Headed to Africa

Konnie, Ashley, Stephan and Shelby


When our kids were still all in elementary school, we hosted two young boys from the African Children’s Choir. We would go on to host many others throughout our young children’s raising — a scientist from Egypt, a student from Palestine — but it was those two young boys from Africa that our youngest daughter remembered  best.

She couldn’t have been more than six or seven when the boys came to stay, but from that moment on Konnie had Africa on her heart.

Konnie was 12 when she came to me and announced rather confidently: I know what my gift is, Mama.

Really? I said, surprised. She had not displayed any gifts of a prodigy to that point.

Yes, she said. I have the gift of intercession.

My head snapped around like Linda Blair on rewind, but I did not laugh or dismiss Konnie. Albeit, I must confess I was a bit befuddled. It wasn’t like I went around asking my kids about their special gifts.

So what does that mean? I asked. This gift of intercession?

It means I pray for people, she answered, soberly.

Now when I need praying for it’s my daughter I call. Konnie does, indeed, have the gift of intercession.

But this time, I’m asking you all to pray for Konnie as she prepares to make a trip that has been a life-long dream of hers. Konnie is traveling to Africa in a few short weeks. She will be working with a medical team there.

It makes me nervous to send my baby girl halfway around the world. But I am thrilled she gets this opportunity. It is always exciting for a parent to see the heart of child pursue God and serving others. So I’m inviting you to join with my in prayer for this medical team. And Konnie explains how you can partner with her in this trip, if you are so inclined. 

When raising children we are never quite sure what things we do will have the most impact upon their lives. I’m so thankful that we opened our doors to those young boys from the African Children’s Choir, and that in the process we opened our daughter’s heart to Africa.


Konnie with her daddy Tim. Christmas 2013

A Letter from Konnie:

Dear Friends:

A few months ago I was out to lunch with a college girlfriend and since our graduation, she has taken two medical trips to Africa. During our lunch, I told her if she was ever to take another trip to Africa, I was in. Knowing me so well and the fact I have always dreamed of someday going, she stated, “Actually am going again in March.” Since that October lunch date I have taken the necessary steps to make this trip possible with applying for my passport and getting the required immunizations.

There is a quote from Dave Eggers in his book What is the What: “If a boy became sick he walked alone; the others were afraid to catch what he had, and did not want to know him too well for he would surely die soon. We did not want his voice in our heads.”

There are thousands of African orphans that need to feel loved, cared for, not left to die alone and their voices be heard.

I will be fulfilling a lifelong dream of mine March 2 through March 14, 2013. God has allowed me the opportunity to go to Africa with a medical group, Willamette Medical Teams. On this trip, we will be conducting a medical clinic in a rural area of Sierra Leone. 
I would like to specifically ask for prayer for myself and the others who will be going. In order for this trip to be possible, I need to raise an additional $1,800 as I have saved $1,500. Would you pray about helping me with a small donation? If so, just include a check payable to Willamette Medical Teams and in the memo line add my name (Konnie Handschuch) and Sierra Leone 2013. Mail to P.O. Box 772 Albany, Oregon 97321.

Whether you feel led to contribute financially or commit to prayer (or both), I truly appreciate your support. I can hardly wait for this adventure to Africa, and I can’t wait to share the stories when I return.

God bless you.

And thank you.

What dreams have you watched your own children realize?

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  • John in PDX

    I’ll contribute but I would also leave a word of caution while your there.

    Use Permathrin judicially. You can prespray your clothes and they will last thru several washings. Make sure you use the cream on exposed areas. It can save your life.

    Don’t drink the beer that comes in a milk carton. It gives you gas.