Huntington University is a Christian liberal arts college in Indiana

PRIME student ventures alone into the unknown

Kerr finds her calling in Africa
Lauren Kerr

“I have had a heart for Africa my whole life. I know God is calling me to serve there.”

New experiences can be frightening to face, let alone going into them alone. Add uncertainty to the mix and it is enough to scare away most people. Lauren Kerr faced down both at the beginning of her trip to Africa and has walked away with a faith made stronger for it.

“I was working with an organization called Africa's Child, but when I got there, they didn't give me many responsibilities, so I just went out into the town and made my own ministry,” she said.

A missions and youth ministries senior, Kerr was spending her PRIME the town of Kalomo, a city in the African country of Zambia. Kerr and her mother had traveled to Uganda previously to find a PRIME location, but as time passed, those opportunities faded. Kerr's uncle had a connection within his ministry to Zambia, and Kerr remained Africa-bound.

Kerr worked through Africa's Child, an organization focused on combating the poverty that the HIV/AIDS crisis has left in its wake. Africa's Child allowed Kerr to create her own purpose in Zambia and gave her no responsibilities. She invested her time spreading the love of God in bars and brothels, taking care of and helping nurture babies at a childcare center, and mentoring and leading discipleship programs for women in biblical studies.

PRIME is an internship experience designed by the ministry and missions department at Huntington University. The PRIME (Practical Research and Immersion for Ministry Effectiveness) program prepares students to enter the field of ministry after graduation. Students choose a location of their choice during the months of May through December after the student’s junior year. These students are then mentored by experienced ministry leaders.

As she got to know the residents of the town, a need was made apparent to her. The town lacked Bibles, especially those in the local languages of Tonga and Lozi. Kerr had been asked time after time if she had come to bring Bibles, and soon she knew that she had indeed come for that purpose.

A fundraiser campaign was put on and Kerr raised enough money to supply more than 70 Bibles to the local churches and families that sought them for their children. Having provided more than enough Bibles to impact the community for generations to come, Kerr left her mark in Zambia, but her plans don't stop there.

“I have had a heart for Africa my whole life,” she said. “I know God is calling me to serve there.”