In 2008, God birthed a desire to go to Africa through the Invisible Children organization. I began to study and pray for a way that we could get our youth ministry involved. We contacted a nearby church that had just returned from a trip to Rwanda and were put in touch with the missionary who led their trip. In March 2009, we took a group of 19 on our first trip to The Land of a Thousand Hills. Upon our arrival, we were introduced to an amazing pastor in Kigali named Jean Baptiste Tushimeyere. Unlike previous mission trips that I had been on, the Holy Spirit confirmed that our ministries would forever be connected. Upon returning to the US, the desire to return was overwhelming, so much so that another trip was made 6 months later. After serving in Rwanda on 9 separate occasions, through trust and mutual respect, the Rwandans have helped us to understand the needs of the church and their culture as a whole. In 2012, Jean Baptiste asked me to pray about establishing a mission organization that would create ministry opportunities for people from all over the world who have hearts to go and make disciples. In the fall of 2014, the Lord confirmed, in the middle of a church service, that the time was now. We have since partnered with Christ Community Church of Columbus, Georgia to launch this mission.
We know that not everyone that serves with Come Away missions will go again, but we strive to demonstrate to people the importance of long-term missions. Our heart is for a person to come build lasting relationships, find God’s calling, and invest in peoples’ lives. It takes time to build relationships, but once you meet the people, hear their stories, and allow God to move as he sees fit, you will be hooked.