In 2010, Chris Uhl and Jen Smith – current and honorary members of WOW, respectively -- went on a mission trip together to Mozambique, on the southeastern edge of Africa. They were so touched by God through that experience that they both dreamed of returning some day with their daughters.
And this summer the Lord has given them their wish! Hunter Uhl and Haylee Smith will be traveling with their mothers back to Mozambique August 2-15, 2017 on an outreach mission trip.
The outreach program is aimed at touching the lives of preteens and teenagers by focusing on God's view on purity. They want to reach the children of Mozambique before they start to carry the burdens of taking care of a household. By the age of 18 years old the majority of girls in Mozambique are married.
Because of the language barrier, the team will perform skits to communicate God's word to the Mozambican youth. Through the youth, the group also hopes to reach their parents, who will see the light of God shining through their children.
On Sunday, May 7th, Northeast Ohioans can catch a sneak peek of the skit and help the team raise needed funds for its mission. The team will host a benefit Spaghetti Dinner from 5 to 8 pm at Guys Party Center in Akron. Guys is donating the dinner, and 100 percent of the proceeds will go for the Mozambique team, which consists of 7 high school students and 4 adults. The suggested donation amount for dinner is $10 per person or $30 per family.
Both Chris and Jen have been members of WOW for many years and their daughters have helped in numerous fundraising events since WOW was founded. Hunter is a junior at Green High School and Haylee, also a junior, is home schooled. Both have been active in their youth ministry at the The Chapel in Akron and The Chapel in Green. Hunter is also a DOW--Daughter of WOW.
The Uhls and Smiths have participated in many mission trips both local and abroad over the past several years. Hunter saw how it affected her parents and saw this trip as an awesome opportunity.
"I feel like I have lived a sheltered life in Green and have not experienced many problems outside of my privileged community," Hunter says. Haylee, who also heard about her parents’ trips over the years, adds "I really wanted to be a part of it and help the women of Mozambique."
Both young ladies have been busy at their local church campuses volunteering and also have served on many local mission trips, but this will be their first trip out of the country. They are so excited to see what God will show them, and they are allowing His word to guide their efforts. Hunter’s favorite passage is The Message version of 1 Corinthians 13:1-7, which begins, “If I speak with human eloquence and angelic ecstasy but don’t love, I’m nothing but the creaking of a rusty gate…” Haylee adds 1 Timothy 1:15 -- "Here is a trustworthy saying that deserves full acceptance: Christ Jesus came into the world to save sinners—of whom I am the worst. " (NIV)
With Mother's Day around the corner, I asked both young ladies how their mothers have been role models to them. Hunter said
"My Mom (Chris) is a BIG people person. She can talk to tons of people, and she helps people all the time,” Hunter says. “I struggle to be like her. She is very driven and knows exactly what she wants and gets stuff done!!"
"Growing up I've watched my Mom (Jen) working at the church with church ministries and how she helps kids,” Haylee explains. “I would like to be able to do what she does."
In today's culture so many of us are tuned into only one thing -- ourselves and what the world can give us. It is so uplifting to hear the hearts of these two young ladies that have such a strong desire to serve others and glorify the Lord.
Please pray for these women and their daughters, as they desire to be the living examples of God's word in speech, conduct, love, faith and purity. If you are so moved, please consider supporting them financially by attending the Spaghetti Dinner at Guy’s Party Center this Sunday.
-- Lorraine Pruitt © May 2017