It takes a village to go on a missions trip. This is the story of Nyel and his “village”.
Toward the end of last school year, Harambee staffer Brandon Grant presented 7th grader, Nyel, with an exciting opportunity. A small group of students were being selected to attend a middle school missions trip hosted by Xenos Christian Fellowship to run a Soccer camp for at risk youth in Traverse City Michigan. Having had Nyel in various Bible studies at Harambee, Mr. B knew he would make a great addition to the team: “Nyel has been a dedicated member of the spiritual community and programs at Harambee and has shown a great commitment to the things of God. I knew he would make a great contribution to the trip.”
On Mr. B’s recommendation and despite his nerves, Nyel applied and was accepted to join the team. But that was just the first step. He still needed to find funding for his trip and take the appropriate classes to prepare him for effective short term missions.
One night at a local prayer meeting held at Xenos’ 4th Street Campus, another Harambee staffer shared about Nyel’s burden to serve and need for support. Upon hearing this, one generous couple who requested to remain anonymous, stepped up to sponsor Nyel, commenting, “We know what an impact missions trips can have on students by seeing our own children and their friends serving on those trips. We wanted Nyel to see how God can use him to work together with other students as the body of Christ; seeing and serving those less fortunate. “
With his application accepted and the funding raised, Nyel had just one final preparation to make. A weekly class was held for participants of the trip, but sharing the plight of 8th graders around the world, Nyel needed some vehicular assistance. Luckily, Nyel’s long time mentor and Harambee volunteer, Sam Kramer, was willing to give up his Sunday mornings in order to get Nyel to class each week.
Once June rolled around and his preparations were done, the time had come for Nyel to actually embark and serve. For one week, the team helped run a soccer camp and held Bible studies for students in need.
“It’s hard to decide what the most rewarding part of the trip was; I loved seeing the smile on the kids’ faces when we called their names at our final awards banquet. I was also able to get up and teach the Bible to the students and my friends. We brought students to Christ, made new friends, and grew closer to God.”
More than anything, Nyel is grateful to have such a supporting “village” in his life. Through Harambee staff, a generous donor, and a committed mentor, Nyel felt the love and support of the body of Christ around him, which enabled him to be a blessing to others on the trip.
To students thinking about going on future missions trips, themselves, Nyel’s advice is, “GO! They are life changing. It’s the best feeling to know that you could end up seeing someone you lead to Christ in Heaven.”