To the top of Africa

Photo by   Tyler Sharp

Photo by  Tyler Sharp

 

I don't remember where I was, but I remember the conversation. I was talking with my friend Carrie about dreams that we both had. She asked me what my life on a 3x5 would be...If we just had a few cards to accomplish things on, what would they be. I had never really thought about that. We talked about all sorts of crazy dreams we had and one of those that I shared was that I wanted to climb Mt. Kilimanjaro in Africa. I made a list that day of about 30 things that I wanted to achieve. I wanted to reach 50 countries by the time I was 30 and I reached that goal at 29. It was amazing to scratch that off! A few of the other dreams I had on that list were things like take my Mom to India, see gorilla's in the wild in Rwanda, experience a musical on Broadway ( I had never done it!), learn to drive a standard, and visit the 7 wonders of the world. What's crazy is that I've accomplished most of the goals I made that day. But this one that always seemed impossible lingered in the distance....KILIMANJARO which is the highest mountain in Africa and one of the 7 Summits.

My friend Betty sent me an e-mail earlier this year and asked me if I wanted to join her and a few other women and climb Mt. Kilimanjaro in January 2017 to help raise money for the Medical Center that Africa New Life is building in Rwanda. I immediately felt that this was the opportunity I've been waiting for. I believe in Africa New Life with all my heart and I know this Medical Center will have tremendous impact and will be able to serve thousands of people for years to come. One young girl named Rachel had to come all the way to America in order to receive treatment and have multiple surgeries that were not able to be done in Rwanda. She is now back in Rwanda thriving. I met a boy named Jovanus year ago in a village and his legs were backwards from the knees down. He had to come to Texas for surgery because it couldn't be done in Rwanda. He is now walking, jumping and running like the rest of the children his age. Stories like Rachel and Jovanus are the reason why we are climbing. So children like her can get the special care they need in their own home country. I have had Malaria twice and without access to treatment, I could have died. I have had several friends that have died all over Africa because they didn't have access to medical treatment. This is why this Medical Center is so important. I'm going to be training like crazy for the next 5 months and paying for the flight, climbing fees and gear out of my own pocket. I believe this Medical Center is going to do incredible things for the people of Rwanda and I'm so excited we get to be a part of making it happen.  It is vital that every person should have access to proper healthcare and be able to see a doctor when they need one. I really can't wait to see this facility completed and doctors and patients in every room. 

I am asking all of you to consider sponsoring me to climb Mt. Kilimanjaro by donating to the Africa New Life Medical Center. What I would love is to build a team of supporters for this. I will be sending you all updates and personally keeping you in the loop as I train and climb. My goal is to raise $10,000 on September 1st, my 33rd Birthday. That's alot, but I believe it's possible.  Here's how we can do it: 

Mt. Kilimanjaro is 19,341ft. For my 33rd Birthday -- would you considering donating a penny for every foot I climb? It comes out to $193.41

or

Would you sponsor me to climb with $33 for my 33rd Birthday? 

Click the link above to go to the Kilimanjaro page and find my name to give to my climb! 100% of what you give will go towards the medical center, not my climbing fees. 

 
 

 

Dream Medical Center in Kigali, Rwanda

Betty, Annette and myself who are all climbers on this trip

Betty, Annette and myself who are all climbers on this trip

 

 

In June 2016 I climbed Mt. Elbert in Colorado. One of the hardest hikes of my life, but I did reached the summit at 14,433 ft. 

 

 

Some of the beautiful people the Medical Center will be Serving

 

 

 

Arizona

This past week I went to Arizona for the Barefoot Gathering. I loved the conversations that circled around social causes, how to love people more and photographing with dignity and more. We had some incredible speakers take the stage - Dr. John Perkins, Bob Goff, Rachel Held Evans, Erwin Mcmanus -- It's so cool to see a church come together to put on such an awesome gathering of people. Dr. Perkins sitting in his chair pointed at me after I spoke and used his pointer finger to call me over. I jokingly asked him if I was in trouble for something. I got down on my knees to his height and waited patiently for what he might say. He looked at me seriously and said, "Your story, it burdened me, it affected me". He then told me a story about his Mother and how the story of the woman I talked about reminded him of her. He is a very wise man who has lived through a lot of life and I was honored that one of my stories stayed with him. I love that he is in his 80's and still speaking. He is still using his platform to share about God and challenge people.. My brother Josh Havens is the Worship pastor at the Grove in Chandler, Arizona and we decided to go for a hike in the Superstition Mountains. There is a neat hike called the Hieroglyphic trail -- I couldn't believe how much the sky changed colors in the couple hours we were walking -- reds, blue's, purple's, orange's and yellow's. The sky was like it was being painted by God. His beautiful artwork. On our walk back to the car, the rains began to pour which is apparently one of the 8 times it's rained in Pheonix this year. A rare moment that i'm so thankful for. All of the images are photographed with the iphone 5s -- if you are interested in prints you can send me an email below with the image size you want. I work closely with a great printer and will put in an order right away, sign the image and mail it to you directly.


 
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