2020 Ambassador Trip – Applications Open!
Every winter, we get excited to invite a group of visitors to Swaziland to join our family for a couple of weeks with our Winter Ambassador program. Earlier this year, we made some really cool changes to the program (read about it here!) extending the reach of each visitor beyond their two weeks in January, and we can’t wait to gather another team to participate this Winter.
If you’re curious about joining but aren’t sure about what’s in store for you, read McKenzie’s reflections about her Ambassador experiences. McKenzie has been on multiple Ambassador trips and has made a huge impact with her invested relationships and the giving of her talents. This is what she had to share after her 2018 trip:
Praising after Swazi
-McKenzie, 2017 and 2018 Ambassador
Each time I was traveling to Swaziland, everyone would say “you are going to change those girls lives!”…. “The work you are doing is so amazing!”…. “WOW, you are such a good person!”. I know the comments all come from a place of love and support but it has become so evident to me why Hosea’s Heart doesn’t just give girls a home but they strive to lead these young women to Christ.
As Americans, we often think that our way is the right way. Our culture and the way we live life is the only way to do it. We think our views and values should be believed by everyone. When we pour money at a situation, we expect it to somehow be solved; or if we give people food, and clothes, their life will be abundant again.
My first trip with Hosea’s Heart was truly life changing. So much so that I had culture shock of my own country when I returned home and struggled to transition back to my version of normalcy. Throughout this trip I learned what it really meant to be thankful and praise God. I looked around at Swaziland and saw the most beautiful country but I also saw prostitutes on every street corner, children without food and clothing, families in one room mud huts, and young girls who are trapped in the cycle of rape and sexual abuse. I looked at them and saw them even in their hardest moments still praising God. Who am I to sit back and enjoy my “perfect” little life and not be giving praise to the one who gave it all to me?
In my second trip there was one moment when God won me over again. After an afternoon spent at the Hope House (respite care), we were singing with a young girl in a wheelchair who had just suffered from a stroke which affected the left side of her body. We were about to leave but a few girls stayed to pray over her and I decided to join. One of the newer girls to the house started the prayer and despite all she has endured, she professed her faith so boldly with the way she prayed. Before those 3 minutes were over, I was standing with my sisters, attempting to catch my breath as tears streamed down my face. In those moments I swore mountains were moved and almost expected the young girl to stand up and walk away without needing her wheelchair. It was the most powerful prayer I have ever witnessed and I again thought, who am I to not be giving praise?
Each day there were small moments with the girls that would remind me what it really means to believe in God and give him praise. In the large continent of Africa, there lies a small house of girls who have some of the heaviest chains I could imagine. Is the haunting of their past completely gone? No. They still struggle with self-love, knowing their worth, and accepting love from God but when I look at them and see them using their voices for praise, I understand what it means to really believe. When they smile and know they are loved and that God has broken their chains… that is a miracle.
Although I am so appreciative of my family and friends support, I love Hosea’s Heart because they know grace and healing comes from God so they praise him for that! American values aren’t going to change Swaziland, they have their own culture. Our money isn’t going to save someone’s life; that’s Jesus job. I am not a great person and I am not changing lives; they are changing mine.
Thank you, Hosea’s Heart, for creating a safe space for these young, beautiful, and God-fearing women to call home. Thank you for allowing ambassador trips to be present and giving us the chance to praise God for all he has done. Thank you, God, for blessing me with 16 sisters.