In Her Shoes is a series written by readers to give us a glimpse into their lives – to see what it is like to walk in their shoes. Today I’m excited to introduce you to my friend Karis Busenitz! My bubbly friend has heart for missions, Nigeria, and rescuing those trapped in human trafficking. Let’s listen to our friend while she shares with us what it is like to walk in her shoes. ~ Love, G
“I must go with Jesus anywhere –
No matter the roughness of the road.
I must go. I must go.”
I learned this song in both English and Hausa (Ni Zan Je) from my beautiful friends in Nigeria, West Africa. I had privilege of living there 2009 to 2011 as a missionary with SIM. Just this past January I got to go back and spend 3 weeks catching up with friends- missionaries and Nigerians that I had missed terribly.
Here’s our giant SIM family reunion! 120 individuals from all over the world, following God and serving in Nigeria!
They had been missing western style salons, so I set up shop and got the blessing of doing the hair of missionaries.
Oh yes! With a great friend enjoying a favorite meal at one of our favorite restaurants!
My friend Jacque and I got to enjoy the rich hospitality of the Camiola family. John and Missy Camiola are my heros! I got to be a part of the beginning of starting their ministry, Grace Gardens. It is a safe home for women coming out of prison or prostitution or rescued from human trafficking, and need a place where they can grow to become followers of Jesus Christ!
The ministry of Grace Gardens started with a weekly outreach – walking into the dark halls of brothels in our city, and sharing the Light, Hope, and Redemption found in Jesus Christ! ( feel free to check out their website http://servinginnigeria.com/grace-gardens/)
A lot of tears were sown getting this ministry started. But God has shown up in big ways, showing us that He can do the impossible! Three years ago, when we first opened our Grace Gardens house – God brought us 2 ladies and 3 children. When I visited in January, we had a birthday party there, and I just looked around with tears in my eyes in awe of how God had grown His garden!
This little boy enthusiastically taught me one of his favorite songs. Tears came to my eyes as he sang, “I’m singing rejoicing since Jesus set me free.” The last time I saw him, 2 and a half years before, before Grace Gardens opened, his home was one of the darkest and dirtiest brothels in our city. When I saw him in January, I kept thinking of how awesome God was for giving him a new beautiful home.
This little girl is now the daughter of my friends John and Missy! She came from the same place the little boy I just mentioned used to live. I thank God for her life and just cry thinking of all He rescued her from and the great family she now has! She has a crazy story to share one day!
My little orphans have grown up. They still remember me and all the songs I taught them when I used to disciple them in the village. I love hearing them all call me Aunty! How cool to be their crazy foreign Aunty!
The icing on the cake of this trip was getting to see my Nigerian Mom and Dad! Here they are with their daughter, and my driver. What a blessing to have dinner with them before I flew home, having Pastor pray for God’s clear direction for my life, and thanking Him for our friendship!
Instead of goodbye we said see ya later! Cause I don’t know when, but I know I’ll be back!
Three weeks went by so fast! So now I’m back in America reflecting on how God has richly blessed my walk of faith.
God’s heart for people to know His Hope, Light, Love, and Redemption is huge! And the devil’s plan to steal, kill, and destroy is affecting lives all over the world. I started getting involved in a work God is doing right here in Kansas, to reach women in the commercial sex industry. My friends in Nigeria are praying for the women here, and I want to invite you to pray for the women in Nigeria. Jesus came to set the captives free and He hears and answers prayer!
You can find me doing hair at the salon or helping brides find wedding dresses. But I willingly admit part of my heart is in Nigeria.
I just wanna be obedient to go wherever Jesus leads me, no matter the cost! And I’m so glad His presence is always with us! This alone brings security, peace, and joy!
I wonder what’s next!
I must go with Jesus anywhere!
To read more encouraging stories, or if you are interested in sharing your own story, please go to the In Her Shoes tab near the top of the page. I love learning about the people in this series. Connecting with others seems to make the world feel not quite as big and scary. We’re all in this together. I can’t wait to hear from you, to read your stories, and learn more of what it is like to walk in your shoes.
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