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Teacher Retirements
June 3, 2024

Brooke Bigelow: expanding the mission field


Bigelow strays from the typical route and decides to take a gap year before going to college

Surrounded by laser beam eyes, wide smiles, and small hands is a mentor who captures the kids’ attention. They stare intently at her anticipating the next thing she will say, filled with wonder and awe. The young

GATHER ‘ROUND: Brooke sits with the children of Uganda.

mentor looks at them with the same awe and inspiration. Brooke Bigelow stands in a room overflowing with love surrounded by the kids of Uganda. Bigelow traveled to Uganda for a mission trip during the summer of 2017 after long-held dreams of serving in Africa. She connected with a friend of a friend who offered to take her along with him. Bigelow spent two weeks working in schools and teaching little girls about menstrual cycles and feminine hygiene. After her experience in Uganda, Bigelow was enlightened and knew she wanted to spread love and Jesus for the rest of her life.

“I think one of the most important things in a person is compassion. I feel like that’s something we don’t always have: empathy and being able to feel for people who don’t have as much as us. Serving others is an incredible experience and being able to connect with people you wouldn’t normally never get an opportunity to is just so beautiful and I thinks that’s why I am so passionate about it,” Bigelow said.

SMILE: The kids from Bigelow’s mission trip smile into the camera.

Instead of going straight to college, Bigelow is going to take a gap year to be a part of the World Race organization, a group that sends people on mission trips all over the world. Teenagers who wish to take a gap year can take a nine month trip serving in three countries.

“We take the love of Jesus and share it with those who need it most: this includes 3 billion unreached people, 18 million orphans, 4.5 million sex slaves, 9 million in prisons, and 795 million who are undernourished,” The World Race mission statement explained.

SANTA!: Bigelow, Scruggs, and patients at Brookdale pose with Santa at the Brookdale Christmas party. Bigelow volunteers her time at Brookdale to read and connect with patients.

She plans to travel to three countries over nine months — Swaziland, Thailand, and Nicaragua — spending approximately three months in each country.  Bigelow leaves on September 5, 2019 and must raise $17,000. Before she can go, she must attend a training camp in Georgia where she meets her team and they test her abilities. Bigelow also has to confine all of her nine month equipment into a 45 pound bag.

Bigelow looks forward to the trip, though she is unaware of specific details regarding tasks they will be completing.  Despite the lack of information, she is ecstatic to pursue her passion of helping others. Bigelow feels called to this and her friends agree recognizing she is the perfect fit for this opportunity.

“I think this journey that she is about to go on is what she was made to do. It is what she has always wanted to do. Now it is her turn to go and serve other people around the world. She truly is the nicest and most caring person I have ever met in my life, and if anyone was meant to do this, it is Brooke,” junior Josie Scruggs said.

Contribute to Brooke’s Journey Here! 

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