I Believe in Trying

A few weeks ago, my cohort reunited in Osaka, Japan for our midterm event. Midterms gave us a space to process the past year in our placements – to laugh, to share struggles and triumphs, and to spend time celebrating the transformation that we are seeing in our placement communities. As difficult as it was to leave my placement community of Cape Town, South Africa for midterms, our time in Japan together as a cohort was such a blessing to me. It was encouraging to find commonalities with my peers, to have conversations around social justice and critical issues in our world today, and to spend time in fellowship, prayer, and worship with my cohort. I left midterms feeling refreshed, excited, and humbled to be part of a group of young people who are so committed to bringing light to others.

One of our sessions during midterms was called Sacred Moments. Each member of our cohort had five minutes to share a story from their placement site where they had had witnessed transformation or were part of transformation. When I think back on all of the sacred moments that were shared, one that really sticks out in my mind comes from one of my fellows serving in Liberia. When he was describing his journey as a fellow, his adjustment to his new community, and some of the work he is a part of there, he made a statement a few different times that has resonated in my brain. He said, “I believe in trying.”

I believe in trying.

As simple as that phrase might be, there is so much power in those words. I feel like they represent the life of someone who has answered the call to be a Global Mission Fellow. The represent the life of someone who has left the comforts of home, friends, and family to serve alongside another organization or church in a country that is not their own.

I believe in trying.

There are days where sometimes all we can do is try. If we become so overwhelmed by the issues facing the world and the fears of the social injustices of the world, it can be paralyzing.

If there’s anything that I’ve learned from my time in Cape Town, and after listening to the stories of my fellow Fellows, it’s that sometimes being able to try is all it takes to see the transformation. We have to have the faith to take that first small step, the faith to be uncomfortable, and the faith to take a risk. The faith to try.

I believe in trying.

It goes both ways. It isn’t just me who has to try. It isn’t just my fellow Fellows. It is also our new communities with which we are serving. It takes people being willing to try new ways of tackling obstacles, new ways of thinking, and willingness to try to work for change.

I believe in trying.

I’m so grateful for those who are trying. To my placement community here in Cape Town and to all of the communities hosting Fellows, thank you for welcoming us in and your willingness to try new things. To each and every one of my fellow Fellows, thank you for believing in trying. I’m inspired by all you do and the way you pour yourselves into your placement communities.

I believe in trying.

Isaiah 41:10  “So do not fear, for I am with you; do not be dismayed, for I am your God.  I will strengthen you and help you; I will uphold you with my righteous right hand.”


Kelsey GatzaKelsey Gatza

Sowers of the World Church

Cape Town, South Africa

GMF International, Class of 2015-2017



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