At VOUS Church, one of our core values is generosity. We see generosity as a privilege – we don’t have to give, we get to give. We go beyond what’s required and give of our time, talents, and treasure. That core value has resonated with some who call our church home, and they’ve made strides in their personal lives by investing into people.Katharine Rowse is someone who had a dream to serve others and took steps in realizing it with a little help from her friends:
Katharine Rowse:It all started last January during the 21 days of prayer and fasting, #PrayFirst, I had this strong desire to do a medical mission in Kenya. My father had been there before, and it was something I had wanted to do but in my unique way - to use my skills as a nurse for free medical services. Other than that, I had no idea where to start.Then came months without planning for the mission and many setbacks. It wasn’t until after Labor Day where Katharine heard Pastor Rich share the Stand Firm message that she decided it was time to kick the trip back into gear. Within days of announcing the opportunity, she had an overwhelming response of people willing to buy into her dream. By late November, a mix of medical professionals—including physicians, pediatricians, registered nurses, physical therapists, and rehabilitation experts—and individuals of all walks joined together to serve in Kenya for 10 days.
Team members, James Mungai, ophthalmology technician, and Ruth Gomez, an optometric technician, also lent their expertise to the mission.Ruth Gomez:For me, I was at a crossroads. I was thinking of quitting my job at the ophthalmology office to focus on going to law school. Then one day I heard about this Kenya trip at the courtyard after service and started asking questions and got connected with Katharine and James. James Mungai: So, when I heard about the medical mission, I knew I wanted to help not only personally, with my family being from Kenya, but professionally.
James was asked by Ruth to provide potential companies that would supply free glasses for the mission. With his help, Ruth was able to receive 5,000 glasses through donations. James did more than that. He provided eye charts and near cards, and helped Ruth find a hand-held autorefractor, a machine used to make quick prescription estimates for patients. Together, they gave free eye exams and glasses to those seeking medical help during the mission.RG:There was a 17-year-old boy we met in Kenya, who said he couldn’t see well for his studies in school and with the autorefractor, he needed a -0.9 Rx! And the 93-year-old lady that was so filled with joy for a new pair of glasses. This trip has taught me God doesn’t waste any experience. He used my background, even though I was leaving the medical field, for this mission trip and it’s been one of the most fulfilling experiences of my life.
The Bible says it is more blessed to give than to receive. Katharine took a step and shared her dream, then people came together to give of their own talents and resources to over 3000 Kenyans with medical attention. The dream became a reality that not only impacted the people served but the missionaries themselves. Their blessing was a stronger faith, a deeper connection with God, and a new perspective on life unlikely to be erased.
Now for most of us, a mission trip to Kenya or any other country might not be feasible. But it doesn’t mean a life of generosity should be far-fetched. Opportunity for generosity comes in many forms. It could be for a local toy drive, a soup kitchen, or a neighbor in between jobs who could use a paid phone bill or groceries.There’s even an opportunity here at VOUS Church with our annual offering, this year called Stand Firm Offering. With it, we increase our capacity to serve our city and world, bringing hope to the broken.If you call VOUS Church home, you can still be the hands and feet of Jesus by joining us in the Stand Firm Offering. When you give, you’re believing that this is only the beginning and that the best is still yet to come.Thank you for your generosity!