yall know how the internet is a crazy connected place right? Well meet Rebecca! We met on Instagram! How cool is that? She is way younger, wiser, and cooler than me and I am honored for yall to hear her story today! This girl is legit. She is on fire for Him, saying YES, and following wherever He leads. She says, “I want people to see that its all HIM…not me. and that he can use ANYONE and he wants to use EVERYONE, but sometimes it takes a little (or big) leap of faith and a whole lot of trust for him to do that.” preach sister!
Anybody can change the world, I’m just someone who said yes & released control.
Hey there friends, I’m Rebecca! I’m 20 years old and was born & raised in Chicago. I currently attend DePaul University, and am majoring in Peace, Justice, & Conflict studies with a focus on African aid & development (…phew that’s quite a mouthful). In just under three weeks I’ll be moving permanently and indefinitely to Atonsu Agogo, Ghana, West Africa to work for a non profit & run an Education Center….but let me back up and tell you a few stories of how I got here.
When I started high school I was your typical teenager who wanted the “normal American life”: graduate high school, go to a top notch university, meet the love of my life in college, get married, snag a stable job, have 5 kids, and live in a big white house in the suburbs.
I was going to make this picture perfect life happen, one way or another.
During my senior year of high school I was interning for a documentary film organization, and my boss had mentioned a few times that he’d started a small, grassroots non profit located in Ghana called Light for Children, and that they were looking for summer volunteers.
It took less than a week for me to decide. I said “yes” to volunteer with Light for Children for two weeks on their Sexual Assault Prevention Program.
I was on Kayak booking my flight and was about to buy the plane ticket, but right when I was about to hit “purchase” something moved inside of me.
Something didn’t feel settled.
I quickly went back and changed the flight to a three-month trip. I didn’t know why I was doing it, but in that moment, the only thing that brought me peace was changing the length of the trip.
So I booked the ticket.
I said “yes” to the complete uncertainty of what I just did.
I landed in Ghana and have never felt more at home. Things never felt more right. I spent three months learning, living, and loving. I heard tales of abandonment, suffering, poverty, hunger, but also joy, redemption, and gratitude. I met children who changed the course of my life. In three months my world was shattered, every single piece of the life I planned for myself came crashing down.
I saw my future in Ghana. I knew this wouldn’t just be a “one and done” sort of trip. I felt a deep love growing inside me for the people of Ghana.
But I also saw my “American Dream” future in America. What about my documentary film degree? What about the husband, kids, and a house in the suburbs? I’d surely never get married if I lived in Ghana the rest of my life. I’d never want to raise my kids in such poverty. What about MY plans?
After returning to the US in September 2011, dropping out of college, hitting rock bottom, crying out for help, turning my life around, and spending a semester in East Africa with Carpe Diem Education, I realized something, that I knew all along, but was scared to say…my heart was in Ghana….and I needed to go back and find it. I booked a flight back to Ghana in December 2012.
On that month-long trip to Ghana my life was shattered yet again, when a 4 day old miracle baby bombarded her way into my life, and I was brought back to God after years of seeing Him only as a strict religion, not a relationship. God pulled me back to Him through baby girl Blessing, in such a way that only He could have orchestrated. There was nothing humanly possible I could do. I was brought to my knees with powerlessness because of the circumstances of the situation. I had no other choice by to give this precious girl, and the entire situation over to God. In that moment, I started to give God control of my life.
Around the same time, Light for Children and I had been dreaming up a computer lab/library/art center, called the Education Center, and we all thought it was the right time to take steps towards making those dreams a reality. I said “yes” to being the Education Center Director and heading up the entire project.
God not only provided free land, but also an architectural plan, a Ghanaian community saying “YES”, excited students, teachers, and workers…and a $50,000 budget.
In just 6 short months, $20,000 was raised, enough to complete construction of the physical building, and 3 months later, that beautiful building was standing tall.
Before I move permanently to Ghana in January 2014, I have to raise the remaining money to complete the Education Center. I’m currently running an exciting fundraising campaign called 30in30 to do just that.
Here’s the breakdown:
$30,000 will allow us to complete construction, buy all technology and furniture, and open the Education Center.
30 days to raise the money [November 27-December 27]
If 1,000 people donate just $30 the doors of the Education Center are opened, allowing the thousands of kids and adults of Atonsu to flood in and have access to our computer lab, library, and art center. Your $30 will help change thousands of lives forever.
For more information about 30in30 and how to donate, click here.
And that “American Dream Life” I held steadfast to pursing? The husband, car, big house, career, and kids? I no longer see that as my life. That was thrown out the window. I no longer am living by MY plans, only His will.
Through all of this, I’ve realized that everyday is another opportunity to say YES to Him. In saying YES, you are saying YES to the heartbreak, the struggles, the dark days and nights, and the unknown. But you are also saying YES to shining light, unending love, daily grace, bountiful hope, and the BIGGEST blessings, ones that you could never imagine.
To all the people who are teetering on the edge of a cliff, not ready to jump, but not wanting to go back, I have two humble words of advice for you:release control.
God’s got it. Let go of the vise grips on your life. It’s not your job to micromanage and plan every detail. He will not let you fall. You’d be shocked to see what happens when you give God the reins. You don’t need to carry the weight of figuring everything out any longer because I know it’s mighty heavy. He’s got you in the palms of His beautiful & mighty hands. He has so many magnificent blessings in store if you just let Him do His thing. Say YES and allow Him to be in control.
If you are someone who is standing at the edge of that cliff, I want you to promise me one thing, and one thing only. Promise me that you will JUMP. Jump off that cliff into the unknown waters below and allow yourself to swim in the sea of His greatness…I can’t wait for you to join me.
Thank you God for adopting me into your family, and radically ruining my life in order to build a more beautiful one.
To read more about the Education Center, 30in30, and how to donate, please visit: http://www.gofundme.com/30in30
You can email me at: firstname.lastname@example.org