Kayla-Gladdness-e1368546865326Lucy Rahayiroyi (12th grade)

I think when a lot of people go on a mission trip, they come back and they say things like, “I had a life changing experience,” or, “Oh my goodness! I’m a different person than when I left.” I’m not going to go as far as to say I’m a different person. I’m no different than before. But I was impacted; there’s no doubt about that. I was impacted by the women who travelled a long way from home just so they could be like mothers to the children in the orphanage. I was impacted by the watchmen who guarded the orphanage at night, without ceasing. And I was impacted by the baptisms. That was my favorite part.

On the Saturday of the baptisms, there were supposed to only be 17 people, but I believe there were 24.  On that day, everyone walked from the church to the lake. The choir led the way and they were wearing all white clothes which, to me, was symbolic for being clean and rid of sin. Also they sang the whole way down to the lake, all throughout the baptisms, and the whole way back. And all the songs they sang were the ones my mom sings to me sometimes, and they have meaning for me. They sang Do Not Pass Me By, What a Friend We Have in Jesus, and Murinzi We Menyesh’igihe all in Swahili.

As I watched the people being baptized, choosing to publicly accept Christ, I cried. I cried and my heart was touched because I wanted to be like those people, to stand up for Jesus.  Even though there were a bunch of fishermen there and women fetching water who were probably scoffing, the new Christians persevered and were baptized anyway.

Nate Allman (12th grade)

The trip to Tanzania changed my life for the better in ways only God can explain.  It opened my eyes to the world around me and I believe I was looking through God’s eyes—to love everyone just as God loves them. The best thing about the trip was seeing the orphans smile and know that you were actually making a difference in their lives.

Although you couldn’t communicate with them you could read their body language and look into their eyes and see that they were appreciative of what you were doing to make their lives better. You could see that they were genuinely happy that you were there. I really enjoyed going to Tanzania this year. It was an experience that I will never forget.

Kiaya Beem (12th grade)

I went to Tanzania this February-March, and I can honestly say that this trip was an experience of a lifetime for me.  This trip was such an eye opener!  I went last year to Uganda, Africa, and I had a great time but this trip just really got to me. And the one thing that got to me the most was the little children there. They just touched my heart more than I could ever touch theirs. They are just so heart- warming and sweet! The orphans have almost nothing, but are the sweetest, most loving, happy children ever! They aren’t sad about what they don’t have. Literally they rejoice for what they do have. These kiddos are always singing. When we would walk back from the meetings they would hold my hands and start singing. Last year I fell in love with one particular child… this year I couldn’t help but fall in love with all 79 of them. I would do this whole trip all over again. Because of this trip, it has inspired me to be a student missionary when I am in college. Now I just can’t wait!

Stories from Sunnydale Adventist Academy’s newsletter.