This week I have had a bit of backlash over my trip.  So much so that I am writing this entry with tears running down my face. So I am sorry if this is poorly written.

Tonight, I have been told that what I am doing is a huge waste of money and that I obviously just want a free trip to Kenya paid for by other people.  This all came out of an innocent tweet to the guys of  the #rugbyunited community wondering if anyone could donate prizes to the raffle.

I am happy to take on board people’s opinions and yes, there are people to help closer to home and yes it is costing a reasonable amount of money to get out there.  But what is it to them how I spend my own money and if people want to donate, (a number of people do and have, for which I am very, very thankful. full on thank you post coming soon) then great!

You all know that this whole trip has come from a belief in God and a word I received back near Easter.  This isn’t a ‘oooooooooooh I fancy going to Africa, how can I get people to pay for me to go’ kind of thing.  No, this is something I have had on my heart for a while and want to do something about.  If I had no ties in the UK I would quit my job and go out there for an extended period to help as much as I can, even establish my own charity or look into ways of aiding others.  These are both things I want to do in the future and yes, this trip may indeed help that but my primary reason for going is to fulfil something God placed on my heart.

It’s strange because just this evening I was discussing with my Church the idea of being judged and persecuted for your faith.  Now, I don’t mean persecution in the ways of old where you are fed to the lions.  I mean suffering for your faith in a modern way.  Being bullied at school or work for being a Christian, not getting a job because you refuse to work Sunday’s, being left out by your friends because they are doing something you don’t agree with through faith.  During the discussion I could honestly say that I hadn’t found this so  far on my faith journey.  Today I fear that changed.  I feel like anything I say to this person is going to be shot down, I have been told that my Christian attitude is terrible and all I am doing is ‘helping my own soul’.  I have never ever been judged in the way this person judged me today.  To be told they hope I do not need the NHS any time soon is just disgusting, almost hinting at meaning the opposite of what he stated.  I haven’t publicised what has happened in my private life recently but what I will say is I have never been more thankful for the work of the NHS and other emergency services.

So, to clarify and put to rest any doubts that any of you may have… I am not going to Kenya to swan around and maybe do a day in an orphanage to make me feel better.  I am also not doing this to “cleanse my soul” so to speak or even at the detriment of a UK-based charity.  In fact, the only reason I have gone public with this whole trip isn’t to say ‘look at me look how amazing I am’  goodness knows I wouldn’t do that! (why would I need to, I am awesome enough already 😉 ) I wet public to see if I could raise some funds to help me get out there to make a difference to these kids lives.  I do it at home for Kids Church, why not for others?!  I am loving the support that I have got so far.  People are amazing.  Your kind contributions will not only be making an immediate difference to me getting there, they will also help provide much-needed equipment for the kids and care workers alike!

3 responses »

  1. Hi Gemma, I was fascinated to read your latest post. You certainly didn’t need to clarify the situation with anyone who either knows you or has any heart for mission. I have been in the mission field, mostly in practical work, for long enough to know that there are people out there who will never understand what it is you do, simply because they do not want to understand. When I first left the UK in ’96 to embarque on short term mission in India, also in an orphanage, I was hit with lots of derisive and discouraging comments. I could certainly coped better without them, and as some of them came from people who were very close to me and it was hard to put up a thick skin to them. The only way I found of coping with it was to accept that that person couldn’t understand and I had to pray for them where they were at. Going on full time service, even if only for a few weeks sure adds to your prayer list! I’m currently living abroad while my husband is retraining as a ‘plane mechanic with the ultimate goal of working for Mission Aviation Fellowship (possibly also in Kenya). I had some real ‘wars’ with people who had no desire to understand what we wanted to do. I think I tackled them better this time, set my face to the plough and carried on, so to speak. But I just wanted to encourage you to keep going and not be surprised when the Devil chucks these things at you. Be ready for them, and keep going. Love, Celia

    • Hey Celia,
      Thanks so much for your comment it means a lot. Most people have been so so supportive, people I know and don’t know but last night what was said got to me! I am a lot more calm about it today and think I can handle anything!
      Thank you so much for your support it is amazing!

  2. Hey beautiful lady,

    I have looked at your blog for the first time today and read all posts in one go. (Very well written by the way!)

    I know how much this means to you so don’t let anyone dis-hearten you. Obviously you know that I do a lot of charity work myself, I’m volunteering in tomorrow for example, and you know all about my orphanage and how Mark and I are going there in the summer in leiu of a beach/city holiday, so you know I would always support you anyway, especially as one of my best friends! When people have been sceptical about the motives behind charitable work in the past my response has always been I don’t care what peoples motives are, who cares if it makes them feel good, the important thing is the good that the charitable work is doing and difference they are making. Go knowing that you will be making a difference to those children and that is all that matters.

    Love you xxx

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