The time has come!! After months of preparing, fundraising, praying, going, coming, adjusting, I’m finally ready to share my trip to Ethiopia with you! This is going to be a 5 day blog series to introduce you to the amazing people behind two really cool non-profits.
There is no better way to start than with the two who started it all, Nick and Whitney of The Archibald Project. I’ve been following this duo for several years now on Instagram. Watching as they travel the world to tell stories of the fatherless. They documented their first adoption story in 2011 and quickly realized that story had an impact they couldn’t ignore. You can learn more about The Archibald Project and their mission here.
When they put a call out for storytellers to join them on their 2017 Media Mission I jumped in heart first. I’ll never forget my mom asking me, “do you really trust these people?!” And I did, I only knew them from Instagram and their blogs and one Skype interview, but I felt like I knew them enough to say, “I’m all in. Let’s do this!” Pretty crazy to think, looking back.
I met Whitney and Nick at the airport in Addis Ababa, Ethiopia after 30+ hours of travel. I felt like I was meeting up with old friends. My heart was so comforted knowing I was embarking on a week long adventure with them. We all started chatting in the van on the way to Selamta and the conversation flowed effortlessly. It’s because they care. They genuinely care about others. Who you are, where you come from, how you feel. I quickly realized why they are able to capture such authentic images and videos. Above their amazing talents behind the camera, lies an amazing talent to truly connect relationally with people. Their love for others shines so brightly in the work they produce.
Every day on the trip we would take time as a team to meet for Bible study in the mornings, Dream Sessions (to figure out our individual stories) and Affirmations in the afternoon. Affirmations was a time we would each pour into another team member. This sweet time of reflection was such a testament of Nick and Whitney’s character. They fostered an atmosphere to be open and vulnerable. To grow. To give and accept kindness. To be intentional. There were words said to me in those moments I will cherish always. Words I would have never used to describe myself and verses I could only strive to live out. There is something so powerful about speaking truth over the people you love.
So to Whitney and Nick, thank you. Thank you for being bold and brave and kind and gentle and selfless and caring and so crazy talented. Thank you for going into the hard places with no other intention than to love well and share a story. Thank you for impacting thousands of lives because you choose to say yes. Thank you for seeing something in me to add me to your team. Thank you for a trip that changed the course of my life.
I will be forever grateful for your friendship.
Thank you to my awesome teammate Allie Chandler for the fun shots of Whitney, Nick and I!
Check back tomorrow to learn more about The Selamta Family Project!