Why Exchange Students?
In the fall of 2013 and in the fall of 2014 the Lord opened opportunities for me to go to Africa. It changed me. Never in my life had I been exposed to such a different life.
While the lives of the people struck me to the core and the lives of the missionaries challenged me to live a life that makes a difference there was nothing quite like the faces of the children.
They live in a place that offers little opportunity. They are beautiful, smart and so curious about life. They wanted to sing and laugh and dance and play and create and listen and see what new things they might learn from us… the Americans.
While I am not naïve enough to think that America.. with our broken lives and hurting culture… would solve any problems that these children might face I do believe that we STILL live in the land of opportunity and freedom. We have amazing families that live through terrible circumstances and still have faith that things will improve.
We have resources and experiences that people in many countries do not have, and we CAN make a difference in the life of a student. So many want to be doctors, lawyers and teachers. They want to learn English so that they can be effective in more than just their native tongues and they are eager to learn.
We can help them to see that education is worth it and that there’s something placed within us by the almighty hand of the Living God that tells us that there’s right and wrong, good and bad and that there’s love. Amazing, life giving love!
When I went through the airport in South Africa, I stopped at an airport restaurant to buy a water and prepared to board my flight. Two South African girls working behind the counter asked me where I was going and I said, “America.” Their faces! They lit up with the biggest smiles and they said, “We don’t want to move there. We just want to see it. Just one time, could we come with you?”
I have never forgotten that.
I have a friend that works for the exchange student program that I am now employed by. When she posted on Facebook that they were looking for host families those two hopeful faces came to my mind. Our home needs some repairs and so we are working on that in hopes that we can bring a student to stay with us for the academic school year.
No doubt, there will be issues arise. It won’t always be easy and there will be differences to work through. In my mind, nothing worth having is easy all the time.
I’m just excited to see what God has for our family and it is my prayer that I can impact more than one life through this exciting opportunity to be God’s hands and feet to the world! One child at a time.