By Dawn Reed
I had lunch with the neatest young lady last week. She is setting out on an adventure and I couldn’t wait to hear all about it. We feasted on Mexican food as she filled me in.
I love to hear people’s stories. (My kids make fun of me for asking so many questions.) I had lots of questions for Katie, my young friend.
Katie, had just graduated from UK the night before and is excited about her future. It’s not the usual college grad’s plans. First, she is heading to Haiti to help with a Bible camp there. (It’s not her first trip and she had to raise the money herself!)
I asked how she picked Haiti for her mission trip. (Let’s be honest, there are lots of places to go.) She attends Southland Christian Church in Lexington, KY. They offer several opportunities and in 2015, she felt compelled to sign up for one. She had narrowed it down to two places in Haiti, finally choosing Ouanaminthe. (It turned out to be the same city and school where we served for a few summers! How cool is that! And what are the chances?!) While there, her team helped the students with their English and painted some of the classrooms. She was a little nervous about going when it came down to it, but helping the children and those in need stirred something inside her. Though she went back home after a while, she took Haiti with her in her heart.
In a few weeks, she will return to Ouanaminthe. She is looking forward to seeing the children and adults she met two years ago.
After returning from her mission trip to Haiti, Katie will be joining the staff of CSF, Christian Student Fellowship, on campus at the University of KY. (Of course, I had lots of questions. This was an unusual path for a brand new graduate.) She told me the ‘why’. When Katie was a college freshman, it was a bit of an adjustment. She had been a good student in high school, making good grades throughout. When she got to college, she had to re-learn how to study. It was a struggle. Her “A’s” turned to “C’s” and she panicked. It was a very stressful time. As her grades fell, so did her self-esteem. It fell to below a “C”.
One of Katie’s friends invited her to a Bible study at the CSF. She got involved with a small group where they were doing a Beth Moore Bible study. That study was cool water to her parched soul. It helped her realize that she had made her self-worth dependent on her performance, a.k.a. her grades. It was a life-altering, eye-opening moment. Through that Bible study, she found that she was invaluable and very much loved by God-no matter what. The peace she gained was priceless. She stayed in the small group and Bible study and…her self-worth rose along with her grades.
This school year, Miss Katie wants to help college Freshmen find the peace she found. She wants to be an encourager, a helper to those who are adjusting to a new way of life on campus. She wants to share Jesus with them and the world! That’s an amazing thing! She’s definitely not doing it for the money. Instead of trying to make as much cash as possible at this point in her life, she is responsible for raising the funds to support herself. (I haven’t talked to her family, but I’m sure some of them think she’s crazy.)
Before we left, I wanted to pray with her-for her trip, for her future, and that God would meet her needs financially. I told her my resources are not very big, but I have friends. (I hope they will help.) As we bowed our heads to pray, my son called, which was unusual. I muted it knowing I could return it in a few minutes.
In the car, I called him back. Some of his co-workers had liked the banana bread he had taken to work several weeks ago. They asked if I would make them some more and were willing to pay for it. Normally, I would say absolutely not, that I would pay for the ingredients myself. But, I thought of Katie. I said, “I will be glad to and it will go in the ‘Katie 2 Haiiti’ fund!” We had just prayed about that!
I’m so proud of Katie! She is 22 years old and is following God! While many times we get caught up in making a living, she has decided she would rather make a difference!
So, my friends, if you would like to be a part of Katie’s adventure and help her by praying and/or financially, email me at [email protected] I’ll get you in touch with her. We can help her change the world!