Zambia Mission Trip
I am thrilled to inform you that Taylor Pike and Greg Harris are going on a mission trip to Zambia this summer. The trip is in integral step in their spiritual growth. The following is a message from Taylor and information about how you can donate to the Zambia trip.
"When I was 12 years old, I decided I wanted to be a missionary. I was on a rickety old bus, traveling on half-paved roads and bridges with no guard rails, in the countryside of western Russia. My church had organized a mission trip to an orphanage, where we would travel to Russia and hold a Vacation Bible School program. When the trip was announced during a church service, my grandmother and shared a knowing glance, and she immediately signed us up.
Six months later, I boarded my first airplane and we flew to Moscow. When we arrived at our hotel, about six hours away from Moscow, I was dead tired and ready for a shower. When I turned on the faucet, I was greeted with mud rather than water. I promptly told my grandmother it was time to go home! Of course, she said no, which turned out to be one of the most important decisions she ever made on my behalf.
On our first day at the orphanage, I met a girl name Karina, who was just about my age. Over the course of the week, through broken translations and smiles, we became friends. She showed me her bunk, photos of her parents, and all the belongings she still had from home.
On the day I left, just as we were loading up the rickety bus for the last time, she broke through the crowd, calling my name. She handed me a photo she had shown me a few days before, of her sitting on her father’s lap, and a thin silver ring. Through our translator, Karina told me that it was a ring her mother had given her prior to giving her up at the orphanage, and that she wanted me to have it.
Immediately, I took off the gold promise ring my mother had given me and exchanged it with her. Using one of the only English words she knew, Karina told me “goodbye” and embraced me in a hug that could never have lasted long enough.
Sitting on the bus back to town, I wept as I watched the orphanage disappear behind me. At that moment, even in my 12 year old mind, I knew that I had experienced something that most people don’t experience in a lifetime. I decided that, no matter what happened in my life, one day I would return to the mission field in the hope that I could bring the love and kindness that Karina showed me, a total stranger, to others around the world.
As I grew older, I kept Karina’s ring on my hand and her picture on my wall, but I grew apart from the God who brought her into my life in the first place. Due to deeply painful personal experiences, as well as abusive experiences in church, I abandoned my faith completely.
For more than ten years, I floated from city to city, religion to religion, heartbreak to heartbreak. In September 2018, after uprooting my life in St. Louis and moving to Kansas City (a place I swore up and down I’d never live), I heard a call. Sometimes it would be a whisper, sometimes it would be a line in a song, sometimes it would be a feeling deep down in my body, telling me over and over again that I was not alone and that I had never, for even a moment, been forsaken or forgotten. The more I ran from the call, the more it followed me and the more frequent it became. God’s love enveloped me and my resistance finally broke. It was like a dam broke, and God came rushing in, clearing out hate, pain, and anger, and replacing it with the most powerful love I’ve ever felt.
So, here I am again. With this newfound love in my heart, I’m heading to Zambia. For two weeks, my husband and I will build relationships, share our personal stories, and learn from the residents of a remote village. My only goal with this trip is to give and receive love, because God first loved me. I’m keeping my eyes and my heart open, waiting patiently for God to provide the means to make this trip happen. I am so thankful for your financial and spiritual support, and I’m so excited to see what God will do with this trip.
Since I started attending Broadway, I have discovered a new family. It’s unlike any “church family” I’ve encountered in the past. The family at Broadway loves everyone regardless of their beliefs, race, gender, ethnicity, sexual orientation, or income level. At Broadway, everyone is equal. Many churches try to say that they welcome everyone, but with Broadway, it’s actually true. Whenever I come to church, I feel immediately at home and welcome. I have received so much kindness and care from people who, until a few months ago, didn’t know I existed. I feel like it’s a family that grows together, prays together, celebrates together, mourns together, and, most importantly, stays together. I’m so proud to call Broadway my home church, and I really hope that I can make my new family proud with the love I plan to share with others on my trip to Zambia."
Click here to donate by including Taylor Pike and/or Greg Harris in the memo field. You are also welcome to submit cash and checks to Broadway Church with Taylor or Greg's name in the memo line. I am excited to support their spiritual journey! Won't you join me?