In March 2016 I went on a missions trip to Sierra Leone, Africa. Many would say that a mission trip changed their life….and I am here to tell you the same! I mean it literally changed my life! But it didn’t just change MY life! It changed my family’s lives as well.
My trip lasted about 11 days and consisted of visiting an orphanage, a preschool, and 4 churches, all of which I was able to love on the children (we know that is my favorite) and share Bible stories with the people in the villages.
During this trip, I was able to meet Idrissa (E.D.), a little boy that my family gets the pleasure of sponsoring. This was such a powerful moment. E.D. along with all the other orphans always came running down the rocky hillside as they saw us coming up. You were greeted with hugs and smiles from all 10 orphans. I couldn’t help but notice that despite the significant loss that these sweet children endured, they still had smiles on their faces. I spent the remainder of my trip analyzing how these people could be so happy while living in a country with EXTREMELY low poverty.
The people in the villages gathered around campfires to cook and spend time together. Toddlers ran around naked or in diapers made from rags. Little boys usually had only pants to cover their legs, those typically being inches above their ankles. Little girls had dresses three sizes too big that they were constantly hanging off their shoulders. Children discover ways to make toys out of trash and earthly items. The people of Sierra Leone utilize the resources that they have to create what they need. They do not have the money to just go buy new if something breaks.
One thing I noticed was how free they live. Yes, many men have jobs and the women tend to the children and the gardens, but they care about relationships with each other. I WANT THAT!
I am a stay-at-home-mom to 3 beautiful children but I feel tied down to running them to gymnastics, or cheer leading, or AWANA club, or a friends house.
I WANTED FREEDOM!
I came home and was EXTREMELY overwhelmed by the stuff in my house, the stuff in my yard, the to-do list on my desk, the places I needed to be, the useless stuff in Wal-Mart, the amount of waste I was creating! VERY OVERWHELMED.
I returned home on a Saturday and got up and went to church on Sunday. The service was about our dreams and how God is not too small for our BIG dreams. I sat there trying to understand my trip and how I could incorporate what I learned into my life here in a world that is full of STUFF. During time of prayer, I was just praying, “God, use me! Show me what you want!” AND HE DID!!!……MY FAMILY of FIVE living in a TINY HOUSE!!!!! Ummmm….really God???? I love our small 1988 Class C camper but to actually LIVE in something like that???…YOU HAVE TO BE KIDDING???
I spent a few days keeping my vision to myself, trying to ponder it and pray over it. When I finally told my husband his words were, (and I quote) “Kayla, that is insane! This cannot be normal to feel like we have to sell everything and move into a tiny house or a camper! You need to seek counseling or reach out to someone who has experienced a mission trip!” I, too, felt like it was absurd, but it wasn’t ME! It was God! And sometimes he calls us to places that seem ABSURD!!
I still wasn’t sure the sole purpose for us to sell everything and live tiny, but I knew since it was from God, I didn’t need a reason. So I started researching tiny homes and watching Tiny House Nation® on FYI™, I tried to plant little seeds for my husband to pick up on. He finally started feeling like okay maybe I wasn’t crazy and I was on to something.
A few weeks later, we went on a camping trip. Shortly into the 4-hour drive home, my husband randomly says…
“Okay! I am ready!”
Me-“Ummm Ready for what??’
The husband- “to sell our house and move into a tiny house. Probably a camper though.”
OHHH the excitement I felt! I muttered with a smile, “Thank you Lord!!” because I knew 100% He changed Joe’s mind!