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Love can build a bridge from here to Africa

Mattie Freeney is living proof that when a person submits herself to God’s will for her life, the result sometimes includes unexpected tasks – like getting up the courage to take a mission trip to Africa.

Freeney, who just returned from the Sine-Kane village of Senegal, West Africa, said it was something she never envisioned herself doing.

“I never wanted to go on a mission trip; I wanted to support someone else, but the Lord sent me, and when you’re working for the Lord, you make sacrifices,” Freeney said.

Freeney described herself as being “worse than Gideon” about asking the Lord if He is sure about something.

“I always question, ‘why me?’” she said, but Freeney said she learned quickly why she was called on the mission trip.

She traveled with a group of five others from two churches in Pennsylvania and each took turns leading devotion before breakfast each morning.

On the day it was her turn, an interpreter shared her message with the villagers.

“The day I led the devotion, the others that went with me, felt like they had a break through,” she said. “I taught on love. My main theme of teaching is love. I sang the song ‘Love Can Build a Bridge’ and hugged the women. We all felt the connection, and I knew why I was sent.

“We went over there to build relationships with the people and to show them we cared,” she said.

The people of Sine-Kane weren’t the only ones who took something from the trip.

“I learned that people are different,” she said. “Just as they have many different things they have many in common with each other, we all have a heart to love and care. There should always be a heart connection. Love breaks a lot of barriers. I saw that happen.”

Freeney said so many people prayed for her.

“I do want to thank them. God answered every prayer,” she said. “People know we need financial assistance, but they forget to pray. They need our prayer support, as well.”