IT'S MY BIRTHDAY! and this is my wish.

image via moth-design.blogspot.com
     Hey everyone! This is a little off course from what I usually do but it’s something very close to my heart and I wanted to share it with all of you on my birthday. 
    Although I love fashion and sewing, being Christian is actually the most important part of my life. Since moving back to Calgary I’ve realized how blessed I am to have so many resources and I just want to give back in some way. To be quite honest, one of the reasons I’ve been blogging less is because the more time I spend learning about how other people around us are struggling, I’ve been finding it rather difficult to spend so much time focusing on myself. 
    This summer I have the opportunity to go South Africa with a group of 11 people from my church and I am really stoked to be a part of this. The whole team is really excited to be on this journey and we have been working hard training and preparing for our time there. Our group will be working along side African Leadership who has been serving the people of South Africa for over 16 years. Here is some information about whom we will be serving and caring for and what we will be involved in:
·      WHERE: Khayelitsha was the government’s solution to the ever-growing black population within the city of Cape Town during the apartheid. It was illegal for the natives to enter the ‘white’ areas, so they camped out near the city, hoping that they could find a job and support their family. This temporary living area is now the permanent home for 1 million Xhosa people who find it difficult to get out of the social standing that has been pre-determined for them.
·      WHO: Xhosa people are the second largest native group in South African and have been living in the area for hundreds of years. Most of these people in Cape Town and Khayelitsha are now living in shacks made from scavenged materials. Due to many factors, they fall victim to poverty, broken families, crime, AIDS and hopelessness.
·      WHAT: Of the many ministries that African Leadership has initiated, we will be involved in the Children’s churches and pre-schools, serving kids in Khayelitsha and training local teachers as well as creating a curriculum for the children’s programs. Our group will also be a part of building projects of new pre-schools in the different local communities. We may also be working with youth through the Sports Outreach, redirecting their energy to enable them to discover their purpose and identity in Christ. We will also be a part of an outreach to the children and people of Transkei (rural part of South Africa).
·      WHEN: We are going as two different teams. The first team is going from June 1-17 and I am in the second team that will be going July 6-21, 2013
·    WHY in the world am I doing this:  This year my church has been reading a book together called "Radical". It's all about how as christians we've can no longer continue living the "American dream" when we are called to give up everything and help the poor. So the whole church has been challenged to live a more Christ like life style, and go out of our comfort zone to help the less fortunate. This has been an incredibly difficult journey for me, and I'm still so far from giving up everything for the poor. But, this is a journey and going to South Africa is a part of my journey. I'm obviously not going to change a whole lot in just one short term missions trip but I'm praying that this experience will change me to be more giving and loving. So why South africa? I've pretty much decided to just go big on this trip and really step out of my comfort zone. It will be very different, I still have a lot to learn about South Africa but I'm really excited.
                Now I know not all of you share in the same faith as me and I realize that we are all on a different spiritual journey. But let me say that this is not just about our own personal beliefs but also more importantly about bringing change and hope to the children and people of South Africa. African Leadership’s philosophy is bringing transformation to the culture of South Africans through education, job skills, encouragement, and spiritual wholeness. I believe in what African Leadership is doing and their passion to bring hope to the young children they serve and care for.
                 I hope I have explained clearly the purpose of our mission trip and a sense of my passion for caring for the people of South Africa. But you may also be wondering what is that we as a team need from you. Our team is trying to fundraise approximately $22,000 to help cover the cost of this trip and supplies that we need to take over. This amount is not a small number so we are reaching out to see who might be want to be a part of our cause and a part of our team through financial support. We realize that it is an awkward conversation when it comes to money but we believe in this with all our heart and we believe that many of you would love to be a part of this in your own way. If you want to be a part of our team through financial support please see below for details. (Note: All support is tax receiptable.)
Finally and most importantly we are asking people to support our team, African Leadership, and the people of South Africa through prayer. Just as important as financial support, we believe that prayer support is more important. There is something incredibly significant and powerful when a group of people is gathered together in prayer for something that God considers “good, right and just”. We definitely need your prayers!
If you have any questions or in need of more information about our trip or our team please feel free to leave me a message
Thanks for taking the time to read this and supporting my blog!

 If you would like to make a donation online, you can go here. 
and make a note that the donation is for South Africa missions for "allyssa" and your name. Thanks!