I want to be Rosemary Jensen. At 82, she’s the founder and director of the Rafiki Foundation, and I have only met a handful of people with faith as big as hers. She started the Rafiki Training villages in her seventies and continues to travel to Africa at least three times a year. The mission of the Rafiki Foundation is to help people to know God and to help people improve their standard of living. They do this through training villages in which they raise orphaned children to be Africans who help to improve Africa overtime… and in September, I’ll get to be a part of the action in Uganda!
We went to training for the Rafiki Foundation this past weekend in Eustis, Florida, near Orlando. It is a training session that everyone (with a few exceptions) that goes to Africa with Rafiki has to attend. It was an incredible weekend that gave me even more assurance that this really was what God is calling me to for the next semester. There’s so much that could be said about Rafiki. But this is a blog and not a novel, so I’ll condense it. If you want to know more about Rafiki, you can visit their website: RafikiFoundation.org. They do a much better job of explaining themselves than I could ever hope to.
Training went from Friday evening to Saturday evening, and we attended St. Andrew’s Chapel, the church the Jensens attend, on Sunday. Training was held at the Rafiki home office, which is a small scale replica of the training villages in Africa. There are ten Rafiki training villages in ten different countries of Africa. The picture above is of the gate of the fence that surrounds each Rafiki village and below is a few buildings within the home office, built similiarly to the villages in Africa.
I’ve been realizing over and over again lately how small my faith really is and how little I trust in God, sometimes because I don’t have to trust and sometimes because I choose not. At the beginning of this whole process, I was so excited, but as weeks turned to months, and I still had no definite plans, I felt discouraged and unsure if this was even something I was really supposed to do. I had gotten to the point that I just wanted plans, any plans, but I waited, impatiently, for God to open the right doors, even though I was skeptical that it would happen. Now I can see that God was orchestrating his plan perfectly to get me interested in Rafiki. Rafiki fits both my desires to serve the Lord in Africa and my parent’s needs to feel that I was safe halfway across the world, and now we are even praying about my mom coming with me for the first two weeks I’m there!
We’re working on dates with flights and all, but without a major act of God, it’s looking like I’ll be in Uganda from the beginning of September to the beginning of December, loving on sweet Africans and serving alongside Rafiki Overseas staff and native Africans.