Thursday, September 10, 2009

And so it starts....

To all who have supported me, loved me and walked life beside me:

When I was young, a new Steven Curtis Chapman song boldly instructed to “Saddle up your horses, [because] we have a trail to blaze into the wild blue yonder of God’s amazing grace. Just follow your leader into the glorious unknown, this is a life like no other—this is the great adventure.” Although I didn’t know it at the time, the chorus would become a life motto that has, thus far, blessed me beyond belief. With that assurance of past grace, and the promise of future strength given by Christ alone, I have decided to embark on a half-year mission trip to Lusaka, Zambia.

Through the help of Youth Unlimited ( staff, I have been accepted as an intern to an organization called Every Orphan’s Hope based in Lusaka, Zambia. Zambia, as a country, is ravaged by HIV/AIDS. One in every seven adults has AIDS, and 10-15% of the children that the organization interacts with are already infected with HIV. Thus, Every Orphan’s Hope, as a Christian organization, is committed to “sharing the love and hope of Jesus Christ with orphaned children in Africa and to care for orphans affected and infected by the HIV/AIDS pandemic.” They seek to fulfill this purpose “through the church and through acts of love that reveal the gospel of Christ, encourage the Church, disciple the nations and glorify God” ( The organization has 6 ministry programs that include:

  • Camp Hope Bible Outreach programming (a series of 2 week VBS-like camps held at various locations throughout Zambia that minister to orphans in HIV/AIDS affected communities)
  • Orphan Sponsorship
  • My Father’s House Orphan Homes (a program that allows 8 orphaned children to be raised in a loving home, governed by a widowed house mother, and be supported by God’s extended family)
  • selling GoodNews Wristbands (used both to raise awareness/monetary support and as a ministry tool)
  • supporting Orphan Sunday (engaging the Christian church to love, protect, pray and provide for the orphans in their community)
  • supporting Ministry Alliance Programs (in order to further the Christian ministry of solving the AIDS orphan crisis by partnering with multiple Christian organizations)

As a lone intern, I will not be embarking on this trip with any sort of mission’s team, but simply as one called to serve. Although I know my role will be to help with all six ministries of the organization, I will be relying on the staff in Zambia to make up my schedule as needs become present. I was told to be prepared for anything, and remain flexible in the face of being told at breakfast we would be leaving to journey to a remote village in order to help write biographies and take photos of orphans in need of sponsorship…. or being told to walk down the street to help scrub the floor of an Orphan Home. Every day will be an adventure requiring God’s grace and (undoubtedly) good humor.

Although I am filled somewhat with fear and trepidation at the prospect of going alone, I am at peace knowing that God is good, and the life he has called me to is much better than any I could imagine for myself. As such, I wish to thank you in advance for any support you will be providing me with. I thank you for the prayers, for checking in with me both out of love and encouragement, and for help financing my journey. Within the next 4 months I will need to raise $8000-$10,000 in order to cover my expenses (including flying to Zambia and back—the specific amount is not yet set due to outrageous airfare prices!, food, lodging, my visa, and other materials necessary for me to serve fully).

As for financial donations, all donations are tax-deductible and can be made in one of two ways:
  • Checks can be made out to Youth Unlimited (who is helping me with all the paperwork/travel involved with getting to Zambia) and sent to my current Michigan residence or placed in my parents church mailbox.
  • Donating online at Youth Unlimited’s website at: --however, please make sure to indicate that the donated money is for ‘Annika Krygsman’s Zambia trip’ in the given ‘Notes’ section

Although keeping in touch during the 6 months I am in Africa will be difficult, I will do my best to keep everyone updated through this online blog. Internet access will be limited and sporadic, but I was told it will be possible for me to post. In addition, my new (non-college!) email address is now

Thank you again for all the love and support, both now and through the years I have been blessed to know all of you. Here’s to the mysterious unknown and God’s next great adventure!

By the Grace of God alone,

Annika Krygsman

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