This summer, our first team to Canopy Life Academy had the joy of welcoming Sarah Johnson to our team. Since 2014, Sarah has been a child sponsor for Mercy, first through The 410 Bridge and now as part of her Canopy Life sponsor family. During the Canopy 100, our goal is to see every child in our program surrounded with a complete sponsor family before the end of the year. To discover more about the Canopy 100, and how you can become a child sponsor, check out the Canopy 100 page.
One of things we love most about child sponsorship at Canopy Life is our ability to connect our students and their sponsors through social media and even face-to-face opportunities. During this season of the Canopy 100, we are praying specifically for a multitude of new adult mentors to join our current sponsors like Sarah in nurturing Kenya’s next generation. Thank you, Sarah, for sharing your story of how sponsoring a child, and investing in the life of a little girl you had not met yet, brought you on a journey across the globe.
What prompted you to join a trip to visit Canopy Life Academy?
In January 2015, The 410 Bridge let me know that Mercy, the child I sponsor through their organization, had been selected to attend a brand new academy in Kenya called Canopy Life Academy. I looked up Canopy Life’s website and immediately began following their blog. In mid-February, they released info on two summer trips. About a month later, after much prayer and reflection, I applied and met with Christi. It was a fantastic trip of learning and growing. I am beyond thankful for the opportunity I had to be a part of the first team who visited Canopy Life Academy! It’s an experience I will not forget! :o)
What did you enjoy most about your trip?
I have 3 answers:
1) I had the honor and privilege of meeting my sweet Mercy, who I started sponsoring through The 410 Bridge in June 2014, when I returned from my first trip to Kenya. It was a real treat to go to her community of Ngaamba, meet her mom, and go to her church and previous school. It was an incredibly sweet time of being present with her and seeing her love for Jesus!
2) Spending time with all of the children and staff at Canopy Life Academy was awesome and unforgettable. I loved seeing their beautiful faces, and seeing them thrive in an environment that gives them the opportunity to be creative and learn Who they belong to. I also enjoyed the opportunity to hear their stories and help encourage them.
3) It was FUN having the opportunity to incorporate teamwork with the children and to help them learn how to make banana cookies from scratch. It was a treat for them to enjoy!
Is there something specific you learned about yourself and/or God through the experience?
For me, the big take away from this trip was God reminding me I am His and He is ALWAYS speaking to me. We live in a world that’s pretty chaotic and there’s noise going on around us all the time. Even when the days and weeks are busy, I need to remind myself to be still before my Creator. My heartbeat is to know Him more and to hear Him speak to me. God is always speaking to me; I just need to listen! I am thankful for my God Who is always pursuing me and never gives up on me!
How would you encourage a friend who is considering going on a trip with Canopy Life?
I believe everyone should experience a mission trip. You will not understand what it’s like until you go on one :o) I am extremely thankful for the opportunity I had to meet the child whose sponsor family I am a part of, and to be a part of the Canopy Life journey. If you doubt that you can raise the money or you don’t think you have anything to offer to your team, know that YOU DO, and I encourage you to not let that hold you back! You will not regret going!
Is there anything about your experience you are dying to tell others?
If you want to fall in love with Kenya and/or want the opportunity to learn something new about God and His love for His children, I highly encourage you to go and serve with Canopy Life!
I love Canopy Life, and am thankful to be a partner in this journey! Last week at the Harvest Hoopla, Christi shared about the Canopy 100, and I’ve decided to sponsor a child in the upcoming 4th grade class! I hope my story encourages others to join me.
To learn more about child sponsorship, go to: canopylife.org/sponsorship