Ashley & Tommy

  Ashley Varner Journey 2009

 God is so faithful! God is in control! God knows best! All of these are things that I knew deep down but I didn't fully realize and take advantage of until 2009. You see, Kristin is an amazing woman. She is also a very determined woman. When the Lord told Kristin that I needed to go to Kenya with Journey, I didn't want to listen. However, God is in control. So, I decided to go and the Lord provided. God is faithful. And 2 years later, I am headed back to Kenya for a third time. God knows best.

Journey was a gateway to the possibilities that the Lord had for me. I had just finished my first semester of college and I really had no idea what to do with my life. I thought I did. But, God revealed himself to me in ways that I could never have imagined. He proved thousands of dollars to send me around the world. He broke my heart for the very people that break his heart. He introduced me to a lifestyle that I would forever admire.

The Kenyan culture is unlike any other. Kenyans know what the word community means. Journey embodies that word so well. Kenyans know what the meaning of love is. Journey continues to love even after the journey ends. Kenyans know who God is. Journey helped me to discover that truth.

I leave in just a few days for my third trip to Kenya.. I literally, wouldn't be there if it weren't for my choose to invest family, Journey 2009. I am forever grateful for the love and encouragement that I received from them and continue to receive. They have no idea how much they have impacted my life. I will never be the same. I can never be the same.

 

Tommy Nika from Journey 2010

Since the Journey internship I have had a pretty incredible year. I finished my first year at college and I now feel like I have my big boy pants on! I have grown so much within the community I have here at school. I just recently started my second year here at Lincoln Christian University. I am studying Intercultural Studies and don’t really know what God has in mind for me yet. But, I do know that I want to pursue Him with all that I have, in whatever avenue of ministry He has for me. 

 

 This summer has been a pretty crazy journey for me. It was a summer of complete wrestling. I was a part of an internship with The Daraja Children’s Choir of Africa. Things didn’t necessarily go according to “our” plan, but God is an author of a perfect story. The beginning of His story for us was spending time in Kenya with the children in the choir and their families. It was so incredible revisiting old friends and being able to receive their love again. God blessed me with the opportunity to spend time with the 252 team again and see how much progress God has made in their communities. The time I got to spend with the children in the choir was so divine. Watching them worship the Lord everyday was an incredible experience. The Daraja children shine. For the past five years Daraja has been on my heart, this summer I was blessed with the opportunity to be a part of it.

            After our time in Kenya my group headed back and began preparing for summer tour. Little did we know God had something else in His plan. We ran into a few bumps in the road with the government and had a hard time being able to get the children visas. As a result of this turn in the road, we had no choice but to cancel the remainder of Daraja’s summer tour with the hope that we can focus our efforts on getting the children here for fall tours in September. Throughout these struggles the Daraja family had no doubt that God was and is doing something BIGGER and GREATER than anything He has done before. I have learned throughout this season of life that God is the author to a perfect story. He works us into His story in the most meaningful way possible. When I thought he was leading me one way, he opened the door to a different path. Now I sit here writing this today with complete confidence knowing that our Lord is sovereign. He has stretched me completely out of my comfort zone this year and I am so thankful. He is shaping me into a man and warrior for His kingdom. My heart longs to burn for the Gospel. Just as I praise Him for my season with J2010, I praise Him today for the season He is taking me in to and preparing me for right now.