Summer of ’98

It’s hard to believe that it has been ten eleven years since the summer of 1998. That’s the summer I spent living with a missionary family in Guinea, West Africa through Alliance Youth Corps (now called Global Ventures).

Needless to say that summer had a major impact on my life, my faith and my worldview. It was my first exposure to extreme poverty. It was first time I had ever been in the religious minority. The first time I had ever been in a place  where I didn’t speak the language of those around me. And it was also the first time I had ever gone anywhere where I was the only person with white skin.

So I’ve decided to spend some time this summer reflecting on that period of time in my journey. Over the coming weeks I will revisit some of those memories and share my experiences in Guinea. I left so much of my heart in that country – with those people – when I left. If you had asked me back then when I’d hoped to return, I would have said “tomorrow.” Here it is ten eleven years later.


8 thoughts on “Summer of ’98

  1. We plan to. Or I should say we’d like to. It’s going to be a question of timing. Once we started having kids especially.

    When they’re old enough to hold up to the rigors of traveling (and Malaria) we’ll consider an extended trip. Or we’ll let them spend a summer with Grandpa and Grandma in their RV and we’ll go ourselves. 😉

  2. nice. you were right next to liberia, where a lot of people here in prov are from, including my supervisor. he’s great. i’d really love to go to kenya, to a refugee camp or something and volunteer, but just don’t know how it could be done with all my debt and medical issues. should’ve done it in college like you did.

  3. The debt you’re just going to have to find a way to knock out ASAP. But couldn’t you join the Peace Corps? I’m sure you’d get medical coverage through them affordably.

  4. i’d looked into it prior to finding this job i have now. they basically are not really supportive of the idea of issues whilst being on the frontline, so to speak. it’s understandable.

  5. It’s amazing how long ago things like this seem, and yet how the memories seem like yesterday? It’s been almost 7 years since I was in the Grand Canyon for a summer… The experience of ministering to a transient congregation, as well as interacting with the Native American population, was a totally new experience for me, and one that I loved. It shaped a lot of my ministry views, and I feel like I really “found myself” there. I too keep talking about when I’m gonna make it back there. I nearly stayed to accept a job there – I made the decision to return to school just two days before leaving.

  6. I applaud you all for not taking advantage of the opportunity to make me look stupid by pointing out that it is in fact 2009. Which would make it 11 years since I was in Guinea. 😆

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