by Captain Debra Osborn
A few short years ago I was sitting in my living room reading my email and a new message popped up. I clicked and couldn’t believe what I saw. I was going to Africa! In the busyness of life, I had nearly forgotten about applying to the women’s ministries mission team to Kenya, Africa.
Our team of 10 to Kenya was united in ministry and purpose as we bathed our trip plans and ministry in prayer sitting in Colonel Dawn Heatwole’s (then-territorial secretary for women’s ministries) living room. There was excitement and anticipation as we got to know each other better and prepared for the trip.
One of the main events we were a part of was the Kenya West Territorial Women’s Camp. We were astounded to see the Kenyan women who had traveled great distances with everything they needed including bed rolls to more comfortably sleep on cement floors, firewood to cook food and buckets to collect well water. As we got to know the ladies and participated in meetings we realized they brought much more: powerful spirit-filled attitudes ready to praise the Lord. We could see it through their singing, timbrel routines and dancing—lots of dancing!
Nothing could prepare us for our visit to Joyland, a school for the physically impaired and Libos, a school for the blind. While there we enjoyed music, fellowship and meals together. In spite of their physical challenges, the people here demonstrated an indescribable joy only the Lord could give.
The entire trip was a blessing, but one moment was unforgettable to me. I had the opportunity to pray with a Kenyan woman during a Sunday morning altar call. We were facing each other with our hands held toward heaven. Although we were praying in our native languages, there was a connectivity there I can’t fully describe. It was the most powerful moment I have experienced. We were one, and God knew exactly what both of us were saying.
For any of you on the fence about joining a women’s mission team, I would encourage you with my whole heart to apply. It will be worth it, and it will change you forever.
Major Debra Osborn prays with a Kenyan woman during an altar call