#BetterTogether- Tara Shuler, Team Leader of the November 2017 Mission Team

Addis Jemari  is sharing with all of you a unique series about the heart and soul behind AJ…all of YOU and how we are better together. Here is a word from the team leader of the November 2017 Addis Jemari mission team, Tara Shuler, and why she agrees we are #BetterTogether.

Something Bigger Than Me…

I do not believe it is by fate that certain people meet on the path of life, but perfectly orchestrated by God for the appropriate time.    When I met Suzanne Ward in a beginner women’s running program several years ago, neither of us knew that God was setting things into motion.   During running program, Suzanne I ended up running primarily in the same pace group and eventually connected on social media to continually follow each other’s happenings after the running program.  Fast forward to November 2016, Addis Jemari (AJ) provided a presentation to my Sorority’s sponsored youth program participants and as part of our International Awareness initiative.  As Cindy talked about the mission of AJ and the young ladies who live in the AJ house, she ended this talk with ways we can get involved.  When she stated that traveling to Ethiopia was one way to get involved, I immediately knew I wanted to contribute by serving on a mission team.   Approximately one year from that initial presentation, I was preparing a 5-person mission team to be sent to Ethiopia.

As a member of The Summit Church, a campus pastor closes service by saying, “Summit, you are sent”. I believe that God equips us with the knowledge and skills and to go out into our local and global communities to share his love through service.  I also believe we are sent to be a part of something bigger than ourselves.  Being a part of the AJ mission team in November 2017 was my opportunity to be a part of something bigger…impacting the lives of young ladies and others we would meet in Ethiopia.

After a week in Ethiopia, my heart was full and I wanted to stay connected to see how the girls continued to develop and thrive.   The girls and staff have created a strong family unit through support of each other.  The support services provided further enhances the growth of the girls and staff.  I was impressed to experience cooking together as a family, studying the Bible, watching the girls complete their school work together and to relax on the couch together.  As part of the November 2017 mission team, we worked and “loved big” in Ethiopia without any expectation from those for whom we served.  Learning about Addis Jemari and witnessing the work on the ground, this song title “May the Work I’ve Done Speak for Me” is so appropriate.

~Tara Shuler