these godly mentors to look up to when life seems desolate. I was privileged enough to get to know these people on a personal level, and I miss them everyday.


When I came back from Sweetwaters, my heart was heavy with the thought that I would never see my South African friends again. I thought it would be cool to spend a summer in a foreign country but, in my disbelief, I quickly dismissed the idea. I want to pause to say that I believe what it says in Ephesians 3:20, “Now to him who is able to do immeasurably more than all we ask or imagine, according to his power that is at work within us.” The phrase “immeasurably more” shapes the rest of my story.


During Thanksgiving break my boss and very dear friend, Katherine Fahling, called me. She excitedly told me that an intern position was available with Restoration Hope’s partner ministry in South Africa and if I wanted it, I could spend the summer in South Africa. I couldn’t believe what I heard. God had yet again paved the way for me to go back to the place I love.


So friends, this summer I’ll be going back to South Africa. I’ll be there for six weeks partnering alongside local mentors in the community as they bring hope and restoration to the people of Sweetwaters. I am incredibly in awe of The Lord’s mercy in my life and how he chooses to use screwed up people like me. This summer is going to be amazing and I can’t wait to see how the Lord moves.



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