Hannah’s Everyday Faith


 

Spare time is a luxury many of us tend to be short on. We’re always rushing around, jumping from one part of life to another, rarely pausing for thought.

But what if we stopped and took a moment to reflect on what God really wants us to do with our precious time?

 

Hannah Miles has done just that. The 18 year-old is on a ‘gap year’ from her studies and will be traveling to Malawi next month (March 15th) to work with children in crisis centres and orphanages where HIV and AIDS is having a drastic effect on people’s lives.

Hannah knows she wants to study paediatric nursing at university – she loves working with children and making a difference in people’s lives – but felt a calling to take action do missionary work before she forges her career.

“I wanted to do something with a Christian charity and explore my faith, while helping others,” she explains.

Hannah found out about Tearfund, the charity supporting her trip, because her grandpa went on one of the charity’s first ever missionary trips, more than 40 years ago.

“My grandparents are inspirational. They were missionaries in Kenya and my mum grew up there with them,” says Hannah.

“There were so many different opportunities to choose from, but the Malawi mission just struck me as something I would benefit from and enjoy, while doing something to help others less fortunate.”

Hannah says she prayed a lot about what she should do. “There was something – someone – telling me it was right. I just love being around children and seeing their smiling faces. It definitely feels like my calling,” she says.

Hannah and the group going to Malawi

Hannah has grown up in a Christian family. Her father is a vicar and her extended family are Christians.

“I made the decision to follow Jesus for myself when I was 14, when I started attending Christian camps, and getting involved with things at church,” she says.

Soon after, she started going to St Luke’s Church in Thurnby. “It’s the style of church I enjoy, with a worship band and various other things.”

Hannah is part of a team of seven girls going out to Africa from the UK for three months, and will be supported by Tearfund’s local partner in Malawi, Ministry of Hope.

“As a group, we’ve just clicked and feel like we’ve known each other for years,” she says.

“We’re all from different backgrounds, different denominations and that’s just really cool. God put us together and I trust in that.”

 

In Malawi, the main focus will be that of the HIV and AIDS epidemic. Many of the children will be orphans – new born babies who’ve never known their parents – or who have been born with HIV.

“Not everyone will get the resources they need to fight it. Children may die while I’m there. Poverty, illness, and people living in terrible conditions are all things I know I will encounter and emotionally, it will be hard to see. I’m just going to help in any and every way that I can,” she says.

“I know it’s going to lift my spirits and strengthen my faith to see such amazing courage.”

Hannah will also be visiting churches while out in Malawi. “Some of these are as simple as a gathering on a bench outside,” she explains. “I’m really looking forward to experiencing worship in this way and experiencing the difference in culture.”

Hannah has been working hard at her local pub, held cake sales in church and has been hosting African themed dinner parties along with her mum, to raise money for the trip.

Hannah and her sister Zoe

“I’ve prayed so much, and continue to pray for my trip – for a safe journey there and back and that God will be my guide – and if people could pray for me, too, that’s all I ask.”

 

If you don’t have Christian friends – and the support of others who are living the same life, for the Lord – it can be hard, admits Hannah.

“I’m so thankful for those who lift me up. I know I can always depend on my friends from church. Just a text and they are there, praying for me, and that’s really special.”

When she isn’t preparing for Malawi, Hannah is using her spare time to get out into her local community and show loving service closer to home, using the gifts God has given her. She is currently helping out at a Mums and Toddlers Group and gets involved with ‘a lot of different activities’ at church.

“I read my bible as much as possible,” says Hannah. “Me and my sisters often stick worship music on in the house at full blast. I really enjoy the band, Rend Collective. Music is a really important part of my worship and everyday faith.”

 

What is God calling you to take action to do?




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