Mountain Park Academy

I’m going to be honest. I grew up in the church. I grew up knowing who Jesus is, memorizing Bible verses in school, and being able to generally tell people what they wanted to know about who God and Jesus and the Holy Spirit are (shoutout to my Sunday School teachers). It wasn’t until 2013, though, that I really, I mean really knew who Jesus was. I met Joey Potter through sheer chance through a family friend about a month before he was taking a group to Spanish Wells, Bahamas. I had always wanted to go on a mission’s trip, but never really knew how to get connected. This opportunity fell in my lap, and I couldn’t pass it up. I served with some really great people in Spanish Wells, many of whom I still tell people about today, and this trip sparked my need to seek Jesus more than I was. Fast forward to 2015, I am graduating from college and one of the first things I think is “I can go to Kenya with Joey” because lacrosse was no longer taking my spring break time, the time that the group was going to Kenya. I prayed about it, and man, I prayed hard. It has been a longstanding dream of mine to go to Africa, I feel like God has been telling me to go to Kenya for years, and this was my time. I really didn’t know where I was going to get the money to go, or what the heck my parents were going to think, but I decided to take the leap because I felt he was calling me. I signed up for one week, with a bunch of strangers that I had no idea who they were (besides Joey), and I was so excited. Then the opportunity came to spend an extra week, and naturally I didn’t even have to think about it, I let JP know right away that I was all in. Somehow, I was able to raise all the money to go on the trip and I kept telling people, God provides. I’m not sure how he does, but he does. It’s March 2016, and it’s time for me to embark on the very long journey to Nairobi, to meet a bunch of new people and my task was to help work in the medical clinic. Now, I’m not a doctor, or a nurse, I am a current physical therapist assistant student, but I have a passion for helping people, so I jumped at the chance to help nurse Bethany in the clinic. Man, God blessed me with that bright woman. She probably doesn’t even know this, but I attribute so much of my spiritual growth through watching her work and having conversations with her. I think the real turning point for me in that two weeks in Kenya happened on one of our last days there. On a whim, the 8 people that stayed decided that we were going to pull our money together and feed every single person in that school (800 students plus faculty members). Joey suggested that we simply do bread and soda. So, we decided that each person was going to get a half a loaf of bread and a soda, because they are hungry. They get two meals a day at school, but they are so. dang. hungry. And what better way to carry out Jesus’ work than to feed the hungry. So the 8 of us got the supplies and set up to feed 800+ people. I have replayed this moment in my mind every day since that day in 2016. Babies coming up and getting their bread and soda and gorging themselves with it, until there was no more. Students and teachers, sitting quietly, eating bread and drinking soda, just simply being. Not being greedy, not being choosy, just happily taking what they were given. Then I thought to myself “Brittany, you need to get yourself together and start really living for Jesus, because THIS is what he is”. Jesus is acceptance of everyone, and I mean everyone. Jesus is feeding the hungry. Jesus is providing sustainable feminine products to teenage girls that miss a week or more of school when they are on their periods. Jesus is NC State football players teaching Kenyan boys the ins and outs of American football and being mentors to them. Jesus is having dance parties in dorms and singing Justin Bieber. It sounds cliché for me to say that Jesus taught me so much in that week, but he did and he is still teaching me. It’s amazing to know that people like Joey, and my friends that I met serving in Kenya with are LIFELONG friends. Y’all, I haven’t even hung out with my Kenyan friends in the U.S., but I know they are a phone call or text away. We pray for each other endlessly. This trip has provided me with family that I didn’t even know I needed. Jesus challenged me in these two weeks, ultimately leading me to get baptized in my home church when I got back. Jesus is continuing to tell me to not be afraid to share Him, to proclaim Him to the nations, to go in His name. At 24, I’m still finding my footing as to what I want to do with my life, but if there is one thing for certain, it’s to live for Jesus, because he saved my life.