Hi, I’m Renee, and this is My World.
So here we are in Africa. It’s beautiful, it’s sunny, but this isn’t obviously where I grew up. I don’t talk with an accent or anything like that. I grew up in Puout Washington. And uh… we can start over… cause that looked really stupid.
But no, I grew up in a home where it was just my father and my older brother. My father didn’t really know how to show love, or even give any kind of guidelines to life, so his motto was, “Live and learn.” I started smoking cigarettes to live and learn at age eight, and I was a pretty regular smoker by the time I was nine. My brother and I would hang out with different age group people. For some reason, we attracted older kids. We started smoking pot when I was ten, drinking alcohol pretty regularly by the time I was eleven.
When I was thirteen, my older brother joined a gang, and I really wanted to join a gang and he wouldn’t let me because I was a girl. So, a group of us girls started our own gang, and we called ourselves the Puout Valley Prep Killers. We were vicious. You know, when you are in a gang, that becomes your world. That’s your life, that’s what you do, that’s your protection, your family.
After being in our gang for a year, I was invited to this party. And at this party, there were a bunch of young adults a little older than I was, and they were alive and free. I wanted what they had, and they told me it was Jesus, so I was like, “Yes! Give it to me!” And I realized that Jesus is my world. My perspective went from just the gang, that lifestyle, to… wow… I can care about other people.
An opportunity came to travel the world, and live in another culture for a year, so I jumped on it. I guess just living in another culture just automatically helps you to see the bigger picture. And behind me, you see a little bit of the Klousa community. It took me a long time to figure out how to do that… Klousa Community. What we do is come in and love on them, and help them to see that they can choose a better life, by encouraging them, praying with them, and help educating them.
I realized that my world is just bigger than my family and friends, and America even. It’s just global. So living here in South Africa, I have learned how to live for other people, rather than jus myself, or just my church. And you just have to think outside the box.
“And Ben, when you go to America, what are you going to try?”
“White Mocha Frappacino.”
“Yeah buddy! Give me skin! There you go!”