Before Sarah Atkinson and Page Reynolds left for Kenya, they were gracious to answer a few questions about themselves and their participation in the Bay Leaf Mission Internship.
How did you hear about the internship program?
Sarah: I heard about the internship program through Will Gatling. In October of 2013 I met with Will Gatling and Walt Haskins to discuss how I felt God was working in my life and how I felt I was being called to go and serve. Will Gatling introduced the internship program idea to me then and we went from there!
Page: Will Gatling emailed me and asked if I would be interested in going to Kenya!
Why do you feel called to go to Kenya?
Sarah: When I was in the 7th grade I attended a youth conference in Daytona Beach, Florida where I heard a lady from Uganda speak about the impact compassion had made in her life not only physically but spiritually. Through that week at youth camp I really felt God was calling me to purse missions full time...eventually...but I did not know how that would look, especially considering I was still a kid. When I took my first trip to Kenya in 2011 God really transformed my life. I witnessed pure joy and through that trip I saw first hand that joy isn't determined by your circumstances. God taught me so much through this trip about witnessing to others, building relationships and I learned A LOT about myself as well. When I returned to Kenya in 2013 God confirmed to me that this is where I would be spending some time, it's really a hard thing to explain, but when you've felt that call and desire only given to you by God, you cannot say no.
Page: Over the past year I came to the realization that the Lords greatest call in our lives is to show His love to everyone, and if that is here in Raleigh, or happens to be in Kenya...well is it even my choice to begin with? Don't get me wrong, there was a great deal of prayer going on for this even before the opportunity arose, but I do believe that it was the understanding of the Lords calling in every Christian's life that brought me to understanding the specific calling of my own.
What are you excited most about in the upcoming year?
Sarah: I'm excited to see how God works through the people of Kenya, Page and I. I am also very excited to meet back up with some of the people I have met on previous trips. I love building relationships and really just loving God and people!
Page: I'm most excited to see a faith that is lived out differently than my own, to see worship done in a way that is unfamiliar to me. Also looking forward to how The Lord continues to redeem my story by using it in someone else's life.
What would you say to someone considering the Bay Leaf Missions Internship?
Sarah: Pray....Pray...Pray...and then Pray some more. We go to a GREAT church to partner with and be sent out for missions however it is still so difficult! It's hard to say goodbye to family and friends and it's hard to leave your comfortable life. However, if God is calling you to go and serve...GO AND SERVE.
Page: Something that I struggle doing in the process of making a decision is asking The Lord and then immediately asking others for their opinions rather than waiting in prayer for an answer.
What has God been teaching you as you prepare to go?
Sarah: Patience. I struggle with this so much. Throughout this journey so far, God has taught me to be patient and wait for His perfect timing!
Page: He has taught me that He goes before us, and behind us like a shield...and that His promises are forever faithful!