“Going near”. This phrase has become unexpectedly meaningful to me. When I first joined in Go Near’s mission, I didn’t think that their motto would carry such weight in my life. But now, to experience hands-on, to show love in person, to go near, is a calling that wholly resonates with me. My experience in going near has been, by far, the most impactful experience of my life. My love for the country of Kenya and it’s people is unparalleled. The believers there possess such genuine, candid joy, their light shining for the Lord in heartfelt authenticity. The past two summers I’ve had the amazing opportunity to shove fifty pounds worth of supplies and a couple of skirts in a suitcase and fly for roughly eighteen hours to what I consider my second home. I adore pretty much everything about Kenya, but what I really miss above all else when I leave and what truly pulls me back, is the people. Specifically, at ABC (the school we visit), the adults and even the kids are always challenging me to deeper explore my trust in God. One of the adults who has made the biggest impact on my life is an extraordinary lady named Ruth. After the first time I met her last summer, I can’t remember one time that I spoke to her when she wasn’t imparting some sort of wisdom to me, but one of the most memorable things she said to me was this. “In Kenya,” she said, “believers must be strong. Once we are saved, there’s no going back. We cannot be lazy. We cannot lose sight of God, or else we will fall into the darkness of the world around us. Kenya can be a dark place, but God has called us to be the light”. How often in America do we wake up every morning ready for war, preparing for a battle against the forces of darkness? The Kenyans do this daily in order to survive, trusting God to provide work for the day, their family’s meals, and protection over their children, while still portraying incomprehensible joy. Needless to say, they have inspired me to further my relationship with God as well. So, all this to say, I value going near above all else. If you personally aren’t capable or aren’t called to do so, then support someone who is. As Colossians 1:6 says, “All over the world this gospel is bearing fruit and growing”, and exploring the gospel and the love of God in Kenyan culture have been more impactful to me than I could ever hope to express.