Go 2018: Superheroes

Today, I was surrounded by superheroes.

One of the most impactful days of the trip was also one of the hardest.

Each year in South Africa, there are more deaths from starvation than HIV, Malaria and Tuberculosis combined. According to FAO, Africa has the highest prevalence of undernourishment — nearly 21% of the population is affected. Today, we worked to lessen that statistic.

We teamed up with Rise Against Hunger to pack meals for local families in need. We had two hours set aside in our day and a goal to pack 10,000 meals. Challenge accepted.

 

With an assembly line-style process filled with a lot of celebration, good music (with epic beat drops) and meals, in two hours we were able to pack boxes filled with 10,800 meals. That’s 10,800 people who will go to bed without feeling hunger for the night. That could be 10,800 lives that might be saved, just by having a meal in their bodies. Rise Against Hunger has a goal to end world hunger by 2030, and with days like these… I feel pretty confident that they’re on the right track.

As I’m wrapping up my last post about this trip, I’m heavily reflecting on my time and lessons learned.

The people we have met over here have truly taught me what it is to live. They are happy, loving and living every moment they have. They value community and know that with help, they can get things done. The children are full of energy, joy, imagination and they play and learn without a care in the world.

 

Build the Future has given people an opportunity to have a next step, daily tasks and new skills that could impact the lives of everyone that encounters this organization and then impact the lives of the people those people interact with. Very rarely in life do you experience first hand lives changing right in front of you; but I saw that every day here.

I would recommend a trip like this to anyone. This challenged me in ways I never thought would be possible. I grew without even realizing it and I’m coming back to the states with such a positive, hopeful view of the world with tangible steps I can take to do my part in making it better.

Thank you again to everyone that helped me get here. Please contact me if you’d like to learn more about my trip, see more photos, or share a story of your own. Get out there and explore!

 

If you’d like to see more info about Crossroads Go Trips, click here
To learn more about our incredible partner, Build the Future, click here
To share your own story, click here
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Go 2018: Progress and Preparation

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(November 16th 2018) – So the journey begins.

To everyone that played a part in helping me get here, thank you! I started off the morning exactly how you should with some coffee, prayer and Chick Fil A.

Preparing for this trip has really challenged me. Going into something with the expectation that you’ll be fully fund-raised by loved ones, strangers and anyone who is willing to donate money your way, is a lot of pressure. I’m the type of person that likes to handle things on my own, so I really had to embrace and run toward vulnerability for this trip.

Could I afford to pay the full cost? Probably; but that’s not the point.

Funding this trip without self-funding this trip was my challenge; and thanks to the wonderful people above, I was given pointers, support and guidance on how to reach out to my loved ones in a way stretched and pulled at my comfort level, but was still achievable. I saw support through people I would have never thought to ask and was shocked (in a great way) with the selflessness of others.

Being vulnerable is the last stop for most people. With the world we live in, it’s easy to build up walls and continue skating through life having surface-level conversations and not really embracing genuine connection. I aim to break that cycle.

Thanks to the incredible support whether monetary, with prayer or warm hugs, I’m typing this on a 16-hour flight to South Africa!

Going into this week, I am completely open and embracing vulnerability. I can’t even imagine what I’m about to experience and I am going into it with love, acceptance, capable hands and and an open heart.

I’m so excited to share this journey with you all and experience what God has in store for me and my group.

Only 13 hours and seven minutes to go. Let’s do this!

Go 2018: South Africa

Hi friends; I hope this finds you well! I wanted to quickly take a moment to share my journey with you.

During the week of Thanksgiving, I will be traveling with a group of 24 (or so) other members of Crossroads to Durban, South Africa. Over the course of the week, we will be partnering with Build the Future to help with two new preschools in the area.

Build the Future is transforming shipping containers into places of learning, joy and community. We will be helping paint murals, plant gardens, pack meals to feed families and provide anything else we can to our amazing partner.

Throughout my trip, I will be journaling about my experience and sharing it with you all through this blog. 2018 has brought such incredible change in my life and I am so excited to see what God has in store for my group in Africa.

If you’d like to learn more about this trip or other trips that you could be a part of, please reach out to me! Prayers always welcome.

Lots of love,

Matt