Her Campus (HC): Hello Emily! To start off, why don’t you tell me a little bit about yourself!
Emily Ammons (EA): Hello! My name is Emily Ammons, I am a senior in high school, and I’m 17 years old. I come from a big family, and I’ve lived in the same town my whole life. Traveling is something I’ve always wanted to do, especially for the Lord, and through that international mission has become my biggest passion. At school, I’m involved in FCA, Jouniorettes, NHS, Young Republicans of America, and I Am Enough, which is a new club that raises mental health awareness and positivity.
HC: So in the week before high school graduation, there are many events that the seniors participate in, such as the senior breakfast, field day, award ceremonies, etc. Do you think later in life you will regret missing these things?
EA: I don’t think so. A lot of my best friends were actually mad at me for missing those things! But I saw it as God opening an opportunity for me because we would leave two days after my last exam and get back three days before graduation. Yes, the whole week before graduation is crazy, but there are ways for me to coordinate getting my cap and gown and things like that. God just really allowed me to go on this mission trip and not miss the biggest event of the week, which is the actual graduation ceremony. I think what I’m doing there [ in Africa], being able to pour into these girls and spread the gospel of Jesus is worth more than looking back and saying “oh I was able to play outside with some senior friends or go to a three-hour-long award ceremony.”
HC: What are you going to be doing in Africa, and where in Africa will you be going?
EA: I’m going with Mentor Leaders which is a non-profit organization based out of Nashville, Tennessee, and we will be going to a very small village called Bengal which is in Togo, West Africa. Togo is a small country next to Ghana. So to answer what we will be doing there, Mentor Leaders already have a school in the village of Bengal and multiple churches spanning across the village. While we’re there, we will be going to the school and leading discipleship camps. So what that will look like is in the mornings my team will be able to meet with young women who are out of secondary school and learning a sort of vocation. It would be like going to vocational college and learning a trade. With these three women, we will teach them discipleship, meaning how to read your Bible in a way that gives you a better understanding of God’s message in the Bible and also train them to be able to teach younger girls to do the same thing. Then in the afternoon, we will be talking to all of the youth aged girls, focusing on the subject of sexual assault and how you can overcome and be redeemed in the love of God and how to create boundaries for yourself that commands respect for who you are in Christ.
HC: What made you want to go back, why did you go in the first place?
EA: The reason why I went in the first place is that I really felt moved by God to go, and he gave me the opportunity to go. I really felt like I needed to go not only to minister to the people in my hometown, but also to people across the globe. I prayed a lot about it, and I realized that the opportunity to share God’s love with people who don’t get to hear about it on a daily basis is something I couldn’t pass up. I want to go back because I got to see all that God was telling me come to life and see the Gospel in action. One thing I was really scared about when I went to Africa the first time is the language barrier, but I realized that this wasn’t an issue at all. Just a smile to the kids I was ministering to showed me that they could feel the love of God. I didn’t need to speak, I could just smile or hold their hand or kick a soccer ball around with them and I could tell that they understood what I was trying to get across, which was that Jesus loves them. Being able to spread God’s love not only through words but also through action is something I want to go back to.
HC: What would you say to someone who feels drawn to go on a mission trip, even if they’re not a Christian, but wants to go to a third world country and make a difference overseas?
EA: Honestly, just go. Don’t think about it, don’t wonder what it would be like to go to a different country one day, just go. I know there can be a lot of fears and scary things that can come with it and money can always be an issue, but I think anyone and everyone should at least once in their life go on a mission trip to a third world country just to see how great we have it here and understand how much we take things for granted. So I would say try to get over the fear, get over the lack of whatever it is you think you’re lacking and just go!