Return to Zim 2013

This is the year I get to return to Zimbabwe, and I am so excited for an opportunity to go back to the place the Lord used as a turning point in my faith and my life choices. I have told many of you about my first trip to Zimbabwe way back in 2006 and all the things I will get to do when I return this year, and you guys have been so encouraging and helpful with giving me tips on international travel and living. Thank you!



The plan so far is that I will leave for Harare Zimbabwe on June 20th and return September 12th (landing in the States on the 13th). I will then reevaluate to see if I will return to Zim or look at other overseas options.


For those of you who don't know, I will be working with Celebrate International, a ministry created by Pastors Tom and Bonnie Deuschle that the Lord has used since the 1980s to spread the Gospel of Jesus Christ and to give Zimbabweans opportunities to excel in life through jobs, a school, and the ministry itself. Celebrate International is not about bringing people into one building but about building people up in the country (and really the world now that they have gone international through cell churches and connections in the States and England) and improving the world they live in through venues such as Compassion Ministries, an orphanage in Harare that services around 50 orphans, and charity food distributions programs for those connected with the cell churches. The people working in Celebrate International are constantly thinking about how they can help those around them and how to move forward to reach their goals. Tommy Deuschle, Tom and Bonnie's oldest son, and Tim Bickers from Oral Roberts University have just launched Emerging Ideas, a business that is a great example of where the heart of this ministry lies. Here is their Facebook page if you are interested in getting more involved or simply want to learn more.

Because of my experience at Pine Cove as a program summer staffer and as a manager in a department where change was necessary on a daily basis, I hope to be able to add to the ministry's demands for new and different programs or even just improving the ones they already have by being there in person as an extra hand and brain on deck. I am eager to get to work in this ministry again, to work alongside the orphans and love on them, visit the hospital, practice my administrative skills in the church building, teach, etc.... You name it, and I will probably be doing it.

Asking for money is my least favorite part of missions, but it has also been a positive challenge for me, a girl who has only ever asked for money from her parents. I need to raise approximately 4,000 dollars in order to fully fund the trip, which includes a plane ticket, the visa, and cost of living. If there is any extra after the basics are covered, I will be able to give the excess funds to the orphanage. If the Lord leads you to support me, you can send mail to:

Lauren Benson
9112 W. 90th Street
Overland Park, KS 66212

Or you can use this site!

I encourage you to read 2 Corinthians 9, where Paul narrates well how generosity is filled with blessings for the recipient and for the giver. Thank you again for supporting me as I take this overseas journey to represent Jesus and His wonderful gift of grace.

Lauren

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Organizer

Lauren Benson 
Organizer
Overland Park, KS
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