Answering their callings: Seniors prepping for global mission trips

At the end of summer, two of CF’s very own will be slinging on their backpacks and traveling the world to do missions work.

Seniors Leah Dailey and Kendra Mallin are in the midst of fundraising and preparing for this journey. They will be selling World Raise shirts, and the deadline to buy those is quickly approaching.

Dailey said that hers will be done selling by Feb. 20. To give some light on her story, Mallin said, “The World Race has always been something that I’ve felt called to. It seemed like such an amazing opportunity; traveling the world for nine months, not a care in the world … at least that’s what I interpreted it to entail before I began to have a legitimate faith of my own. Over the last two years, I’ve been on an amazing spiritual journey, and God’s pursuit of me has been incredibly clear. As I’ve learned more about my heavenly father and myself through him, the idea of the World Race transformed from an opportunity to get away from Iowa and see the world, to an opportunity to serve the Lord in the most raw and real form. I remember the day I decided to commit to the Race. I felt a peace was over me. I’ve never felt such comfort with any other decision in my life. This is how I knew that it was God’s work in my heart, influencing my decision. I’m scared … terrified really … but I know that God’s hand is in this, and I’m confident that he will continue to guide me through the entirety of this journey.”

Daily has many inspirations for making the journey.

“The first thing that really pushed me to look into it was where my faith was at and the fact that I had changed a lot of things in my life and shifted my priorities in order to put Christ first in my life. I’d always really felt that subtle urge to do something different with myself and go out of my comfort zone,” she said. “So after I decided to take a gap year instead of going straight to college, I really considered my options in regards to what I would be doing in that time. The biggest influence on my decision to go into mission work was the experience I had last spring break. I had stayed a week in Haiti where I spent a lot of time serving the community, learning more about God’s love for us and what a loving and Christ-encouraging circle of relationships looks like.

“Through this experience I really learned more about myself and the love I have for serving others and with that, living in such abandonment. The things I saw and the new ways I experienced Christ really opened my eyes to the passions I have and the value I find in serving. By taking this into consideration, I talked to a couple of people about their experiences with missions, trying to decide between organizations. With a lot of prayer, I finally decided to apply for the World Race, knowing that if I needed to be there the door would be opened, and it was.” Dailey said she already knows what will be the absolute hardest and best part. “I think the hardest things to let go of for nine months will be all of the relationships I have here and the luxuries of the life I’m living now. My family is very important to me, so not having those people to come home to or even be able to see every so often is terrifying for me. Going from seeing them every day to only being able to call every so often will be a huge adjustment that makes me a little anxious. Not only family, but the friendships I have developed over the years that are still present today are a part of life that I really value, and not being able to invest as much time into those is heartbreaking for me. It is hard for me to think about not being there (physically) for the people I love and extending my support and encouragement from so far seems quite impossible.

“In addition to having to adapt to a completely different circle of people, I won’t have so many things in these countries that I do now. We’re talking materials here: showers, my own bed, NETFLIX, the comfort of knowing what home is, the Iowa climate, etc. When I casually think about leaving for nine months, I love the thought of abandoning all of these things because the thought of living such a raw lifestyle is appealing to me, but when I actually consider what it will be like to live that way long term, I realize how much of a shock it’ll be and how big of a transition I will be making which is very hard to grasp. My current lifestyle revolves around materials in order to create a lifestyle I feel is worth living, so giving these things up will be difficult.”

Regarding the downside, Mallin said, “There’s no better answer than completely and utterly giving my life up for Christ. If there was one thing I could take away from the experience of this past year, it would be how incredible my life has become after deciding to live for the Lord, rather than myself. The one thing I look forward to about the upcoming year is the discovering of His goodness in different ways and how I can be a vessel in each and every way, whether that takes me way out of my comfort zone or not. This part of my life is all about making a difference in the lives of others (by God’s grace) and being obedient despite the circumstances.”

Mallin also said, “I believe that the hardest part will be leaving my family. Having grown up surrounded constantly by family, it’ll be incredibly hard to go nine months without seeing them. It’s always unsettling whenever I try to wrap my mind around the idea of being gone for so long. I expect that the best part of the Race will be seeing the impact that the work of my teammates and I have on the communities in which we are building ministries. I have hopes that the impact we have will be long term.”

Mallin said she is confident that her personal faith will grow while away.

“The Lord’s pursuit of me is clear just with the calling to spend nine months in the mission field, building ministries, planting churches and just sharing the gospel. I have no doubt that the trip will be hard physically and emotionally, but through the pain, I believe I will learn so much about not only myself and my faith, but about what it truly means to work in and further God’s kingdom, and about God’s true character. I hope that I will learn more about my religion in a way that allows me to better share it with others.”

To aid her while she is away, Mallin will need top notch gear. Packing is a huge aspect she said, and it will be perhaps the most tedious aspect.

“I will be spending time in five different countries within three different continents, each of which have different cultural normalities and climates. This means that my wardrobe will range from shorts and a tank tops to long pants/skirts and blouses that cover me completely. I need to pack prepared for any environment. Some ‘must have’ staples are a good pair of tennis shoes, chacos, a tent, sleeping pads/sleeping bag and a nice hiking backpack (because this is what I will be living out of).”

Mallin said just needs to finish her efforts strong to make the final details come together. “As of right now, I’m in fundraising mode. I can’t go on the trip without proper funding, and I still have about $12,000 to raise out of a total $15,000. This is such an intimidating number, but I’m confident that the Lord will provide. The T-shirts are $20 each. Feel free to email me if you’re interested. (kendramallin@yahoo.com). There are no deadlines. I order the shirts as I need them, so if I sell out of all the ones I have, I just put in another order.”

Dailey is focusing on the same details. “The shirts are a way for me to help raise money and be able to give back (tangibly) to the people that are investing in my journey at the same time. They’re $20 for a S-XL, and I’m offering two color options. I can be contacted for more information at 310-883-5940 or by my email which is dailey.leah@yahoo.com.”

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