When Melody Taylor began leading volunteers to serve the poor of inner city Little Rock in 2005, she never anticipated the scope of the journey God was orchestrating. The Taylor family had always been passionate about embraced the mission set out for believers in James 1:27: ”Religion that God our Father accepts as pure and faultless is this: to look after orphans and widows in their distress.” They diligently served their local community and led teams of volunteers to serve orphans in Guatemala in obedience to God’s call to serve the downcast and the abandoned. Eventually, God revealed a larger assignment for the Taylor family—an assignment that would take them to the other side of the globe to live among some of the most impoverished people in the world.
Abandoning the comforts and security of home, Melody moved to Nairobi, Kenya with her husband and their children. Faithfully and obediently following God’s lead, the Taylor family entered into a season that would forever change their lives. God opened their eyes and their hearts to the incredible poverty of Africa and granted them the vision to become part of the solution.
Confronted with the overwhelming needs of the Kenyan people, the Taylors began asking God to reveal ways for them to impact more lives. The people of Kenya needed more time, more love, and more resources than the Taylors could offer on their own. In 2010, they returned to the United States to mobilize others to join them in caring for the widows, the orphans, and the poor in Kenya.
Today, Go Near exists to mobilize people and resources and to fund and operate sustainable community development projects that empower the people of Kenya. Each year, Go Near takes trips to Kenya, leading teams of students and adults to serve the poor. While overseas, the teams share the Gospel and provide training to Kenyans to enhance sustainable impact on the community.
Go Near has grown steadily over the years. Each year, the size of the teams increase, and many team members have returned for a second or third trip. Some team members have chosen to serve as Go Near Interns and have lived in Kenya for several months. Other trip participants been so moved by their experiences that they created foundations, initiated campaigns and launched nonprofits thrift stores to provide financial and practical support to the people of Kenya. Examples include the J127 Foundation, Beautiful Lives Boutique, Haven, Live Thankfully and yearly donation drives for supplies.
God is working in the hearts of those who have chosen to be part of Go Near. Serving God through loving people and investing effort to see justice and hope restored to the downcast is a huge blessing.
You have a role in this exciting story. Will you join us?