Mission Trip to iKhethelo 2018

 
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Hello, I’m Anna Ashburn! I am a professional actress in New York City, where I also attend Redeemer Presbyterian Church. Last March, I had the privilege of traveling with a team from Redeemer to iKhethelo, a children’s village in South Africa. I have traveled and seen much of the world, but I have never experienced anywhere like this village nestled in the hills of South Africa.

The children and I connected quickly and I fell in love with them immediately. I was able to accomplish leading worship and working alongside of my team, as well as spend time with some of the teenagers in my spare time. It was during those “unscripted moments” that I realized that I had a huge heart for the teenagers as well as the little ones.

 

Upon returning to NYC, I felt incredible heartache. Not only was I feeling sad that the trip was over, but I missed the kids terribly and wished there was something more that could do for them. It got a little easier to suppress these emotions as time went on, but, I felt a stirring in my heart. I knew that God wanted me to return and continue to invest in these children-it was just a matter of when the right timing would come.

During my short time at iKhethelo, I saw the kids’ passion for dance, fitness and music, all of which I have training and professional experience with. I am a firm believer that the arts are so important in the development of young people. It is a form of expression, self-discovery and a great confidence building tool. I want to give them something to look forward to after school hours, but I also want to leave with practical exercises and knowledge in order to explore their creative instincts that God clearly placed within them. I could see the need for someone to come and volunteer to lead Bible studies with the teenagers and to be someone who could be more stable in their lives.

I am pleased to share with you that I have officially been approved to return to iKhethelo-this time as a volunteer for two months! I hope that you will pray for me as I prepare to depart the beginning of February 2018, and return back to New York in April! My fundraising goal for this trip is $3,500. This will cover my travel expenses, food and any donations or items needed for activities for the children. I am incredibly excited that this opportunity is before me, and I hope that you will consider supporting me, whether it is through prayers and/or financially. Thank you, and God bless!