Shirts and Kenya

Yesterday, we told you about Ragan – one of our former Daraja Choir interns– and her amazing attitude of faith and generosity as she struggles with Hodgkins Lymphoma, a form of cancer. Today, we thought we’d let her share herself. This is direct from her blog.. 

 

shirts and kenya<3

 

hi friends,

i hope you all are having an incredible week. i certainly am!

since i updated last, i had my fourth chemo this past friday. it went really well! actually, when i was super sick the weekend before, my doctor prescribed me a different nausea medicine than the one i was on. it seems to work much better and my nausea has been the least of any treatment thus far! i am so thankful for that. i did notice after this treatment, though, my exhaustion has certainly increased. while friday wasn’t bad, saturday i ended up being so tired, i took a nap in the middle of the day and by 9 i couldn’t hold my eyes open. i ended up sleeping for 12 hours that night which was extremely helpful, but even since then, i’ve still been pretty tired. but with my other symptoms practically nonexistant, i certainly can’t complain! what a blessing if that is the worst i have to endure.

when i was at the doctor, i found out that i only have to complete 12 treatments. this is less than i thought, which is incredible! they won’t re-stage me until all my 12 treatments are completed. i am hoping that will be all i have, but if i need to have more, i will know after completing all 12. that does mean that after friday’s treatment, i am down to only 8 left! SINGLE DIGITS! how incredible…god is faithful.

also, since i posted the picture of the shirts, i have had an OVERWHELMING (in the best possible way!) response of people asking if they could get one! because of this, i have decided to place another order of them.

While my friends sold them to raise money for my medical expenses (for which I was extremely grateful), I wanted to give back to an organization that means so much to me. All the expenses above the cost of the shirt will go to 410 Bridge, a non-profit organization based out of Alpharetta, GA. Basically, 410’s mission is to pursue community development to help communities in Kenya and Haiti (and recently, in Uganda). Kenya is the country I have fallen in love with, and the profits will go to fund projects within the country. The people are incredible and I have so many connections and personal relationships with people I know have been directly impacted by 410, so I fully believe in and support what they are doing.

so, to make this a little more personable, i want to tell you about one of my best friends. her name is josephine. she is a highschooler in Kenya. i came to know josephine when she traveled with the Daraja Children’s Choir and came to the US back in 2008. she stayed at my house, and we immediately had a special connection. it’s so crazy to think that you can have so much in common with someone who has been raised and lives so differently from you, but for josephine and i, this was certainly the case.

so what i love the most about josephine is the way that she loves jesus, and she loves people well! she constantly is praying and seeking wisdom from the lord, and she loves to encourage through kind words that literally melt my heart. she has become my best friend as we connect on the most important thing: our faith in christ. she challenges me to be more like him because of the way she loves people…like jesus does.

the choir she traveled with is a branch of 410 Bridge. I am so passionate about this organization because I know that they are doing incredible things. They don’t just dump money into places and leave. their model is to go into communities and see what the communities prioritize as their top needs. they come alongside communities and say “if you do this part, then we will help you.” because of this, kenyans take ownership of the projects and making their communities better because they are the ones instigating what is happening. i absolutely love their model.

i also love it because i have seen firsthand that it works. through several trips to kenya and being in direct contact with people affected by the organization, i know their model is sustainable and provides resources to incredible people who need it.

i am SO excited to sell these shirts to all of you who have asked because in buying them, you are doing such a greater good in sharing jesus with people in your community, and people across the world. it’s the perfect conversation starter for you to share with friends why jesus is good when they see you wearing the shirt, but you are also providing people who have a HUGE place in my heart with resources to make their life better, and help them grow in the lord.

sometimes, i truly believe god calls us to something for a bigger purpose than we are originally aware. i believe that part of god giving me lymphoma may very well have to do with the fact that he knew people would want to keep up with the journey, and in doing that, so much greater good could be done. what a BLESSING it is that through this, so many of his people can be helped and blessed. “for i know the plans i have for you” jeremiah 29:11. when i don’t know why things are happening, i can rest in the fact that HE has a plan! it is a plan not only for my good, but for the good of so many. and by using something like this for his glory, so many of his people come to know more about him. his faithfulness continues to astound me.

if you are interested in getting a shirt, please let me know! the image depicting what they look like is posted below. i am placing the order for the on feb. 12, so i am collecting sizes and money beforehand. all checks can be made to me, so i can cash them to cover the expense of the shirt and then collect the rest to go directly to 410 bridge. call/email/facebook/text me with sizes and i will be happy to order one for you. it’s continuing to make him famous…and doing so much good for people i love dearly <3 thanks so much. love yall! xoxo, ragan

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