iKhethelo Volunteer Trip 2019 - Anna Ashburn
Hi, I’m Anna Ashburn!
I believe that God has called me to use my love for theatre, kids and missions in more ways that I could have ever conjured up for myself. One of the biggest privileges I’ve ever had to do that has been my time at a children’s village in South Africa.
Two years ago, I was an actor based in NYC and went with a team from my church, Redeemer Presbyterian, on a 10-day trip to the village for a VBS type of week with the children. I was able to co-lead a Bible study and also lead worship. It was one of the most impactful weeks of my life, as I connected with the kids from the very first interaction.
Nearly six months later, I was still feeling heartbroken because I missed the kids and a stirring in my heart to return. I began to reach out to the staff and the LoveUSA board about returning to South Africa to spend a couple of months as a volunteer. I flew into the Durban airport almost exactly a year after our first trip. I knew it was the right decision as soon as I arrived at the village and stepped out of the van, because the kids had greeted and hugged me excitedly, ready to spend more time with me and to learn more about dance and acting.
Needless to say, I had the most beautiful two months there, and leaving them again was difficult. However, I knew that I needed to lean on God and listen to what he was telling me to do next. I praise Him, because even though I have now relocated to Pennsylvania, I have remained good friends with my old teammates and the door has now re-opened for me to return! More than anything, I am thrilled to have another opportunity to reconnect with everyone there, lead bible studies and music and continue to cultivate the very special relationships I have with them. The theme of God’s lessons for me this year seems to be continued relationships, as opposed to picking up and starting over all of the time. Jesus wants us to love others unconditionally and relentlessly, just as He loves and pursues us. Honestly, though, with them it isn’t difficult at all for me to desire to do that. Without knowing it, they have blessed me in more ways than I could even describe and brought healing to the little crevices of my heart that were numbed and hidden before. If I really wanted to describe to someone what my heart looks like, I would probably send them a snapshot of their sweet faces.
So, if you would like support me in my third year of returning with the team from New York, I joyfully invite you to do so however you feel led! Thanks so much, and may God continue to pour out His grace upon You so that you can always give to others with a generous heart!
Trip Dates: June 22 - July 1
To give online: 100% of your donation is tax-deductible through the giving link on the right.
To give by check: If you would prefer to give by check, checks can be mailed to:
LOVE USA PO BOX 1007
AGOURA HILLS CA 91376
PLEASE WRITE IN THE MEMO: EC 2019
Note: Per IRS regulations, you may not write names on the check.
We are raising funds as a team. That means, if a teammate raises more than his/her portion, the excess will be used for other team members and projects. Please note that according to IRS Guidelines (Pub 526) in order for a donation to be deductible, its use must be left to the discretion of the charitable organization.