A Second Home for Some

September 13, 2017 4:05 pm Published by

To me, going to JBFC always seemed like one of those things that other people do. I never thought it was meant for me. I’m someone who enjoys being in the comfort of their own home, surrounded by people I know, and it seemed like such a stretch to go halfway across the world to a place I had never been and be around people I had never met.

I decided to take a leap of faith my junior year of high school and sign up to go to JBFC. I wish I had a huge story and realization that made me go, but I don’t. I just decided, and that was that. Fast forward a couple months and I was about to board a 14 hour plane ride, already going on day two of traveling, and honestly, in the midst of exhaustion, I was wondering what I had gotten myself into. We arrived at JBFC at about 10 at night. We were exhausted and ready for some much needed sleep. I woke up the next morning, a Sunday, and walked down the steps to the girls’ dining hall. I stepped inside and I was overcome immediately with a feeling of comfort- I was home. Any doubts and discomfort went away in that single moment. I was overwhelmed with the love I received by people who had just met me. I felt like I had known them for years. 
That whole day was full of firsts for me. The first time meeting the girls, seeing the campus, and most importantly, my first prayer time. At the end of every day, everyone gathered in the girls’ home dining hall and the girls sang prayer songs and prayed for what they chose. Although I couldn’t understand most of it, it was my favorite part of that day; and every day after that. That day was the start of a love and passion that grows more and more everyday that I spend on the campus.

Coming home from these trips, I often get questions from people like: “Did that change your life?” and “Do you appreciate everything you have so much more now?” and the short answer is yes. But it’s much more than that. I appreciate my life in America, yes, but my life when I’m on campus in Tanzania is full. It’s obviously very different from life in the United States, but I’ve never been around so many positive, genuinely happy people. The energy and love that they exude is so captivating –  it’s something that I’m missing from my life in America. It’s what makes JBFC the hardest place to leave.

Guest Blogger, Laurel S., is a two-time volunteer with JBFC, first coming as a participant on a high school trip, then most recently visiting this past summer as a participant on our first-ever Experience JBFC trip.  Laurel is currently studying at the University of Kansas. 

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This post was written by Mainsprings