God Opened My Eyes


Katie Green

My name is Katie Greene. I am a junior at the University of Kentucky, and last summer I got the opportunity to go on a mission trip to Ouanaminthe with Southland Christian Church in Lexington. I had never been on a plane before, much less out of the country, but I heard God say “GO” and the rest is history.

We were there for a week and got to experience many things, including a day in the life of the students at Institution Univers. I don’t know what I was really expecting, but the warmth and the love I received from everyone there, including the faculty and the students, impacted me more than I could have hoped. I was deeply touched by the genuine love of people who had no clue who I was before I got there.

Spending time with the children in the school was a blessing in particular. It was amazing to see their desire to learn and just their appreciation for the opportunity at an education. It reminded me of all the things I take for granted here in the US, education being one of them sometimes. I loved getting to help teach in the kindergarten and the primary school. One of my favorite things was recess. The children would all just run to you and want to hold your hand. They would not stop loving on us until the entire hour was over and they had to go back inside. My heart was so moved by this, and I knew I was experiencing Jesus’ love like never before.

God opened my eyes to the way I need to be looking at and loving others through these kids. Love isn’t about what someone can do for you, or conditions, it is about having an open heart to anyone who comes my way. Jesus doesn’t wait to see what we will be or all we will accomplish before pouring His love into us – He just loves. No strings attached. These kids showed me that. The love they poured out to a complete stranger, who knew only a few words of their language, has forever changed my life, along with the kindness of so many I came into contact with on our trip.

Seeing the work COCINA is doing in Ouanaminthe made me so excited. God is really working there. I was only there for a short time, but felt like I was leaving another home after the week ended. I hope and pray I get to return and serve this place that has already impacted my life and my heart more than I could express.

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