For Portia Williams going to Africa for a missionary trip was something bigger.
Williams, of Portsmouth is of African decent. She said going to the continent was a way to “visit” her heritage. “Somewhere my family originated on that continent,” she said. “That made it special.”
She recently went to Nairobi, Kenya to spread the word of God there and said she was welcomed with open arms. She spent a great deal of her time at an orphanage, the Bethsaida Children’s Home, where she said these children had nothing but still “had the joy of the Lord in their hearts.” She said to see the expressions on the faces of the 33 children there was rewarding considering their circumstances were so challenging.
“It’s unbelievable what that pastor is working with to provide for 33 children,” she said. “They had no where to go.” She said the pastor at the home is using his father’s inheritance to pay for the children’s home there.
Williams said her evangelistic goal there was “preaching, teaching and encouraging.” She worked with a local pastor there by the name of Rev. Martin Nyagah of Living Faith Missions and Chapel. “My family was greatly moved by your acceptance of our local living standards,” Nyagah said of Williams. “…We together with the University Missionaries also take congnizance of the other gifts you carry…”
Williams said Rev. Nyagah actually has local ties to Portsmouth. His sister-in-law, according to Williams, is Evelyn Gitome, Chief Financial Officer of Compass Point Housing. She said Gitome helped her make all the connections for the trip.
Williams said the big differences she had to adopt to was being seven hours behind our time. She said it took some time to adjust to the time change.
She also said the diet there was a lot healthier than people here eat. She said they don’t eat the junk we are accustomed to eating.
Williams said the thing she finds on missionary trips, which are provided for her through her church, Pleasant Green Baptist Church in Portsmouth, is the unity. “No matter where we go, we can have unity. I had a great sense of unity there,” she said. “People can have unity. That is simply amazing when it can be achieved.”
She said she is “Prayerfully” considering another missionary trip somewhere in the world in the next three years. She said she will find somewhere that needs “Hope and guidance,” and make the trip.
Williams has been asked to return to Kenya in the future to speak at a conference. She said she may consider that offer and go back for a return visit.
Williams said what we have grown accustomed to in the US with clean water, indoor toilet facilities and almost unlimited amenities, to remember there are areas of the world who are happy with much less. “What we take for granted…,” Williams said, “we have no idea in our country.”
Pleasant Green Baptist Church has organized several missionary trips thus far, including Kenya, Nicaragua, Jamaica, and Brazil. She said the church intends to continue spreading the word of God across the globe, one trip at a time.