Chelsea - YWAM

Hello, everyone!

I've recently arrived in Orlando as a student in an organization called Youth With a Mission. YWAM is a Christian organization that equips people with the knowledge, learning and tools to go out and help people. They have over 1,200 bases all over the world.
After four years of working towards this, I have joined the Justice track (three months training in Orlando, and two months in South Africa), which targets things like human trafficking, orphans, poverty, homelessness, need of water, etc.. My heart lies in the fight against human trafficking, and besides coming here to find myself and my purpose, it's the reason why I chose this path in life. It's about a $6,000 venture, but I've worked for it and made it.
Shortly after arrival, I began to make many friends, something I hadn't anticipated. (Including a little lizard friend named Steve, who found his way inside of my shirt; thus ending our thirty-minute relationship.)

Already amazing things are happening here, and it's only been two weeks out of the five months.
During one of the quiet times we have in the morning, a time to be alone and reflect, I felt pulled to go down a particular path I don't like to go down on my walk. As I went, I saw another student coming towards me.
Expecting the usual quiet wave, I was surprised when he stopped and said he was glad to see me, then remarked it was weird, which evoked an unspoken 'why' in my head, and he asked to pray with me.
He prayed that I was going to mature more into adulthood at YWAM, something that actually struck a cord in me. See, as someone with autism, I feel permanently stuck in an immature state, and I feel I'll never 'grow up', although I've been told I'm very mature for my age.
After he finished, I admitted to him I normally don't go down that path, and he said that neither did he. Normally he sits elsewhere, but God told him to walk down that path, and as he walked, he asked God who he should pray about. Expecting a friend or family member, he was surprised when my name popped into his head.
He'd rounded the corner, and there I was walking towards him.
This will never leave me.

I'd told my mother that I would rather die than live the rest of my life with the only thing to look forward to being the next day off of work. I'm still learning to trust God, and it's amazing I still have the ability to doubt Him when every time I trusted Him in the past, He didn't fail me. I wouldn't be alive today if it weren't for Him.

I've worked for years, having to start over when my car literally fell apart beneath me, to get towards this goal, and I'm finally here, but I'm not out of the woods yet. Turns out the plane ticket to get from the base to South Africa is not included in the outreach phase price--which I only discovered after I was accepted to the school. This can total about $2,200, and that's not including the cost of having to fly back to my home when this is all over. Please consider supporting me in my journey, or sharing with others.
Any extra unneeded money will go to my new friend who came here from Sweden, and has found, to her horror, that everything in America costs about 3 times as much as it does in her country.

Thank you so much for taking the time to read this! Your thoughts and prayers mean so much to me. I know that God will provide.

God bless!

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Chelsea Machiela 
Zeeland, MI
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