Posted by: Omar C. Garcia | April 8, 2011

Global Glimpses

Laura Childs in Afghanistan

Who | Laura Childs

Where I’ve Traveled with Kingsland | I have had the privilege of traveling with Kingsland short-term mission teams to Nicaragua, Bangladesh, Pakistan, Northern Iraq, and Tanzania. I have also been able to go on some of the student mission trips to a few places in the states. Traveling overseas is always fun, but hanging out with the students is always a blast and an adventure.

My Most Memorable Experience | This is a tough one. There are so many memories from my travels. One of my most favorite memories is listening to my good friend, Leah Pullin, share her story again and again about how the Lord cured her of her cancer.  We traveled to Pakistan last year to do some breast cancer awareness education. We visited several hospitals to teach the nursing students, we visited a home for girls to teach the young ladies who lived there, and we stopped by several apartments where some women the missionaries were trying to reach lived.

Time and time again I heard the miraculous story of Leah’s healing while watching the faces of the women who listened so intently. Even though she was speaking to followers of Islam, the story of how Jesus visited Leah in a dream always invoked a look of wonder. I loved to see the smiles on their faces and would watch to see how they would invariably flock around Leah after her testimony to hear more of her story. The power of Jesus spoke clearly though Leah and it was awesome to see.

Why I Encourage Others to Go Beyond | The journeys that take you outside your comfort zone, the ones that carry you over that line that marks the farthest you have ever gone…those are the ones that change you the most. Sometimes it’s a simple change of realizing that people who look different aren’t really that different after all. But other times, it changes you so radically that you come home a different person, with a new perspective and a new passion.

Where I Am Serving Now | My “service” now is a bit different from my trips in the past. I still get the opportunity to meet with poor widows in villages, I still get surrounded by young children who are fascinated with foreigners, I still get the opportunity to enjoy the hospitality that is so common in countries like this and share tea with new friends, and I still have the opportunity to walk through captivating bazaars and crowded streets lined with litter and streams of urine. Only now I wear body armor and carry a pistol, a rifle and a whole bunch of ammo (which thankfully has yet to be needed!).

I’m currently deployed to Afghanistan in support of Operation Enduring Freedom on an Agribusiness Development Team. I also lead our Female Engagement Team which offers me the opportunity to work to improve the state of women’s rights here in Afghanistan.

My mission trips trained me well to understand the culture of an Islamic country, how to effective communicate through an interpreter, and how to see past the dirt, the poverty, and seemingly hopeless state of life.  I can see the hope of the women I meet instead of being distracted and uncomfortable with the unfamiliar environment that is so different from home.

While we are unable to share our faith with those we meet here, I strive to act in such a way that those I come in contact with can see Jesus through me. I also have great hope that our efforts here will set the stage for a safer environment so that others can follow and share the love of Christ with a country filled with some lovely people who share a painful and violent history.

Our team and the work we do is chronicled on our unit blog: Texas Agribusiness Development Team–IV.


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