2019 Winter Ambassador Trip – Applications Open!
Hosea’s Heart has opened applications for a revamped ambassador program! Check out the ambassador information packet for more information. To sum it up, ambassadors will take part in a mutually beneficial relationship by traveling to Swaziland and then returning to America to use their talents and strengths to further the mission of Hosea’s Heart. The objections to short term mission trips have been widely discussed in the Christian community lately. Many of these criticisms are valid: spending unnecessary money, work projects that could be completed by paid locals, handing out free stuff without understanding the community, and the white savior complex causing more harm. However, short term mission trips can still bring value to those traveling and those who are being visited. A successful short term trip supports the long term mission. This new program aims to keep ambassadors involved in order support the mission of Hosea’s Heart in America, while at the same time challenging ambassadors to gain leadership skills and become more involved in their own communities. This is accomplished by building relationships.
Ambassadors in Swaziland will spend most of their time building relationships and getting to know the organization. One of my favorite parts of previous ambassador trips has been getting to know God more through knowing the international church. CS Lewis captures this so well when he talks about one of his close friends dying. He says, “In each of my friends there is something that only some other friend can fully bring out. By myself I am not large enough to call the whole man into activity; I want other lights than my own to show all his facets. Now that Charles is dead, I shall never again see Ronald’s reaction to a specifically Charles joke. Far from having more of Ronald, having him “to myself” now that Charles is away, I have less of Ronald…” By knowing my brothers and sisters in Swaziland, I know more of God.
But when Ambassadors return to America we don’t want this relationship to end. We want it to continue through prayer and through actively sharing the work God is doing in an ambassador’s personal life and in Swaziland. In Swaziland you probably won’t paint a building (we have an awesome painting crew already!), you won’t hand out free stuff, and you won’t change the world in a few weeks. But, don’t underestimate the power of one conversation with a girl where you learn about your similarities and ask questions about your differences, the power of one day where you play basketball and have a dance party, or the power of one night of prayer with worship in multiple languages. All of these things will build your relationship with a beautiful human God has created.
This year Liesl Allen is leading a January trip to Swaziland. She first got involved in Hosea’s Heart through her English teacher, Mary-Kate Martin. A few of Mary-Kate’s students organized a soccer fundraiser called, “Kickin’ Up Hope” that Liesl participated in. She first traveled to Swaziland in July of 2016 and stayed involved afterwards by helping with the La Crosse area Valentine’s Day Dance (third annual one coming this year)! She states Swaziland has given her a sense of humility and has become a second family. I asked her why she wants to return to Swaziland. She replied, “Simply, I miss my family. It is often I, rhetorically, ask my friends if I can buy a plane ticket and go back to Swaziland; however, I’m usually only half-joking. The girls and people of Swaziland stole my heart. They inspire me to be better; they push me to see people differently, to see people as images of God not their situations or pasts. I’m returning to Swaziland because my work there isn’t done. I have long promised my return to this organization, and I’m so honored and excited to have this opportunity.” The new ambassador program intentionally keeps people involved in Hosea’s Heart to build God’s Kingdom in Swaziland and America. If you’re interested in locking arms with Hosea’s Heart, check out the application.