Blue Michel and her sponsored friend Gloria on an awareness trip in Kenya.
Jun 29 2016

Trip stories: ‘Hearts joined in unity’

Blue Michel and her sponsored friend Gloria on an awareness trip in Kenya.

Blue Michel and her sponsored friend Gloria on an awareness trip in Kenya.

Unbound sponsor Sandra “Blue” Michel traveled to Kenya in February on an Unbound Awareness Trip. She joined Unbound as a sponsor seven years earlier, after doing extensive research to choose an organization to partner with.

I thank God and providence for guiding my research seven years ago to Unbound. I always aim to appreciate my many blessings and to share those blessings in turn. I know in my heart that giving through Unbound is absolutely the right thing for me to do.

In February, I went on a journey through Kenya with Unbound and was able to see firsthand how my small gift of sponsorship has made a vast difference in the life of the young girl I sponsor, her family, her community and her country. From the first letters I received from my sponsored child, Gloria, and her mother, I knew that she was going to grab this opportunity with both hands and seek a better life for herself and her world, and I was able to see that for myself on this trip. It was so impactful that I decided to sponsor another little girl who I met along the way.

The thing I will remember most are the people who I met along this journey.

I am so grateful and appreciative of my fellow travelers and sponsors. I could not have imagined that 15 more diverse, jet-lagged personalities would have been able to spend ten days and nights together and still be sharing and laughing together at the end of each day. This could only happen because we shared the greatest thing in common — hearts compelled to seeing God’s work done in the world. Despite our differences in background, expression, lifestyle or religion, our hearts joined us in unity.

Then there were the staff members of Unbound, who are so full of love. Their elegance, grace, kindness, generosity, patience, smiles, laughter — I could go on and on about the wonderful experience we had with the local staff.

I was so humbled in the presence of the Kenyan people, who have a level of dignity that is a rare beauty to behold. They express their appreciation with much joy and jubilation through song and dance, handshakes and hugs, love and laughter. They set aside bitterness and replace it with hope, particularly hope that their children will have a better life and a better world. Poverty has not been able to extinguish their soul nor their spirit, and that was a true blessing to see firsthand.

Finally, the children, who are the future of Kenya — I’m grateful for the privilege of serving them through sponsorship. For all the future doctors, teachers, pilots, carpenters, bankers, educated mothers and progressive and wise fathers — I will pray each and every day of my life for their efforts.

Thank you, Kenya. Thank you, Unbound.

Read more personal reflections from recent awareness trips.

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