About Kendra Redding: Kendra is a registered nurse from Mississippi with a love for traveling and serving others. In addition to nursing, she also owns a group tourism business, with which she returned to Nicaragua on a medical mission in 2019.
In 2006, I was a typical teenager. I was a good kid, I made good grades, and I was involved in church and extracurricular activities. Much like many teenagers, however, I tended to believe that life was all about me. When my school presented the opportunity to go on a mission trip to Nicaragua, I thought it would be fun, but I did not expect the lasting impact that it would have on my life.
I didn’t know anything about international travel, physical labor, or self-sacrificing service at the time, but that one week changed everything. During that week, I experienced travel, climbed a volcano, and learned how to conquer my fears for the first time. I also picked up a shovel and experienced what it was like to physically work until I hurt. But most importantly, I learned how it feels to inconvenience yourself for the good of others. I learned what it was like to make true connections with strangers that, on the surface, I had nothing in common with. Finally, I realized that true happiness had nothing to do with how many physical things I can acquire.
Recently, thirteen years after my first trip to Nicaragua, I had the pleasure of returning to serve again with Amigos. Some things were different, but the life-changing aspect the week was just the same as it had been the first time. I connected with beautiful people that I otherwise would have never met. I dug alongside wonderful Nicaraguan people that taught me the meaning of hard work. I played with children that didn’t have an abundance of toys but had an abundance of joy. Though many years had passed since my first mission with Amigos, the lessons I learned and the impact on my life remained the same.
For the longest time, I have credited Amigos for Christ with helping me realize my purpose. Serving in Chinandega, Nicaragua was where I first realized my love for international travel. It was where I first discovered my love for international missions. It was where I first realized my love for serving others. And now, many years later, I find myself in a profession where I serve others daily, travel the world. and serve on missions every year. Had I not experienced serving with Amigos 13 years ago, I’m not sure that my story would have been the same, and for that I am forever grateful.