In my upcoming book to released this coming Spring 2015, I talk about my journeys around the world on short-term mission trips. Sadly, when I signed up for my first mission trip, I did so out of more fascination with an unknown world than a desire to tell people about my Savior. In this book, I share what I learned from the people I met in various countries through my photographs and written words.
Here is a small clip from my first chapter, "Unexposed":
I did not go on my first mission trip to tell anyone about my Savior.
Sadly, the idea of having my own photographs of a foreign life entranced me. Little foreign children scurrying around my feet made me giddy. And having a purse made in a foreign country and not just shipped to the United States with the sticker, “Made in China” got me to sign up for my first mission trip.
One summer, a friend of mine, Hannah, came home after working in Zambia for a month. We grabbed some popcorn, jumped on her bed, and stories rambled from her mouth for hours. She told me two stories I would never forget—two stories that changed my life.
She told me about a little Zambian girl who pulled her aside one day while on the campground. After they found a secluded place, tears began to flood the little girl’s eyes. Her silent sobs turned into raging tears. Terrified of what might happened if she told someone, she cried in my friend’s arms for hours. Eventually, the little girl shared what happened each night after her parents went to sleep. The witch in the village coaxed the little girl outside of the hut. For the next couple hours, the witch would try to force her and other children to eat human meat and sip on human blood, so demonic spirits would possess her.
Is this what happened in all foreign countries? Were they all really this dark? My thoughts exploded like a spilt bag of ping-pong balls. I could not gather my thoughts.
Sitting on her bed, Hannah shared another story. Another day at the camp, a lady ran up during worship time. Foam dripped from her mouth and her eyes bulged, as if she was about to combust. A group of leaders ran over to see the woman. The woman collapsed on the ground, with her hands and legs violently convulsing. Her eyes rolled to the back of her head. Foam gurgled from her lips. The leaders shouted prayers over her. Minutes later, the name “Jesus” mumbled from her lips and everything ceased. Her vibrating body turned into a limp rag. Her eyes closed and her mouth relaxed. As someone squeezed her hand, she began to wake up, as if nothing had every happened.
After she slowly came to her feet, the leaders comforted her. As they sat and talked, the woman began to process this power of a Holy God. After experiencing His saving grace in that moment, she decided to become a follower of Christ.
In both of these stories, the fear of darkness led this little girl and this woman to run into the arms of God. But for me, as I heard these stories, I wanted to see these things for myself. I wanted to see the power of God in this explicit manner. Demon possessions, witches, and cannibalism shattered everything I had ever known. I had to go and see for myself if these stories were real.
If you have any questions or would like to help promote the book, please contact me at firstname.lastname@example.org