Kenya – Why me?

So this Sunday, I submitted my initial application to go on a two week missions trip to Nairobi, Kenya next August. Taking two weeks to fill out the application, I wrestled out loud on Facebook about why I would consider taking a trip to somewhere that is nearly half-way around the world. I thought I’d take a few minutes to document here some of my thoughts:
1. I’ve never been there before. Okay, that may sound a bit selfish, but some of my other reasons will be as well. While I’m not the adventurer that my brother (David) is, I think Kenya would… be an adventure. Kind of a bucket list type place – if you know what I mean.
2. To meet one of our sponsor children. Leanne and I have sponsored a couple of girls in Haiti over the past few years (with Compassion International). This summer we started sponsoring a young boy from the slums of Nairobi through CMF/Hope International (His name is Jonathan, and he shares my birthday). If we go to Kenya, we will probably get to meet him-amazing!
3. Going to Kenya would give me an incredible opportunity to serve with my wife. I love being with Leanne. Planning the trip, figuring out all the logistics and the finances, actually going on the trip, serving, and recounting stories TOGETHER is so much better than just doing it apart from each other.
4. I’ve been on mission trips many times before, and the bonding that happens among the group going on the trip is unbelievable. A great reason to go on a trip like this is to bond with people like never before. (Several of the people I’ve gone on mission trips with while I was in high school got together this weekend for our eighth annual family camping trip.)
5. Stretch me. For those who didn’t know Stretch was one of my nicknames growing up. I’m quite sure that a trip on this level will stretch me in many ways. Stretching is good. Stretch my understanding of God’s love. Stretch my comprehension of the planet we live on. Stretch my comfort zone. Stretch…
6. Help & serve Kenyans who are stuck in poverty. If you’re reading this, you’re likely more wealthy than 97% of the world. The people we’d be serving in Kenya live in the poorest, nastiest slums located in Mathare North, Nairobi. By helping to create educational opportunities for the children, by providing health care, & by literally bringing light into the slum homes, I can help make a difference!
7. Part of following the Great Commission – go into all nations…. I’m excited about the opportunity to live this out on a new level.
I know there are other reasons that I don’t even know yet, but this exercise gave me the opportunities to process some of the major reasons to consider such an adventure.