Welcome to our blog! We are on a two week trip to Tanzania and Kenya to visit several World Renew projects. Some of the projects we will be visiting include: sex-work interventions, health programs, and agriculture programs. BUT, we also have a guest author writing many of these blog entries.

Calvin College and Vermont College of Fine Arts graduate and established author, Larissa...

Earlier this month, we had the opportunity to visit the World Renew team in West Africa. We greatly enjoyed experiencing another culture and country. The World Renew team has a health education program that they help facilitate in the churches. The program is very different from the one in Dakar. We were there to A) see how the program worked there, B) see the material they use for the curriculum, and C) give any suggestions...

Dear friends and family,

   I want to share a short update with you on how my preparations are going. First, I have a departure date! I’m planning on leaving for Honduras on Saturday, October 22. This is only two weeks away! I’m starting to feel nervous but also quite excited. This past Sunday, my family and friends from Voyage Church gathered around me to pray over my trip, as seen in the picture. I’m so glad that I...

The 5 month dry season was broken this morning with the pitter patter of rain on our metal roof.  This sound is exciting for all the farming communities in our region and especially those communities where World Renew has been teaching Conservation Agriculture.  The farmers who were trained have received seeds and now will start to plant green manure cover crops along with the staple crops of corn and cassava.  The rains are also exciting for Phil as...

            A new month has started and we’re into a new program year. This program year will see many alterations due to funding changes and it will be interesting to see those modifications unfold. We’re enjoying life back in our little office and are extremely thankful for two ceiling fans and four large windows. We have given up trying to smell nice as every day and night involves constantly sweating. The only thing that brings...

It has already been one week since I was welcomed by some of the wonderful WR Cambodia staff in the Phnom Penh airport. Although I have visited Cambodia before, I have never flown directly into the country (I entered Cambodia by bus at the Thai border in January). This time, my daytime flight from Hong Kong to Phnom Penh allowed me to see the city from a bird’s eye view. Having spent the last seven weeks working for another...

Family, friends,

The reason I am writing to you is to share part of what I like about being a volunteer. One aspect of this role is to be a bridge, to connect people like yourselves to the lives of people in a different culture. As you continue to support the ministry with which I will be working, I will continue to update you with what we are doing. It is my privilege to be able to connect my community of...

Monday morning I set off on the biggest journey of my life thus far; I said goodbye to my family and friends (and my beloved dog) and began the journey to the country that will be my home for the next year. I've already been here for four days and I still haven't had time to fully process this next stage of my life--and maybe I won't ever fully process it. 

After Bethany and I were picked up from...

Ninety-six hours ago, I was gazing out my plane window, watching the city of Grand Rapids shrink to a cluster of lights in the distance.

I’m not usually very nostalgic, but I was going through a long list of goodbyes in my head: to friends and family, to the Grand Rapids coffee shops I’ve spent so much time in over these past four years, to Calvin College and my wonderful apartment and the music practice rooms.

I felt like I was flying...

As I prepare for my time in Honduras, I find myself getting easily lost in the “grand-scheme of things” way of thinking. Thoughts like, “I have so much to do to get ready”, “How much of a difference will I actually make?”, and “My goodness, two years is a very long time” tend to pop up in my mind often. However, I have been learning to take things one at a time, to look at the small details...

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