A few days after his graduation ceremony at the University of Kansas this spring, our grandson, Michael Powers, departed for Africa with a mission team*. Equipped with his training in film and media, Michel’s assignment is to make a documentary film of the travels and activities of the team.

This seasoned team will be in Africa for five weeks providing teacher training and community development/leadership training. So while many of us go on vacations, the members of this team will be devoting their time to others.

The first stop for the team was a college in Swaziland and, through interactions with students there, our new university grad learned a lot about differences between priorities in a privileged society and those in a developing nation.

Among other things, Michael wrote: “. . . the students were especially inspiring. In the US, everybody’s post graduation goals involve finding a good job and making a lot of money. These students want to help fight the AIDs epidemic in their countries, they want to help lift up and empower women, root out government corruption, and just generally help others. Huge selflessness from a group of students struggling to pay 100 American dollars a month for room/board/tuition/food.”

I pray the lessons of this trip are not only long remembered but also values changing.

Zambian Children at play in the blind village - photo by Michael Powers

*Team Members: Martha Elford, Elaine and Larry McCullough, Michael Powers


  1. Like his African peers, Michael's priorities are leading him to a selfless endeavor to the benefit of others.

    1. Vanilla, some offered opinions about Michael not looking for work or getting a paycheck for so many weeks. But the things Michael is learning will be of value to him for a lifetime. I'm glad he had this opportunity.

  2. It's gives great joy to see a grandchild use skills and abilities selfless service to others. It appears that Michael has chosen wisely.

    1. Secondary Roads, it really is rewarding to see grandchildren become caring, compassionate adults. We are proud of Michael and of our other grandchildren who have been involved in missions.