Olivia's Kenya Experience

Hi all! My name is Olivia Gahan, and I was fortunate enough to be a part of the first ever international mission trip taken to Kenya with our Southwest campus!

My week in Kisumu was truly the best week of my life so far. Words can hardly explain the experience that I got to have. There are so many beautiful aspects of Africa that you always hear about but can not be understood fully until you get to actually be a part of it. The people of Kenya are the most welcoming, hospitable, beautiful, and faithful group that I have ever encountered. Getting to do life with them for a week was such a blessing that has shaped me and the way that I will live my life forever from now on. Beyond the most amazing thing that I have ever gotten to witness would have to be the prayer that I saw and heard. The way that the Kenyan people pray is just so real and honest.

One of my favorite days there was the day that our group split up and went with some of the pastors from the local churches into homes of those that they knew needed encouragement. My group was the last to be dropped off. We went up to the home and saw that the family wasn’t home. So we walked across the slums to get to another house where that family was also not home, which was unusual for them. We went further than planned to a woman’s house who was not expecting us at all named Elizabeth. Elizabeth was a young grandmother who occasionally volunteered in the worship band at the church right by her home. She didn’t speak English very well at all so the pastor we were evangelizing with had to translate for us. She told us a bit of her testimony- that she was in a bad car wreck in which the families in front and behind of her were both killed and her entire family came out without a scratch. She very soon after dedicated her life to Christ and was such a beautiful role model. At the end she went around the circle and prayed for all of us in her language. What felt like 10 minutes turned into an hour. I personally have never felt such a closeness and desperation for God my whole life more than in that very moment.

It would take a whole lot more than this story to tell you all that God did in Kenya that week. The best thing that I can tell you is to go and experience it for yourself. It will undeniably be the best thing you will ever do. Thank you for reading and God bless!!

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