Friday, October 30, 2015

Meet the newest addition to the VO staff family: Jessica Gunn

I am so honored to be featured on VO’s blog today!

My journey with VO started back in 2012 when a friend of mine told me she was leading a trip to Kenya & Uganda with them. I immediately felt a whisper in my heart that I was supposed to join her team! The timing was crazy as my husband and I already had plans to serve on a missions trip to Alaska that same summer for a whole month, and between both trips and the cost of missed work, we needed to fundraise nearly $10,000! We took the step of faith and I told God that if He really wanted me to go on this VO trip, He would have to provide. Well, He did and less than a week after returning from Alaska, I boarded a plane to go serve in Kenya & Uganda. It was wild!

The entire trip was absolutely incredible in every way. I had been on many different missions trips before, but this trip absolutely impacted me the most as we specifically loved and served orphans. I love children and have a huge heart for orphan care so this trip felt like it was designed specifically with me in mind! I did not want to come home!

It was on that trip to Kenya & Uganda that my heart was wrecked in the most wonderful way. I purposed in my heart that I could not simply travel to Africa and not come home and take an action step to help make a difference. Upon returning home, I formed my own non-profit organization called Project Hazina (Hazina means “treasure” in Swahili). Project Hazina provides pillows, blankets, and mattresses to orphans as well as funding for projects in East Africa through the sales of fair-trade jewelry made by artisans in India! God has blown me away with his faithfulness in that journey as I have simply just continued to hand him my “yes”. When you hand God your yes, it is absolutely amazing to see what He does with it!

I am deeply passionate about orphan care and adoption and have worked in the adoption field serving adoptive families.

I have had a heart for missions since the age of 14 and have had the deep honor of serving in over 40 Nations all over the world. Growing up I always knew that God had called me to be a “goer” and His faithfulness to provide for every single one of my trips still leaves me in awe! Never let the fear of raising money keep you from going on a missions trip! Step out and watch God move! The process is truly so exciting!

I am bursting with joy and thankfulness to announce that I have the honor and privilege of being VO’s latest staff member! I have joined the team to work as a Missions Assistant, working in admin, a little bit of bookkeeping, and social media. I will also be working to help coordinate VO’s trips to Kenya, Uganda, and India! This is truly a dream come true and a huge answer to prayer, I’m still pinching myself!

To think that this journey started by simply feeling led to go to Kenya & Uganda with VO and now I am on staff, leaves me absolutely speechless. I cannot put my thankfulness into words! I am deeply excited to see how God uses me in this role at Visiting Orphans and cannot wait to dive in!

A little bit about me:

My husband Chris and I have been married for 5 years (next month!). We met in an airport baggage claim area and have been adventuring together ever since. Last year we sold everything and backpacked to 25 countries serving in missions wherever we went. It was the most incredible year of our lives so far and we are even writing a book about our trip! 

I love to spend time with my big family (I'm one of seven kids!) & friends and spoil my 4 adopted baby siblings. I love coffee, Chipotle, blankets, globes (my husband has banned me from buying another one!), running races, discovering companies that give back and shopping fair-trade whenever possible, watching the sunset at the beach, and going to see a movie! I am never without at least 2 books in my purse, I have a slight (major) obsession with cream cheese and I love to decorate my house constantly!

I have such a desire to get know each of you individually! Please leave me a comment and tell me how you came to join the VO family and what trip(s) you’ve gone on or are planning to go on and tell me about yourself!

I love all of my fellow world changers out there! I will be praying for each of your journeys daily!

With Love,

Jessica Gunn

***Follow me on my personal instagram: jessicagunn and also at: projecthazina***

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