Back to Africa I go. Here in the Pittsburgh airport I’m waiting to board the first flight of many over the next few weeks. People kept asking me if I was excited to go back, and I said yes, but I’d been so busy planning and getting ready that I hadn’t really taken the time to for it to sink in. In looking back at my journal entries from six months ago, I just realized that God has granted me so many blessings and answered so many of my prayers. I said I wanted a job where I could live close to family and friends but go back to Africa a few times a year—and here I am! Working for E4p, Inc, I feel equipped to take on the challenges that are presented to me; I have flexibility in my work but am still held to high expectations.

I work with people who I genuinely love and who love me and care for my well being and personal growth. They guide and mentor me, but are never condescending. I get to do work on programs that help people move from poverty to self-sufficiency both in my beautiful home state of WV and in my second home in Africa, and I’m continuing to grow my global family as I explore new places. I work with people who ‘get it,’ people who have minds for business but hearts for charity.

Funny how I forget to recognize or be grateful for how lucky I am sometimes. While there are struggles to overcome, I know when I look back I will be thankful because they made me stronger. When I tell people that I’m directing a nonprofit organization, they tend to look at me skeptically and then ask “So wait, is this a student group?” or “Ohh you went to WVU. What year did you graduate?” or any number of other not-so-subtle hints suggesting that my age disqualifies me from such a title. Well, I’ll let them think what they want. I learned a lot last year, and the truth is I still have a lot more learning to do and I know it. But ya know what? I’m up for the challenge. Let’s do this. Year Two of Discovery and Renewal in Africa begins!