While in Africa, we had many conversations with our country host, Paul Omondi, who grew up in the slums of Nairobi. He described the heart wrenching challenges he faced growing up in that environment and how he saw many of his friends pay for their wrong choices with their lives. He described how some of his friends were burned or stoned to death. He told us that what kept him alive in the slums was that he had a dream to one day be the President of Kenya. He spoke of how God places a dream in all of us. What was our dream? We knew it was buried deep in our hearts, but we were too busy pursuing the “American” dream to even acknowledge it. The 5 of us (Noah, being to young to participate, stayed in Atlanta with friends) served for 10 days in Kiu, a small community outside of Nairobi, Africa. We went there to serve and bless others, but we received much more than we gave. The people of Africa changed our lives forever. Until you see them face to face, their lives are only an image on a TV screen … looking very surreal. When you hug them, talk with them, see their living conditions and pray with them, it touches your heart in a way that is indescribable. They are the most generous, joyful people we have ever met. They are clearly poor and in desperate need of so much, yet they have a richness that many Americans will never experience. Their faces and our time together will forever be etched in our hearts. To view pictures of our life-changing trip to Africa click here.
Coming home to the U.S. was difficult as we experienced a myriad of emotions. How could we have so much and yet be so discontent? We were thankful for how blessed we were, yet at the same time wondered if all that we owned added to our life, or actually stole life from us? As we allowed these questions to surface and answered them honestly, we began to pray about what to do. As a family, we wept, prayed and searched God’s Word. We needed answers and direction. We discussed our dream of traveling the country full-time. We no longer wanted to wait for “some day”, nor did we want to just travel for site seeing, adventure, or home school reasons. We knew that this mission needed to have a purpose and that it was bigger than us. Initially, we felt a little crazy. We researched, prayed, questioned and wondered. We also wrestled with the fear of the unknown and the fear of failure. Through it all, we finally came to the conclusion this was in fact what we felt God was leading us to do.
In November 2007, we put our home on the market. We waited five agonizing months and during that time we were able to detach ourselves from our home and purge our hearts of materialism.
In March 2008, we sold our home. Two weeks before we moved, God provided the perfect used RV for our family and the owner offered to drive it to our home in Atlanta all the way from Las Vegas, NV. Through this and several other events we saw specifically how God was capable of meeting all of our needs.
On April 18, 2008 the house was sold, the RV was packed and we hit the road. Although we left behind many wonderful friendships, we knew beyond a doubt that we were following what God had put so heavily on our hearts.
After 4 1/2 years of criss-crossing the country, mobilizing hundreds of people, sharing our story with dozens of churches, and writing a book and small group study we decided it was time to settle down and plant a ministry headquarters for Passion to Action.
Out of all the states we’ve traveled to, the entire family agreed that Colorado was the place we wanted to live. We felt led here for several reasons: synergy with another ministry here that awakens hope, having a place people would want to come for future retreats, and simply loving all that Colorado has to offer. In June of 2012, we headed to Denver in faith believing that God would show us what we were to do once we arrived. Two weeks after arriving here, we met a pastor whose church owned an abandoned lot and duplex adjacent to their building. The church desired to use the property for good and in July, they allowed us to park our RV on the property and we began clearing out and refurbishing the duplex. In October of 2012, we moved out of the RV and into the duplex. To view pictures of P2A’s new temporary home click here.
Our new big dream is to build a ministry center in Denver where we can house our family and RV along with space to host training, retreats, worship nights, and debriefing from service projects.