Aryn Allbright is a 19-yr-old college student from Odessa, Texas who attends Texas Tech University in Lubbock, Texas. She is excited about the opportunity to serve and meet the people of Bungoma, Kenya this September. Listen to her story:
A year ago if someone had told me I was going to be traveling to Kenya on a medical mission trip during the fall semester of 2013, I probably would have laughed. Looking back over the last year, I know God directed my steps and prepared me without me even realizing it.
In August of 2012, I left home to attend TTU to pursue my Bachelor of Nursing degree. I reluctantly decided to go through rush week to see if I might want to be a part of the Greek system at Tech. Much to my disappointment, the rush week left me feeling more confused than ever. I longed for new friends and to fit in on campus, but I wasn’t sure that this was where I needed to be. I prayed and prayed and prayed and…..you get the picture. At the end of the week I was offered a bid to the Zeta Tau Alpha Fraternity and I accepted. That decision set the foundation for me to experience so many new life situations and develop friendships with people from all different backgrounds. It also exposed me to a world of craziness, unashamed bad behavior, poor judgment and stupidity. Through those experiences, God taught me how to love more deeply and He deepened my relationship with Him throughout the semester. I am grateful for these experiences even though they were very difficult.
I survived my first semester and went home for the semester break intending to hide in the girl cave with my mom, watch TV, hang out with my brothers and dad and enjoy taking a break from the drama of school. During my month home, I began filling out applications for nursing school which were due before January 1st (for consideration of entry into nursing school for Fall 2013). I also received a call from some sorority sisters asking me to serve as chaplain for the upcoming year. I was honored to be asked, but was nervous about praying in front of so many people and leading a Bible study once a week. The month flew quickly by and soon I was on the road back to Lubbock for the spring.
About three weeks into the semester, I received a call at work telling me to go to the lodge immediately. When I and everyone else arrived, we were told that one of our pledge sisters tragically died from cardiac arrest early that morning. It was shocking and sad. I remember everyone’s stunned reaction. I still can’t think about how her parents must have felt to receive that phone call in the middle of the night. As chaplain, I immediately felt the responsibility of helping these sisters and friends pray and comfort one another. I have always been blessed with having faith in God and knowing I could turn to Him in any situation, but during this time I definitely felt a change and shift in my walk with God. I was able to speak and pray boldly. I could feel the Holy Spirit speaking and praying through me. My heart was opened and I began realizing my spiritual gifts, trusting God on a deeper level and allowing Him to use me in ways I never thought possible.
As the semester continued, I tried to make plans for the fall, but I still had not received any news from admissions for the nursing schools. Things continued along pretty normally and typically, yet I knew God was putting my life on a new course and that was being revealed to me daily. Around April I got an acceptance letter to Pacific University School of Nursing in Hawaii! I was thinking, “WOW! Thank you, God! What an awesome answered prayer.” Needless to say, my dad wasn’t convinced this was the answer to my prayer, so I continued waiting.
Finally around the first week of May I received a call while I was at work from the Texas Tech school of Nursing—I had been accepted for the fall. I was elated and nervous though something just didn’t seem right. The overwhelming joy I expected just didn’t fill my heart. I decided to wait until after work to call home and share the news with everyone. Before I could make that call, however, I got a text from my dad telling me about this trip to Kenya. It was just incredible how in God’s perfect timing He opened this door for me.
I have known I wanted to do mission work and serve people in God’s name since high school. I used to feed the homeless on Tuesday mornings before school. And from the very first time I did that, I knew that in some way I would serve people. It is also a big reason I wanted to go into nursing. I really wanted to be able to meet someone’s medical needs, as well as, witness to their spiritual needs. The fact that God revealed this trip to me and gave me the choice between nursing school and this mission trip did nothing but reinforce to me that I was going to be able to make my life a sacrifice for God to His people.
I decided to change my major from nursing, to nutrition and delay nursing school for now. Can you imagine how thrilled I was to hear that the orphanage has the desire to become self-sustaining for food? I can hardly contain my excitement for this trip. I’m so ready to go fall in love with these people. I’ve got so many of my new friends praying for everything already! Two of these friends are hoping to go with us on the trip! I would like to ask for your prayers for financial support for my roommate, Valerie and for health and healing for my friend, Eric. They both would like to join us!
I am so excited to meet all of you. I have so much more to tell you about myself and I want to learn from each of you. Thank you for taking the time to read a small portion of my journey and how I came to be involved in this trip. I can hardly wait until September!
Beyond Adoption, a ministry of Tapestry, will be traveling to Kenya September 13th through September 22nd. This will be a medical mission trip attending to the needs of the children at The Madeline School in Bungoma. Donations needed include toothbrushes, toothpaste, and dental floss, or you may donate financially to help the team purchase medications in Kenya to help treat childhood illnesses. A collection box is located at Irving Bible Church or you may leave your donation at the Information Desk. Thank you so much for your support and prayers!
Beyond Adoption is the global orphan initiative of Tapestry, a ministry of Irving Bible Church. Learn more about Beyond Adoption at www.beyondadoption.org