Could a 10th grade history class really change your life? For Mallory Thomas, that is where her journey began. Her final project in the class was to do a report on Kenya. “After doing the project, I knew I was going to be there someday,” says Mallory.
(She has just returned from her third mission trip to Kenya. It seems to have created a lasting impact.)
Mallory began attending Strong Rock Christian School in 2007 as a part of the inaugural group of students. She remembers it being a great year because everyone was brand new and just waiting for something amazing to happen. The very next year, the Kenya seed was planted in her heart, and it hasn’t stopped growing.
When Mallory went off to college at The University of Georgia to study math education, she knew the summers would be her chance. Her mom had a friend who worked at The Kenya Project. After looking into this ministry, Mallory couldn’t wait to go and start serving. For her first trip, she spent 10 weeks in Nakuru, Kenya.
The Kenya Project has a school in Nakuru that serves close to 800 students. These students receive an education, two meals a day, a uniform and yearly medical check ups. The organization also includes four family homes for orphans. A woman, affectionately known as Mama Robi, started The Kenya Project out of a loving heart for children and education, having only a third grade education herself. Her son lives in the states and helps with fundraising and the operation of the mission.
While Mallory was serving on her initial trip, she started an art club and helped the school open its first library. She recalls that the children didn’t even know red and yellow paint mix together to create orange. She left knowing she would be back. “It is a place that I have poured so much in to,” says Mallory. “It is a perfect blend of education, art and missions.”
Her second and third trips were each six weeks long. The second trip looked very similar to the first, with hosting art camps and tutoring children. For her third trip, Mallory collected stories and pictures for the mission to use in creating marketing materials.
With just one semester left in college, Mallory is trying to discern whether she wants to pursue mission work full time or pursue teaching. Kenya has truly impacted Mallory in a deep way, and the Kenyan people have challenged her. “They know what it is to be physically hungry, so they know how to feast spiritually,” says Mallory.
The challenge: be on the lookout for what project or assignment might change your life.
For more information about The Kenya Project, visit thekenyaproject.org.
By Kalie Burnett