Student returns from mission trip around globe

Lauren Brandis, Reporter


     On Thursday, February 20, 2020, Chloe McArtor flew to Nairobi, Africa to aid service to an orphanage founded by the Amani Children’s Foundation, which is a nonprofit organization located in Bel Air, Maryland.

     Her “excitement and joy overflowed” when landing in the Nairobi airport. She “could not wait” to experience what was ahead of her on this journey. 

     The “culture and the children” were what pushed McArtor to be the best person she could be for the children of the community. She describes “the love was unconditional in Africa” and she has never felt more welcomed into a community before. 

     The children learned an hour-long dance for their helpers which made McArtor feel “incredibly blessed to be among the kids.” The missionaries were also greeted with gifts and signs upon their arrival.

     The Amani Children’s foundation had a set goal of bringing “love, crops and an irrigation system” to the members of the community. They devoted their time “strictly” to care for the children according to McArtor.

    McArtor said  strong bonds were created between her and the children of Nairobi. She said she was incredibly close with a little girl named Jane. 

     Every time the missionary would enter the daycare, Jane would “run up to me [Chloe] and give her a great big hug.” 

     Some children among the city did not speak any English according to McArtor. She knew how they were feeling based on their facial expressions.

     Inside the foundation, McArtor formed a bond with another member named Britney Reed. Reed traveled alone to the foreign country as a spontaneous act of kindness.

     McArtor wanted to mention that their relationship was based on “tons of growth which benefitted” the both of them.

     Cultural aspects that surprised McArtor was the geography of Nairobi. She describes the location to have a large functioning city on one side, but when you travel a mile down the road, ruins and run-down towns stood. 

     She added that the overall generosity of the people “was amazing.” She said people “would always greet me[her] wherever I[she] went.” 

     She describes the community to be “extremely caring and grateful.” Her host family begged the missionaries to stay a little bit longer for a few more hugs because they didn’t want them to leave. 

     The Nairobi people exhibited so much love which McArtor enjoyed. Their “caring souls” is what she misses most about the community. She wishes people back in the U.S. would manifest that love. 

     Each day the missionaries would wake up at 6am and eat breakfast at 7am. They would leave their home and visit orphanages and schools to have fun and do activities throughout the day. McArtor said that “soccer was the biggest request” in games they would play.

     Music lessons were one of her favorite activities. They would create maracas out of beans and other natural resources. Then they would sing and dance as one big group.

     Labor was also included in a day’s work for the student which she “didn’t mind” because at the end of the day it was for a good cause.

     If she was to work with this team and go on the mission trip again, she would “100 percent go again.” She mentioned that she could not miss up on this “great opportunity that is a once in a lifetime experience.”